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Published on Jun 6, 2010
Hazara Singh Ramta may be remembered as the first and foremost Punjabi folk singer, a bard, a comedian, a satirist and a social commentator par excellence. He was more of a precursor of the modern-day stand-up. He penned his own material, whether it was the verses he sang or the jokes he regaled us with.
He took pride in flaunting the image of an innocent rustic Punjabi countryside young man. Every time he performed, he would dress up in a starched turban with a towering shamla; a long, knee-length kurta, delicately embroidered; a matching waistcoat wore over it; an ankle-length tehmet; and a pair of Punjabi curved pointed juttis (calf leather shoes) as his footwear.
His repertoire began with the age-old Jugni (folk-songs tracing the travels, trials and tribulations of a wanderer) and the ditty, Jugni Gayee Sadar Bazaar (Jugni Visits the Sadar Bazaar).
His ’tales’ were hilariously self-deprecatory and, when mixed with a rustic and simple vocabulary, had his audience rolling in the aisles. It was the child-like innocence and yet awe of the new world that made his verses so delectable. Even as a young boy who had a limited Punjabi vocabulary, he used phrases and their nuances, and found in them a treasure-trove of humour. It won't be wrong if we say in the history of Punjabi comic poetry and singing Hazara Singh Ramta is known as the "king of the laughter" he is the 3rd person after S.S.Charan Singh Shaheed (Suthra) and Bhayia Ishar Singh who have contributed to the comic Punjabi poetry. The first two were poets but Hazara Singh Ramta has sung all his compositions. He is a Living Legend, still there are thousands of fans of Hazara Singh Ramta all around the World.