Splish-splash is the music we’re hearing!
The season of the Indian monsoon — ‘Saawan’ — is perhaps the most musical of all. These few months of the year see nature break into a wonderful medley of sounds. The crash of thunder, the plip-plop of raindrops falling off umbrellas into puddles, the staccato beat of the rain on a makeshift tin roof, the whoosh and swoosh of the wind…. these are all the glorious sounds of the season!
Frogs croak, crickets chirp and the koel coos her love song into the moisture-laden air… while the majestic peacock unfurls his fantail in a resplendent dance of courtship.
Indian poets have long used many onomatopoeic words … words inspired by sound… in their rain songs: “Chhananan-chhan-chhan”, “rim-jhim-rim-jhim”, “umad-ghumad”, “ghoom-ghoom”, “jhoom-jhoom”… making each song they compose, a veritable lyrical sound feast. Ragas such as Malhar and Mian Malhar and Des Malhar are the ragas of the rain gods.
Let’s take a look at the some of the most memorable rain songs that have come out of Bollywood… some wonderful old favourites.
1. Rim-jhim girey saawan….
This is an ode to the Mumbai rains…. a water paean to the sea, the historic city and all its monsoon warts and yet the song comes off tops. A must-listen on those drenched afternoons when young love reminds us that rains are meant to be experienced and enjoyed not frittered away!
2. Ek ladki bheegi-bhaagi si….
One of the finest melodies to flow from SD Burman’s mighty lode of music, this is all about wet nights and strange meetings filled with mischief and mystery. The musical effects in the song were actually done using garage equipment and add that touch of whimsy that makes the song unforgettable.
3. Koi Ladki hai jab woh hansti hai….
A rain song that’s pure fun and filled with mischievous energy. A catchy beat, the vibrant chorus provided by child singers and the ample use of rain sounds to punctuate and accentuate the melody, make the song utterly charming.
4. Pyaar hua, ikraar hua hai….
A sensuous, naughty yet sweetly charming paean to the feelings evoked by the rains… a ‘runaway’ number that expresses the strange longings and desires that the monsoon gives rise to. Where after a scorching Indian summer, every lover of life seeks fulfilment in the bliss and coolness of the rains.
6. Rim-jhim ke taraaney leke aayi barsat….
It could be a scene out of any teeming metropolis…. NYC, Paris or rainy London, except that this happens in Mumbai. Girl and boy go after the same taxi, each defer to the other and both miss it. Of course since it’s raining, no, make that pouring, there’s a long walk while playing hide and seek with an umbrella… obviously, need we say, love blossoms and music plays cupid.
7. Bheegi-bheegi raaton mein….
This wonderfully playful and seductive number expresses the abandon inspired by the rains. Cascades of water, a beautiful young girl and an attentive young man are all that a love song really needs!
8. Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat….
A penurious but talented poet, a diehard fan, a chance meeting in the rains and the goddess of romance smiles on them both. Could any combination be more potent, musically? This number is an ode to love at first sight between strangers when eyes meet and hearts skip a beat…a universal occurrence called love.
9. Aaj rapat jaayen….
A sizzling love song that celebrates the intensity of the rains with sheer abandon. It slips and slops through puddles and flips and flops through the rain-drenched lanes of a metropolis… a crazy tribute to love. The saree plays an equally important role in this song!
10. O Sajna, Barkha bahar aayi….
A lovingly etched musical tribute to the shy longings of love let loose by those showers from heaven… and a beautifully evocative, unintended tribute to the world’s oldest living drape, the saree… the heroine uses her pallu as a raincoat signifying how Indian women across the centuries have made the saree an integral part of their daily lives.
And what are the best dresses to wear in the rains?
We present a variety of ensembles that are just made for the rains… bright and vibrant to counter the grey; slinky and seductive to provide the sizzle; light and easy to manage; and above all some clingy and sensuous to create that rain-soaked effect that’s a monsoon must! Enjoy wearing them!