We have had a lot of rain the past couple of weeks here in Switzerland. The skies are low and dark, the air is wet and my mind is filled with images of Gene Kelly ‘Singin’ and dancin’ in the rain’. And then I go on to remember the many many lovely Hindi songs filmed in wet weather.
Of course, in India, we do not call wet weather ‘miserable’ as they do in Europe; for us it is not so. When we have had a long summer of unbearably hot days, when the air has been so still for weeks that it makes movement impossible, when the earth seems parched and dust covers everything, that first sign of a rain cloud is a moment of joy and that first rain is sheer bliss.
So here I am, in cool Switzerland thinking of summer rains of the past and crooning rain songs to myself. I realise immediately that there are far too many songs for one post; I need to sharpen the criteria, which are :
There should be pouring rain; rain clouds aren’t sufficient
Both the leading man and woman should be present
One or both the leads should get drenched
It should not be a sad song ie. not equating rain with tears
Even with these conditions, there are too many songs to list so this is just my selection.
If there is THE rain song, surely it is ‘Pyaar hua ikraar hua’ from Shree 420 (1955)? Black and white cinematography, beautiful lighting and unforgettable images as a setting for a melodious song..this is a true masterpiece. While on Raj Kapoor, what an iconic song ‘Dum Dum Diga Diga’ from Chhalia (1960) was! Unfortunately it doesn’t meet my criteria, no leading lady here. Barsaat (1949) sounded promising with ‘Barsaat mein’, but would you believe it, only lightning, no rain? I feel cheated!
I remembered ‘Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi’ from Chori Chori (1956) but on seeing it, I was disappointed to see neither rain nor frolicking. Too bad! Same problem with ‘Kali Ghata Chai’ from Sujata (1959) and the lovely ‘Rimjhim ke yeh pyare pyare geet’ from Usne Kaha Tha (1960). ‘Dil Tera Deewana’ , the title song (1962) hits the mark; Shammi shimmies very satisfactorily in the rain with Mala Sinha!
Remembering Geeta Dutt’s cooing voice in ‘Rimjhim Ke Tarane’ from Kala Bazaar (1960), I checked the video but also, no drenching. I then checked the slow and romantic number ‘Rimjhim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye’ from Anjaana (1969). Astonishingly, both leads remain stone dry during the song – another failure! Continuing doggedly on the Rimjhim theme, I was happy to arrive at ‘Rimjhim Gire Sawan’ from Manzil (1979) which drenches both Amitabh and Moushumi to the skin. Though I like Kishore’s version of the song better, Lata sings this beautifully. While on Amitabh, I cannot but smile when I remember the very raunchy ‘Aaj Rapat Jaye’ from Namak Halal (1982). For such an intellectual and dignified man, he does raunchy very well, doesn’t he? And the equally intellectual Smita does the wet sari look to perfection! Finally I came upon the astonishingly well sung ‘Rimjhim Rimjhim’ from 1942 – A Love Story (1994).
Mumu and Rajesh frolic pleasingly under heavy rains in ‘Kajra Laga Ke’ from Apna Desh (1972). I love Kishore! The pair does it again in ‘Chup Gaye Tare’ in Do Raaste (1969) with Rafi and Lata providing the vocals very beautifully. I used to love this song in my teens! In ‘Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein’ from Ajnabee (1974), Rajesh romances Zeenat in the rain. An unusual composition. I’ve listed my favourites but there are a number of other Rajesh songs in the rain like ‘Rimjhim Rimjhim’ from Shehzaada, ‘Gore Rang Pe’ from Roti, and ‘Haan Tho Main Kya Keh Raha Tha’ from Raja Rani, to name a few.
As you see, my preference is for older songs as I have left very little room in my post for more recent ones!
With Dil to Pagal Hai (1997) we come to Shah Rukh’s super hit song ‘Koi Ladki Hai’ with Madhuri. What a dancer she is!! The title song of Hum Tum (2004) is another lovely rain song, a song of dreams. ‘Dekho Na’ from Fanaa (2006) is the most soothing of melodies, simply lovely! ‘Dilbara’ from Dhoom (2004) is catchy number but I don’t like the leads. But the one which has lingered in my mind is the lively ‘Zoobie Doobie’ from 3 Idiots (2009).
I’ve left out so many lovely songs! I have to do another post for a more general Rainy-Season-Songs one day…
As its quite impossible for me to choose one song from all these well loved songs, I offer you three :
(1) Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua because it tops this category, and perhaps will always do.
(2) Aaj Rapat Jaye because I don’t get much opportunity to feature Smita, but more because I just love it!
(3) For it’s sheer exuberance and happiness factor, I offer you Zoobie Doobie.
But truly, all the songs I have mentioned in my post are enjoyable. So for those who have the time, here is a playlist with the rest of the 10 songs which match my criteria.