I had spent all morning watching a dhol drum being built at Satya Music House – a small workshop in the heart of Chandigarh, the capital of India’s Punjab state. I had watched a wooden barrel dyed a deep brown color, and seen beautiful goat skins wetted, stretched and fastened securely to either side of the barrel, to complete the drum’s construction. That said, I had yet to see the mighty drum played.
I attended a New Year’s Bhangra dancing celebration at Sector -17, Plaza, an open community space with a giant stage, and saw Jahan Geet Singh, India’s youngest female Dholi at age 14, solo on the dhol. In a rhythmic explosion of prowess, celebration and emotion, she captured the audience with her smile, passion and big sound. When asked about why she chose to play the dhol drum, she humbly responded that her goal was to preserve Panjabi culture.
– By Kiran Gandhi
Here is a video of her performing December 27th, 2011
More about Jahan as told by her father:
Jahangeet – a student of 8th Class in a co-ed school St. Annes Convent School was born on 20th July, 1998 in a devout sikh family. Jahangeet, besides being cheerful, has been agile and nimble since her childhood days. Such a marvelous retention power she possesses that, she can reproduce any event of her child hood/past life as near as the actual one. The acumen with which she expresses her views is testimony to her visualizing of any thing with different angles, which at her age is normally absent.
Younger to her brother, her birth a ‘wish come true’ created environment of felicitation in the family. Whereas her father, S.Harcharn Singh who believes that a family is always incomplete without a daughter, her mother was also ecstatic when she first saw Jahangeet born as her descendant. Birth of Jahangeet has been like a charm bell for the family as it is also progressing with her age.
She imbibes in herself a quality of being different. Besides being one of the ten top students, she is equally proficient in drum beating. The interest in beating Drum was provoked by Dhol performance of her Cousin which was appreciated by all and one in the function. Her passion to excel in the field which is male field, has earned her a lot of recognition. Her performance has already been telecast by Z Punjabi Channel and Doordarshan Jalandhar. She has also enthralled the audience by her performance at Plaza as a guest Artiste of Chandigarh Industrial Tourism Corporation (CITCO).
Read the full interview with Jahan in issue #9 of Tom Tom Magazine.