The Parai also known as Murasu, is a type of Drum instrument, which would be played by the performer by the way of hitting it, through two specially made sticks. This instrument is played since ancient times, and during that time, since there was no communication facilities, the kings used to convey their messages with the help of the Murasu. This instrument is still used at the time of wedding and funeral ceremonies. During temple festival functions, these drums are used most efficiently, in order to increase the bhakti of the devotees.
In the ancient Sangam literature, the usage of Parai is mentioned in detail. Parai is made out of wood, and the life period of the Parai depends on its usage. In the great epic, Mahabharata, the details about Parai was mentioned. Before the start of the Kurukshetra war, the soldiers and the general public were informed about the war related activities by hitting the Parai. And during the time of conveying of details about the victory or defeat in the battle field, the Parai is effectively used, and it is also called as Thandora.
Parai must be considered as a ‘Precious’ musical instrument, similar to other instruments, since it participates during the times of our happiness and unhappiness.Still now some Parai players are there, and they are using this instrument to convey social messages, and some of the performers would also sing songs in order to bring a good change in the society.
Parai performers must be really appreciated and their talents must be highly rewarded. Since most of the Parai performers belong to lower caste, it is our duty to encourage them, and the film makers also must give a chance to them in their films, in order to uplift them in the society.
The significance of Parai is also mentioned in the Puranas. During the time of war between the Devas and the Demons, Parai was used more effectively. After Rama’s winning in the battle with Ravana, his remarkable victory was announced by the way of hitting the Parai, and the victory was celebrated for several days by the Vanaras.