As a part of our Research and Documentation initiative with the Mir community in Bikaner, we made a documentary film Music of the Mirs (73 min 30s, 2008).
The film is an attempt to document and explore the past and present of the Mirs and their music. It has evolved out of an enriching partnership between Manana and the Mirs — The Mirs wanted their history and music documented, and we were in love with their music!
The Mirs of Pugal (northwest Bikaner) live in villages scattered along the border between India and Pakistan. They are hereditary musicians who have been singing the kalaams of Baba Bulle Shah, Baba Farid, Shah Hussain, Shah Abdul Latif, Khwaja Ghulam Farid and other Sufi poets for hundreds of years. Losses of traditional patronage and drastic changes in the socio-economic structure have forced most Mir families to give up music. Many are now working as casual labourers. There is poverty; there is also an uncertainty of their identity and role in the modern world. At the same time, there is great love for their music and an earnest desire to preserve it and carry it forward.
Camera, Editing & Direction: Anu Srinivasan Executive Producer: Anshu Dogra Sound: Asheesh Pandya Producer: Manana Supported by National Culture Fund