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Ramnami

Rama Mantra

Ram Nam. Those are powerful words in the land of Bharat. The name of Ram. In the realm of sound, and in the realm of mantras, the phrase ‘Ram’ is held to be among the most sacred, the most powerful, the most benevolent. In Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas says, “Kalyug keval naam adhaara, sumir sumir nar utarhi paara!” (Ram nam is the only refuge during Kalyug, the most challenging age of the world, and his remembrance, the only way to liberation.)

Some take the name to represent the man whose life-story is told in the Ramayana – the ‘Sagun Ram’, the deity. Others prefer to dwell on ‘Nirgun Ram’ – the formless primordial principle from which all creation emanates.

Making a Point

The Ramnamis are Dalits. And the story of their origins is dramatic. Sometime around 1890, it is reported, Parsuram Bharadwaj, a Dalit, was seized with the desire to see Ram and tried to enter the village temple. Members of the upper castes prayed there. So, his entry was barred, and he was turned away. We can only imagine what must have taken place… the pain, the cruel deprivation, the humiliation and the rejection.

His response was epic: he tattooed every inch of his body with the name of Ram. Stung at being spurned, his people vowed that no one would now succeed in keeping the Lord away from them.

They say the body is a temple. The defiant Ramnamis make it so. Their omnipresent Ram emblazoned over and over on their skin, theirs is one of the most breathtaking displays of faith one could ever see. Today, the Ramnami tribe is present across four districts in central and northern Chhattisgarh. For them, there is just the name and the sacred Ramcharitmanas.

By Ram’s Grace

Some things are just meant to be. In this film, singer-lyricist-composer Kailash Kher voices the sect’s deeply held values with the beautiful background score ‘Ram hi paar lagavenge’ (Ram will see me through). That came about with a happy coincidence if there is such a thing.
Filmmaker Bharatbala was on his way to Chhattisgarh to film the Ramnami community: “I met Kailash Kher at the airport, and I told him what we would be filming. Suddenly, I told him ‘Your voice should be a part of this landscape.’”

Bahar Ram, bhitar Ram, mora rom-rom Ram hi Ram… a name that pervades outside, inside and in every cell of the being. Kailash Kher expresses the yearning of a people who have hitched their whole existence on just one syllable.

Credits

Created By:
Bharatbala
Song and lyrics:
Kailash Kher
Cinematographer:
Sudeep Elamon
Music Composer:
Varkey
Editor:
Christy Sebastian
Colorist:
Abhijeet Deolekar
Executive Producer:
Mrinalini Mitra
Additional vocals:
Varkey
Arranged & Mixed:
Varkey
Cello Solo:
Rithu Vysakh
Additional Percussion:
Syamaprakash M.S
Kazoo, Harmonium and Melodica:
Varkey
Sound Design Team:
Christy Sebastian, Varkey & Vinay S Hariharan
Studio:
Varkey's Station
Final Sound Mixing:
Vinay S Hariharan
Line Producer:
Vineet Mehta
Second Unit:
Vinayak Gopal
Assistant Director:
Akshay Parvatkar
Camera Assistants:
Prakash Bamne, Yash Khaire
Drone Operator:
Yash Khaire
Location Sound:
Prakash Bamne, Yash Khaire
Post Production Studio:
Open Mind
Production House:
Bharatbala Productions
For Studio Virtual Bharat
Mrinnalini Mitra
Lynette D’mello
Varsha Ramachandran
Sayan Debnath
Shruti Mishra
Akshay Parvatkar
Yash Khaire
Prakash Bamne
Kannan Rajaram
Hariharan
Murugesan
Ghanshyam Patil
Project Virtual Bharat:
Hari Krishnan
Jawahar Sharma
Abhijeet Deolekar
Featuring:
Suhavan Bai
Kartik Ram
Mehtar Ram
Manharan
Ram Bhagat
Punai Bai
Sait Bai
Kamla Bai
Gyan Bai
Special Thanks:
Manharan
Mehtar Ram
Ram Bhagat
Suhavini Bai
Punai Bai
Karthik Ram Sadhu
Sait Bar
Kamla Bai
Gyan Bai
Adhyaksh Ram Pyari
Produced By Studio Virtual Bharat

Behind The Scenes