5 Rain Songs That Define The Monsoon

1.     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 asAmitabh  Bachchansings it  at a small get-together .A  bit like  a  butterfly  in   jar. Many eminent off-mainstream  directors of the past like Hrishikesh Mukherjee amd  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  the pouring Mumbai rains  as  MrBachchan 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.

2.     Pani re pani tera rang kaisa: Manoj Kumar’s 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 leaky roof. Manoj Kumarshot the  number in a chawl with  tight close-ups of drenched women heaving and thrusting.Yuck. But  the number’s poignancy  is conveyed in the way Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh  enunciated those lines filled with fatalism and  fury.

3.     Kali ghata chaye :  Asha Bhosle on Nutan in Bimal Roy’s Sujata. That  was a rarity indeed. Ideally  the song should have been sung by most illustrious  of  the Mangeshkar sisters Lata  Mangeshkar. Here’s howAshaji wangled  this amazing  number.  Composr Sachin Dev Burman had  a 3-year  fall-out with his favourite  ‘Lota’. Sis Asha made the  best of  the break. Shailendra  was the break ke Bard who wrote  the elegant   Kali ghata chaye more jiya tarsaye/Aise  mein kahin koi  mil jaye.Amen to that.

4.     Rimjim ke geet saawan gaye:  Oooof!  The  mood of uncontrollable romance that  Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar build in this song from the film 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  lampposts emoted to  the sexy lyrics.

5.     Bheegi bheegi raaton mein: Zeenat Aman featured  in two utterly sexy rain songs Haye haye yehmajboori(Roti Kapada Aur Makaan) and Bheegi bheegi raaton mein   in  the  film  Ajnabee .The latter wins by a slender margin. It is  voluptuous  and vibrant,  smooth and sexy as  any R D Burman knew  how. And then  the  two singers Mohd Rafi and  Lata Mangeshkar did  the rest.I rest my case.

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