Richa Jain: A life lived within the octave of Hindustani Classical Music
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Richa Jain: A life lived within the octave of Hindustani Classical Music

CitySpidey got a chance to interact with her on her journey in music for the last 30 years and more.

Richa Jain: A life lived within the octave of Hindustani Classical Music

She may look like a shy person yet when she starts her taan or takes her aalap, she exudes unique music showing the power of the Hindustani classical with a touch of Rampur Gharana. She is Dr Richa Jain, a doctorate in classical music from Delhi University, a resident of Dwarka sector 5 management society. For Richa, life runs between the octave of Sargam, ‘Sa to Sa’.

Known for her tonal quality while singing Dadra, tappa and thumri, Richa has set her scales high in the classical music world establishing her name through her craft. CitySpidey got a chance to interact with her and know about her 30 years long journey musical journey.

Credits: CitySpidey

Richa is the daughter of Professor Haricharan Agrawal, a faculty at Delhi University. While growing up Richa's sisters were taking training in Kathak. Moreover, her residence was near the music faculty of the university. All these factors created an interest in music in the heart of little Richa. Her mother noticed her interest and took her for formal training in the classical vocal. Since then, there was no looking back for Richa. She has completed more than three decades in the industry.

“I joined music in class 5th but left the training in 9th due to board exams. Further, I took the Science stream having an aspiration to go for a career in the medical field. I was a bit concerned for my career and till then did not have enough confidence in music to choose it as a career. Then dean of music at DU, Dr Krishna Bisht suggested to my parents that I could do excellent in music as she saw my potential. That inspired me and I decided to pursue music as my career."

As a student of music, Richa did well in her studies yet could not get that interest until her master's degree. She honestly accepts the fact, “It was 2004, I was attending a Bhatkhande memorial lecture programme where I got in touch with Padma Bhushan Vidushi Dr Shanno Khurana from Rampur Gharana. I expressed my desire to learn from her and took her number. That was the beginning of the real journey for performing classical music. Till then I was doing it as an academic subject but after that, it became my passion and now this is life for me.

Before meeting Dr Shanno Khurana, Richa also learnt from the late Dr Nupur Roy Chaudhry from Agra Gharana for some time.

While learning different styles of singing Richa also developed an interest in folk and she started exploring the field. Richa sings folk from Rajasthan and a folk form like Jangda is her favourite.

Credits: CitySpidey

Richa expressed her love for Tappa which is her favourite music form. "I was quite impressed with the style of Tappa singing by my guru Dr Shanno Khurana and that took me to that zone of singing and now Tappa is my favourite style. For the first time, I listened to Tappa from legendry Girija Devi when I was in college in 1991. When she passed away I dedicated a Tappa to her in 2017 performing at Banaras Sangeet Mahotsav. That moment was very memorable for me.”

Richa is still a good student and she never misses her riyaz. Every early morning she performs her riyaz for at least two hours. She practices the toughest and the lowest notes with equal depth and that is her concept of learning. “An entire life is not enough to learn music and you need to practice the most basic things with utmost concentration and dedication. I still have to learn a lot and I am trying,” she says.

Apart from music, Richa likes painting and cooking. She seeks inspiration through various aspects to draw in her music for which she has been making efforts.

In future, Richa wants to work for artists of Hindustani classical who are in crisis and work towards the upliftment of the traditional folk dying with time. She is at present secretary of Delhi Sangeet Sankalp, an organisation working towards promoting music and artists.

As a message to the younger generation learning music, Richa says, “What you learn, do it by heart. Don’t get distracted and focus on the basics. Never miss riyaz for anything.”