"In appearance, the dhaak is a large cylindrical or barrel-shaped drum, in which the sound is produced by beating two wooden/ bamboo sticks against a membrane made of animal skin. The ‘dhaaki’ or drummer usually suspends his instrument from one shoulder, though some place it on the ground for a heavier sound. As Puja arrives, thousands of dhaakis make their way to Kolkata from the districts. Many of them remain attached to the same puja for decades, through generations. Not all are full-time musicians, but during Durga Puja, their only job is to welcome the goddess with their intoxicating beats. Many of them adorn their dhaaks with colourful covers and splendid feathers, and the sight and sound of a dhaaki drumming up a frenzy while swaying to his own music is unforgettable. A number of competitions are now held across Kolkata to reward and honour dhaakis. There are distinct dhaak rhythm patterns for every ritual of Durga Puja, from waking the goddess up in the morning to her immersion in water at the end of four days. Simply put, Durga Puja without the dhaak is like a tree without leaves, and once you hear the beats, we challenge you not to get up and dance. "