Come rains and emotions pour. Nature’s unique physical manifestation may not have any language of its own, it evokes feelings that hold idioms and expressions of its own. Not many are able to express it though, but some distinct sensations do inflict upon all of us -unbeknowingly renewing life into life processes. No wonder, longing for rains has remained an inbuilt feeling, or an ubiquitous human trait.
There is a tinge of राग मेघ and मल्हार in all of us, whether or not we realize it. Listen to falling drops, and feel what it does to your senses. If nothing, listen to music that matches your feelings. Poets from Kalidas to the present have lent words to our feelings. From agony to ecstasy, and from romantic to erotic, poetry has evoked a range of emotions – each as valuable as the other.
Longing for rains has been aptly captured as human plea in अल्लाह मेघ दे, पानी दे छाया दे. This Shailendra-SDBurman composing from classic ‘Guide’ has been replayed with different expressions by Gulzar in ‘Palkon ki Chhaon me’ अल्लाह मेघ दे पानी दे, पानी दे गुड़ धानी दे. In both songs, poet seeks relief and prosperity for earthlings. In a way, It also reflects human helplessness and desperation. And, poets haven’t missed on thanking nature for its gift too. Naushad-Shakeel Badayuni’s दुःख भरे दिन बीते रे भैया अब सुख आयो रे from iconic ‘Mother India’ remains unforgettable.
Let us not miss the fact that rains evoke feelings of desolation and sadness too. अब के बरस भेज भैया को बाबुल सावन ने लीजो बुलाय रे from Bimal Roy’s ‘Bandini’ remains memorable for the nostalgic pain Asha Bhosle invokes in this Shailendra-SD Burman classic song. I am reminded of one more of Shailendra’s imagination from ‘Gaban’, a film based on Munshi Premchand’s novel, rendered by Shankar-Jaikishan – तुम बिन सजन बरसे नयन, जब-जब बादल बरसे. Both songs are stellar examples of interpreting ‘saawan’ as a metaphor for nostalgic longing. I should not miss out on Anand Bakshi-RD Burman composition in this category – सावन के झूले पड़े, तुम चले आओ – from legend Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s lesser known film ‘Jurmana’.
Rains triggers many shades of romance too. बरखा रानी, ज़रा जम के बरसो मेरा दिलबर जा ना पाए is a composition by then husband-wife duo of SawanKumar-Usha Khan. Usha also composed a rather seductive song on Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics – पानी में जले मेरा गोरा बदन. Anand Bakshi rephrased these lyrics for composer Viju Shah for film ‘Mohra’ as टिप-टिप बरसा पानी, पानी ने आग लगाई. In fact, several songs on rain-soaked heroines have recurred in films namely – AnandBakshi-RD Burman’s भीगी-भीगी रातों में, मीठी-मीठी बातों में ऐसी बरसातों में, कैसा लगता है; AnandBakshi-LaxmiPyare’s रिमझिम के गीत सावन गाए, हाए भीगी भीगी रातों में and बदरा छाए कि झूले पड़ गए हाय कि मेले लग गए मच गई धूम रे; and, Yogesh-RD Burman’s रिम-झिम गिरे सावन, सुलग सुलग जाये मन. These are just few of those which come to mind. Our films and music is soaked in rains, even if monsoon plays truant quite often.
Musicians have dealt the subject differently. Madan Mohan’s छाई बरखा बहार, पड़े अंगना फुहार सैय्याँ आके गले लग जा captures a variety of rhythms, patterns, and sounds of falling rain. He uses sitar and percussion to reflect speed and slowness of rain imaginatively. The screen treatment of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics is equally alluring, though it is not raining on screen. I am sure my choice may have reminded of your own selection of rain songs to play back.
In no way, my choice of rain songs is exhaustive, and perhaps can never be. However, I leave you with a Talat Mehmood-Lata song on Shailendra-Salil Choudhary composition from a 1960 film ‘Usne Kaha Tha’, a classic love story in the backdrop of war by Chandrdhar Sharma ‘Guleri’. This short story is considered a literary masterpiece.
For compulsive writer in him, a song a day is the finest mental nutrition one can ever have, opines Sudhirendar Sharma.