While there are many songs celebrating the beautiful and romantic rainy season, some numbers mirror our impatient wait for the rain Gods to shower down their bounty
It is believed that raga Malhar is so powerful that when sung, rain pours down from the sky. According to legend, King Akbar asked his court musician Tansen to sing raga Deepak, the raga of fire. As he sang, the courtyard lamps began to burn and Tansen’s body became hot. He sat next to the river to cool himself, but the river started boiling. So Tansen had to find someone to sing raga Malhar. Tana and Riri, two sisters, agreed to help and began singing. As the notes rose, torrential rain came down and Tansen’s body was cooled immediately.
Inspired by this legend, I wondered… could I appease the rain gods by singing Bollywood songs in anticipation of the monsoon? Would the magic spell work? We try an find out…with your help, of course! Do join us in a tune or four…
Barso re megha megha (Guru – 2007)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan asks the rains to pour down so that she can celebrate. She sings, “Let it rain, let the lakes overflow, and let the fields prosper.” Though the number shows Ash getting soaked in the rain, we feel like singing this song every time it gets hot and humid, and we can’t wait for the city to start looking fresh and green!
Ghanan ghanan (Lagaan – 2000)
After an endless wait, the folk from a barren village see dark clouds hovering in the sky and start rejoicing. It is the coming of the rains! Words like ‘dhamak dhamak gunje badariya ke danke’ (sound of thunder), ‘bijuria chamke’ (the lightening), ‘man dhadakaye badarva’ (the clouds making the heart race) – describe the anticipation of rain. The dryness, heat and lack of water in the farms makes the villagers desperate and they sing ‘kaale megha kaale megha pani to barsao’. We can imagine many farmers waiting for it to pour down as we sing!
Dhar dhar barse (Todasa Roomani Ho Jaye- 1990)
The singer yearns for the rains to come, and says that its high time that it pours down heavily now. It’s been years since it last rained. She sings about how her breath is burning and her body is feeling the heat. Her eyes have rained several times too, but the monsoons haven’t come. The rain here is a metaphor for a lover. Longing for love and yearning for the rain, can’t be that different, can it?
Ab ke sajan sawan me (Chupke Chupke – 1975)
Sharmila Tagore dreams about the coming of the monsoon in this song. She tells her lover that her body will burn with the fire of love when the rain comes down, but she won’t be able to meet and romance him, despite being so close by. Can it get worse than this for lovers?
Sawan ka mahina pawan kare shor (Milan – 1967)
The winds are getting noisy and the heart has begun to celebrate like the peacock in the garden. It looks like the monsoon is finally going to arrive. As Nutan and Sunil Dutt sing this song, romance starts brewing between them. Even singing about monsoons together can make you fall in love!
Kali ghata chaye more jiya tarsa (Sujata – 1959)
Nutan sings about finding someone to love when the rain arrives. She says that her heart feels thirsty wondering about the black clouds that have appeared in the sky. After all, everyone needs someone to love once the season of romance arrives, right?
Sawan ki ayi hai bahaar- (Anjaan – 1956)
Many of us start daydreaming once we get closer to the wet months of the year. We start planning about what we would like to do and where we’d like to go. Vyjayanthimala too celebrates the fact that the monsoon is just around the corner. She swings and daydreams about making a swing out of her arms for her lover. She also thinks about how they’ll sing raga Malhar together. Guess it’s time to stop daydreaming and start singing so that the clouds come rushing to our city as soon as possible!