Sarangi strings tug at visitors' heart in Delhi Haat

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) The melodious strains of the Sarangi tug at visitors' hearts at the capital's ethnic crafts bazaar "Dilli Haat", making many stop, listen and decide on the spot to buy the stringed instrument.

''I had never expected my visit to a market to be a musical experience. See, I did not buy anything but stood near to one of the Sarangi players for about an hour to listen to his tunes,'' said Robert Brown, a tourist from the UK, while his friends nodded their heads in agreement.

For some others, it was an even greater opportunity to learn different tunes free of cost. ''I had once bought a Sarangi of Rs 25 from one of the sellers and now I come regularly. I and my friends also get to learn different melodies, '' Ranjan, a student of Delhi University said.

Phool Chand Singh, one of the Sarangi player cum sellers from a village in Haryana, sitting at one busy corner in the Haat with his bag full of big and small instruments said Dilli Haat, being a hub attracting every age group, provided a good market for the Sarangi.

About the agreement with the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation Ltd., which runs the bazaar, he said, ''we are 15 sellers and only five persons are allowed to sit here at one time. We need to pay Rs 113 to DTTDC daily.'' ''We come across by so many visitors here. Earlier, foreigners and children used to show greater interest. Nowadays, with more shoppers becoming familiar with our presence and tunes, come up to strike the chords and finally end up buying,'' said another player Bahadur Singh.

''On normal days, we earn up to Rs 300 and may to Rs 500 if any event or festival is organised here,'' Singh added.

His Sarangis cost just Rs 25 for a small one and Rs 50 for the bigger versions.

Tej Agarwal, a regular visitor at the haat said even though he may get tired of visiting the stalls one thing which he and family never tires of are the tunes of the sarangi.

"I really sit and listen to those, which is really relaxing. I feel these people should be given some opportunity to showcase their talent in the entire country through some NGOs or government schemes,'' he added.

The sarangis are crafted by the sellers using bamboo for the base, wires for the strings, "piyali" (earthen cups) and starch paper to ensure the soothing sound.

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