With the monsoon sweeping across many parts of India, Subhash K Jha picks 5 of his favourite romantic rain songs.
Rimjhim Gire Saaawan
R D Burman’s timeless rain ditty from Basu Chatterjee’s Manzil comes in two versions.
The Kishore Kumar version of the song is a bit of a damper on screen as Amitabh Bachchan sings it at a small get-together. A bit like a butterfly in jar. Many eminent off-mainstream directors of the past like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee had no idea of how to film a classic song.
My choice is the Lata Mangeshkar version of the Manzil melody.
It is shot in pouring Mumbai rain as Mr Bachchan and Moushumi Chatterjee make a dash for it.
The great Yogesh’s lyrics just make you want to fill your senses with nostalgia over chai and pakodas.
Pani Re Pani Tera Rang Kaisa
Shor featured another melody Ek Pyar Ka Naghma Hai that surpassed this rain song.
But my favourite is this Varma Malik-written masterpiece about what the rain means to different sections of people.
For some it’s a luxury. For others it’s a leaky roof.
Manoj Kumar shot the number in a chawl with tight close-ups of drenched women.
The song’s poignancy is conveyed in the way Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh enunciated those lines filled with fatalism and fury.
Kali Ghata Chaye
Asha Bhosle singing for Nutan in Bimal Roy’s Sujata. A rarity indeed.
Ideally, the song should have been sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
But Composer Sachin Dev Burman had a 3-year fall-out with his favourite ‘Lota’ so he assigned the song to her sister Asha.
Shailendra the Bard wrote the elegant Kali Ghata Chaye More Jiya Tarsaye/Aise Mein Kahin Koi Mil Jaye. Amen to that.
Rimjim Ke Geet Saawan Gaye
The mood of uncontrollable romance that Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar build in this song from Anjana about finding passion in the sound of raindrops.
Though the two actors — Rajendra Kumar and Babita — enacting the wonderful song were uncommitted to fuelling a friction between aag and pani, the composition by Laxmikant-Pyarelal was so seductive, so appealing, it didn’t matter even if two wet lamp posts emoted to the sexy lyrics.
Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein
Zeenat Aman featured in two utterly sexy rain songs — Haye Haye Yeh Majboori (Roti Kapada Aur Makaan) and Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein in Ajnabee.
The latter song wins by a slender margin.
It is voluptuous and vibrant, smooth and sexy, as only R D Burman knew how. And then the two singers Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar did the rest.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com
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