Halt at the traffic signal opposite Novotel hotel and you’re serenaded by the sound of melodious tunes. A swift glance to the left reveals the source of the music. A talented troupe of musicians have taken it upon themselves to spread some Diwali joy with the gift of music..
What truly sets these musicians apart is that they are all visually impaired.
The band of five travel with a care giver who doubles as their manager. As they tune their instruments, their manager is busy setting up the speakers and mikes for the group.
Their set-up is on the pedestrian footpath and their audience is essentially travel weary commuters. No one can miss their soulful tunes belted out by this talented troupe.
The male lead is a genial, balding, man who merrily plays the Dholak. The woman playing the keyboard faultlessly churns out sweet music as another musician joins in with his tambourine. Atop an amplifier, their caregiver sets up a small basket, where commuters can offer up tips, should they enjoy the music.
Asha tai, the petite manager then steps up to us with a beam, indulging in a conversation. She explains that the troupe come from various parts of the city, and convene at a busy junction during Diwali.
It is their first street performance this season and the excitement is palpable.
The band begins to play and Asha tells us about their music. “Some of the songs we’ve planned are Bhakti geet, while others are renditions of popular Marathi folk songs,” she shares as the women start a wonderful duet.
The afternoon meanders on with a small crowd of commuters who are soaking in the music. Some promptly dig into their wallets to offer tips, while others gaze at the band, mesmerized by the soft voices of these gifted singers.
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