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Monsoonal Melodies, Subhash K Jha Selects His 10 Favourite Rain Songs



1.Geela geela pani(Satya):  The one that  got left behind. This  haunting, poignant, evocative, seductive song was  edited  out  of Ram Gopal Varma’s most  celebrated gangster epic. It is quite simply a  tour de force  composed  by Vishal Bhardwaj , arguably superior in quality and emotive strength to even  Vishal Bhardwaj’s   far more popular Pani pani re khare pani re from Maachis. In Geela geela pani , Gulzar evokes mischievous provocative  images  of  rain  water as the life-giving force that  ….well, just brings out  the  best in Lata Mangeshkar  who was  almost 70 when she  gave luscious  lips to Urmila Matondkar’s rain frolic.  To this day Ram Gopal  Varma regrets  he had to  edit the song  out of Satya. It was  the most  painful  surgery of his  career. You can see the magic  of  this, the  most  underrated rain song that  Man created since God created the monsoon, on YouTube.

  1. Rimjhim ke geet saawan gaaye bheegi beegi raaton mein (Anjaana) : Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi get together for the mother of monsoonal melodies. Soaked in seductiveness wrapped in erotica, the singers make the monsoon a witness to their passion. Nature never seemed more participative.It’s another matter thatRajendra Kumar and Babita looked as passionate together as  two blocks of chopped wood waiting to be transported to a paper factory.
  2. Saawan ke jhoole pade tum chale aao(Jurmana):  R D Burman’s mystical compositional and LataMangeshkar’s magical singing make this one of the most evocative monsoonalmelodies ever. Not too many have heard this gem. Try it. You will love the rains all over again.There are three separate version of this sublime solo, sung with subtle variations by Lataji that only the aficionado can catch . Try it over a cuppa when the clouds are singing down on you.
  3. Phir se aiyo badra bidesi(Namkeen): Asha Bhosle weaves her magic around Gulzar’s poetry.The tender rendition moists your eyes and blurs your vision, as though the clouds just burst open in your eyes. ShabanaAzmi was shown virtually waltzing across the clouds in this song.
  4. Rimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat(Kala Bazar):Dev Anand and  Waheeda Rehman roaming the green vastness to the sound of Mohd Rafi and Geeta Dutt’s coltish cadences. Just one anomaly. While Dev lip-synced in Rafi song, Waheeda kept quiet when  Geeta Dutt sang for her.Geeta Dutt refused to give voice to WaheedaRehman.Why? Only Guru Dutt knows.
  5. Rimjhim gire saawan sulag-sulag jaaye mann(Manzil): Basu Chatterjee was a fine storyteller. But he has no music sense to speak of. Who in hisright mind would thrust Lata Mangeshkar-Salil Chowdhary’s classicmelodies Rajngandha phool tumhare and Na jaane kyun hota hai yun zindagi ke saath as part of the background score? The rain song in Basuda’s Manzil suffered better. One version of the number by Kishore Kumar was lip-synced by Amitabh Bachchan at a wedding, if you please! But the female version of the tandem by Lataji went into the background as Mr B and Moushumi soaked in Mumbai’s monsoon.
  6. Jhir jhir barse saawniya ankhiyan sawariya ghar aa(Aashirwad): Lataji excelled in Gulzar’s gorgeous lyrics about a woman waiting in the rainfor her beloved to come home.Composer Vasant Desai has composed another famous monsoonal number Bole re papihara in the same director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Guddi,based on the same a raga. But Jhir jhir is far superior in every aspect.
  7. Oh ghata saawari thodi thodi bawari(Abhinetri)—Regarded by Lata bhakts as one of her most accomplished songsever, the number actually catches every shiver as the singer soaks in the pleasures of the first monsoon. Hema Malini looks divine in the number.The visual quality of the rains has never been done more vividly etched in any other film song.
  8. Pani re pani tera rang kaisa(Shor): Rains generally signal romance in film songs. Not this one. This lyric penned by Varma Mallick takes a philosophical view of the rains…Waise toh  har rang mein tera jalwa rangdikhaye jab tu phire ummeedon par tera rang smajh na aaye.Wah!
  9. 10.Allah megh de paani de(Guide): While most rainsongs are about the pleasure of  the rains this one evokes the rain gods to come down on earth. A powerful evocation of Nature’s nourishing powers composed and sung by that nomadic bard of the music world Sachin Dev Burman.
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