Notes of despair: Wedding band house owners and musicians on verge of penury

New Delhi, September 2

The music has gone out of their lives, fairly actually, and the band of males who made their residing drumming up tunes for events, wedding ceremony processions and typically funerals too are on the verge of penury, scrambling for each rupee they will handle. 

Almost six months into the pandemic, these within the enterprise of weddings bands have gone bust. With celebrations restricted to only a few folks within the period of social distancing and no bookings, some like Khurshid Siddiqui are promoting previous garments and others like Mohammad Ali are promoting off the accoutrements of the commerce – the buggy, lights and even the mare.

Drummer Khurshid Siddiqui who ran the ‘band enterprise’ from his ancestral store in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar Market mentioned there hasn’t been a single reserving in months, not from weddings, celebrations similar to births and never even the odd funeral of an previous particular person they generally performed for.

The 40-year-old mentioned he has put his store on lease for Rs 10,000 and is diminished to promoting previous garments on the roadside.

“All our old bookings were cancelled due to which even the little money that was left with us had to be returned,” Siddiqui advised PTI.

“I have completely stopped the work that had carried on for generations in my family. I have sent some of the items to my village, sold some and am selling clothes,” he added.

Mohammed Ali, who owned the ‘Great Band’ shut by, spent a hefty Rs 4.5 lakh in January to purchase a buggy, lights and a mare, all crucial for a giant fats Indian wedding ceremony that’s incomplete with out ‘band, bajaa and baraat’.

The mare, he mentioned, value Rs 2.5 lakh and he’s now able to promote it for simply Rs 50,000 or lease it out for Rs 500 a day.

“The buggy is getting damaged in the rain. There is trouble from all sides. The coronavirus has devastated us. And the government is also ignoring us,” the 40-year-old mentioned.

The indicators of the determined occasions are seen within the ribs jutting out of the mare standing in a nook. Part of the buggy lies on a rubbish laden street with kids taking part in inside it.

Some kilometres away close to the Loni border, trumpet participant Navi Jaan echoes the despair.

The 58-year-old mentioned he had been working with a band however since 1985 however the proprietor shut store and he has been jobless since.

“I have been sitting without any work for the last five months. I called the owner on Eid for money but he refused, citing the lockdown. There are four people in my family who are dependent on me,” Jaan mentioned.

Of his 35 band mates, some are promoting greens and a few are driving rickshaws, he mentioned.                Imran, proprietor of the Sahib Band Wala in Vaishali, opened his store after 5 months, hoping to get some work with the lockdown being partially lifted.

“The initial few weeks after the lockdown was imposed were still okay. But the constant re-imposition has created havoc. Because of the lockdown we couldn’t deposit the bills and our electricity was disconnected. Since we have had no earnings, we haven’t been able to pay the electricity bills and can’t resume work.”

It’s a vicious circle, trapping scores of individuals. Sometimes, to remind themselves of the great occasions, a band member clothes up within the uniform, simply wears the cap and picks up his instrument. It’s a reminder of the occasions that had been. PTI

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