Rain & Romance
It's interesting how Hindi cinema unconsciously defines specific emotions for specific seasons. So, if rain represents erotica, lightening symbolises...
It's interesting how Hindi cinema unconsciously defines specific emotions for specific seasons. So, if rain represents erotica, lightening symbolises drama, spring with its myriad colours represents romance, autumn is somehow usually about introspection and summer about deep anguish Romance in Hindi films is synonymous with rain sequences. Much before the item numbers dawned into our entertainment business, rain songs were the only ticket to erotica moments in films. Not all of them were explicitly sensual but they reflected a longing, an admission of desire and therefore all these songs were special. We remember some of these numbers for the extra-ordinary lyrics and melody and some for the song situations and choreography. How can we forget the spirited Aishwarya Rai dancing to 'barso re megha�' in "Guru", Kareena Kapoor drenched in the shower singing to Rahul Bose in "Chameli" and before that Madhoo jumping in the paddy fields singing 'Dil hai chotasa�' in "Roja"..? If 'Pyar hua iqrar hua�' with Nargis and Raj Kapoor shot under a wind blown umbrella in "Shri 420" is the anthem for monsoon songs in Hindi films, Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh dancing to 'Kaale megha kale megha�' in "Lagaan" is a song of hope and 'Badal yun garajta hai ..' in "Betaab" a song of reunion where childhood friends Amrita Singh and Sunny Deol meet after a long separation. The poet always had a new expression for these rain songs depending on the situation and the character and the filmmaker combined with the choreographer repeatedly projected these moments in a manner that they turned magical. So Bimal Roy just made Sadhna stand in the balcony looking at the skyline in "Parakh" waiting for Dev Anand and singing 'O sajna barkha�' and Hrishikesh Mukherjee made Raakhee walk the forest and sing to no one in particular 'Sawan ke Jhoole�' in "Jurmana". Most of the time rain was a muse to express longing so whether it was Hema Malini yearning for Shashi Kapoor with 'O ghata sawari�' in "Abhinetri", a Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman in a playful mood in 'Bheegi bheegi raaton mein�' in "Ajnabee", young Anuradha Patel driving an older Naseerudin Shah in a tizzy in Ijaazat or a desolate Vinod Khanna seeking solace from the beautiful Sridevi in "Chandni", they were transforming moments for the characters and the film. On top of my rain favorites is 'Kaali ghata chaye mora jiya ghabaraye...' from Bimal Roy's "Sujata", the story of a Harijan girl brought up by a Brahmin family. Self assured in her simplicity she spends major part of the day attending to household chores. One such day, the sky line changes colour and the clouds thunder! Sujata runs to her room and throws open the windows to allow the showers into her life. The close-up shot of Nutan smiling at the clouds and expressing her desire for a companion is refreshing and sensitive. Equally desolate yet beautiful is Mithu (Shabana Azmi) in Gulzar's "Namkeen", when she sets out for her morning stroll shrouded in a flowing black shawl, mesmerised by the mist and fresh dew drops. Shot amidst swaying trees and rendered by Asha Bhosle, 'Phir se aiyo barkha bidesi �' is among the memorable lyrics of Gulzar. It is interesting how perceptions alter with time. Yearss ago, a shy Jaya Bhaduri taking shelter inside a cave and singing 'Bol re papi hara�' in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Guddi was heart rending. With time we accepted Kajol dancing with a towel to 'Mere khwabon mein jo aaye�' in "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge" I'm of the opinion that Zeenat Aman's 'Hai hai ye majboori�' draped in a clinging saree in "Roti Kapda Aur Makaan" was the beginning of the rain sequences. Zeenat invites Manoj Kumar to join her in the rain but he has to appear for a job interview and resists her advances but she is too tempting and he relents but is still extremely self conscious. In contrast Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil surrender to the monsoon madness in 'Aaj rapat jaiyo�' in Prakash Mehra's "Namak Halaal". The song is a celebration of carnal desire just in the way 'Koi ladka hai�' in "Dil Toh Pagal Hai" is about adventure and to hell with reality in this case a fractured ankle. Karisma Kapoor is bed ridden for an injured foot but cannot resist a jig when the music comes on and to hell with the medical complications! A trend setter of sorts is also 'Kaate nahin kattey�' in "Mr. India" where Seema (Sridevi) sways seductively, allowing her chiffon saree to fly with the breeze. Her abandon is a reaction to love; her blue sari fluttering in the breeze is a bold, robust admission for desire while Akshay Kumar's 'Dekho zara dekho barsaat ki jhadi�' in "Yeh Dillagi" is a spontaneous reaction to the moment, a physical and an emotional release! My favourite rain song is from a Shatrughan Sinha film 'Barkha rani zara jham ke barso�' and favorite rain song situation is Basu Chatterjee's Manzil where Moushumi Chatterjee and Amitabh Bachchan walk down Marine Drive hand-in-hand drenched in Mumbai's slashing rains as the background score plays 'Rimjhim gire saawan�' I have watched it million times but still stop to watch it every time it plays on the television. It is a perfect image of torrential rain in the city. Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya