Hundreds of years ago, Yusuf Khan’s ancestors roamed the deserts of Rajasthan, playing their percussion instruments as accompaniments to tales narrated from Indian mythology. Today, this resident of Munguska, Rajasthan is using a PC to digitise and immortalise the rich musical tradition he inherited from his father Umar Farooqi and grandfather Jahur Khan Mewati, a bhapang player from the Mewat region of Rajasthan, whose sudden finding and consequent musical contribution to a Hindi film sprung him and the bhapang out of obscurity.
Mewat, as it turns out, is brimming with these hidden treasures – local music traditions that only reach a small population of people. Sadly, their popularity is fading in these local areas as well.
This website is an attempt to digitally document the history, heritage and folk music of the Mewat reagion.
With the help of New Delhi-based organisation Digital Empowerment Foundation, Yusuf Khan in 2010 learnt to operate a computer and soon he was trained enough to manage a digital resource centre where he offered digital literacy classes to community children and digital services (such as photocopying, printing, scanning, filing of applications, etc) to community members.
He also began to use this two-computer unit to digitally document and archive folk tales and folk songs. Though this website started as an attempt to digitally document the history, heritage and folk music composed by Jahur Khan Mewati and his descendants, it aims t digitally capture the larger Mewati community.