Raanjhana: An Ode to Distant Love by Rishab Rikhiram

Raanjhana: An Ode to Distant Love by Rishab Rikhiram

We’ve all been moved by music before. We all know how it feels to be overcome – to have our eyes closed, heads thrown back, our bodies swaying to melody. Sometimes a song entices you into movement, other times it puts you in a soulful trance.

Raanjhana, a new single by Rishab Rikhiram Sharma, accomplishes both. The song comforts the senses in an explicable way.

Raanjhana, in its entirety, is a labour of love by Rishab, who is a sitarist, music producer, songwriter and a musical instrument designer. He also holds the honour of being the youngest and the last disciple of the great sitar maestro and composer Ravi Shankar. To top it all off, Rishab, a fourth-generation descendant, is the personified legacy of the Rikhi Ram family of musical instrument makers. While he currently lives in the midst of the hustle and bustle of New York City, he was brought up in Delhi.

Rishab’s experience and knowledge, as well as his Eastern and Western influences, are evident in both Raanjhana’s production and its impact. Every note and beat is expertly placed in the track with intention – designed to evoke an emotion, to stir the metaphorical heart string. The composition starts slow, in what can only be described as a beautiful invitation from the sitar. The listener is initially soothed by each note, and then the musical catharsis occurs – the track picks up, the drums come in and the vocals perfectly underscore the theatrics of it all.

At the center of what makes Raanjhana so special is its simple yet profound chorus. The words, also sung and penned by Rishab, flirt with the familiarity of both longing and desire. As “raanjhana aaya mera, ranjhana aaya” is crooned melodiously into the ear, the listener is overcome with nostalgia, reminded of their own adventures with love and lovers, new and old alike.

Rishab has publicly stated that Raanjhana is an ode to people in long-distance relationships – for those who are always on the precipice of waiting for the next moment they can spend with their loved one. In a world of cynicism and travesty, Raanjhana keeps us young and optimistic. It reminds us that distance and obstacles are not insurmountable when the heart is full.

Derek Robins