Breaking gender norms in the musical world of Rajasthan
Ever come across a female playing the khartal, morchang or bhapang?
Well, In the making, there’s a shining star whose musical approach is both unconventional and deeply rooted in her unwavering love for music. Our recording session with Mamta Sapera and her group was truly rewarding, offering us an intimate glimpse into her aspirations and passions.
Mamta’s affinity for music is profound, and her choice of instruments is nothing short of inspiring, challenging stereotypes. She plays the Khartal, Bhapang, and Morchang, traditionally reserved for male musicians in Rajasthan. Her journey began when her curiosity was piqued by the Morchang, hidden away in her mother’s almirah. Despite initial resistance due to societal norms, Mamta’s determination led her to embrace the Morchang as a birthday gift from her father, marking the beginning of her musical odyssey.
From the Morchang, she ventured into the Khartal, then the Bhapang, and now she’s mastering the violin. Her motivation to learn these predominantly male-played instruments stems from a desire to break boundaries and challenge conventions. In her own words, she expressed, “Mujhe kuch hatke karna hai” (“I want to do something unique”) in her sweet tone.
During our session, Mamta’s group treated us to a captivating folk song, followed by a mesmerizing jugalbandi featuring the Khartal, Dholak, and Bhapang. Their performance was not only catchy but also uplifting.
Our motivation to document Mamta Sapera’s journey lies in recognizing her immense potential and her determination to shatter barriers, not only for herself but also for her fellow female musicians and the community at large. Her resolute goal is to create a welcoming space for her peers to learn, grow, and pass on the tradition, ensuring that it thrives in the years to come.
– Hrisha Rashmi (Volunteer)