Skip to main content

Ravi Kumar Group

By December 5, 2023April 15th, 2024Documentations, Haryana

Exploring the World of Ragini

In the realm of music, where words are not cloaked in sweetness but boldly spoken, Ragini emerges as an art form that seeks clarity in expression. It’s a musical genre that places greater emphasis on lyrics than on the traditional elements of music, like tune and rhythm. Instead, Ragini’s primary focus lies in conveying compelling stories through its songs.

One individual who has dedicated his musical journey to Ragini is Ravi Kumar, a talented vocalist from Charkhi Dadri. He finds his artistic inspiration in Haryana’s folk songs through Ragini. Haryana, a state rich in musical traditions, has given birth to this unique art form. In fact, numerous villages in his native place, Charkhi Dadri district of Haryana, have been named after ragas, for example, Nandyam, Sarangpur, Bilawala, Brindabana, Todi, Asaveri, Jaisri, Malakoshna, Hindola, Bhairvi and Gopi Kalyana. 

Ravi Kumar’s involvement in Ragini began in his early years, performing alongside his father at various gatherings. He was introduced to the world of ghazals and Raaganis during his school days, where he serenaded the beauty of Haryana’s musical heritage. As he grew older, his passion for this art form deepened. Seeking guidance from esteemed mentors such as Pandit Satendar Mishra, Mahaveer Singh, Dr Ashok Verma, and Ustad Tanvir Ahmed Khan from the Delhi gharana, Ravi honed his skills and enriched his understanding of Haryana’s folk music. 

In 2007, Ravi Kumar took a significant step in his musical journey by forming his own group. He assumed the role of the lead vocalist, accompanied by 61-year-old Ram Meher Singh and Naveen Kumar on harmonium and chorus, Rajesh Kumar on Nagada, and Mausam on Dholak. Together, they perform, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Haryana through Ragini.

In a conversation with Ravi Kumar, he shared his admiration for Rai Dhanpat Singh, a Ragini singer from Nidana village. He mentions that he looks up to Rai Dhanpat Singh and finds him to be the most skilled and versatile Haryanvi folk singer, with impeccable taste in music combined with his apt choice of words. Other notable Ragini singers in Haryana, such as Mange Ram and Lakhmichand, have also contributed a lot to the vibrancy of this unique art form.

To understand Ragini better, it’s crucial to grasp its essence. As Ravi Kumar puts it, “Ragini ka main focus ‘laya’ nahi hai, humare Haryana me main ‘Bol’ hai” (“Ragini’s main focus is not rhythm; in our Haryana, it’s all about the words”). Ragini seamlessly merges literature and music, creating a powerful storytelling medium that resonates with its audience.

In Haryana’s musical landscape, Ragini has found its place, and talented artists like Ravi Kumar play a pivotal role in conveying its significance. Thanks to dedicated artists like Ravi Kumar, this traditional art form continues to thrive, weaving the tales of Haryana into unforgettable musical experiences.

Hrisha Rashmi (Volunteer)

Leave a Reply