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2 June 2013

My Favourites: Rain Songs

Courtesy: atithi.com
The rains are here. ('Here' meaning the Kerala monsoons have finally arrived.) And with it comes the smell of freshly dampened earth. 'Puthu mannu' we call it, a smell that cannot be described; it has to be experienced. It is the smell that assails your senses when the parched earth eagerly drinks in the first drops of the first monsoons... The monsoons are greeted with joy; the rains bring welcome relief from the intense summer heat. Everything looks cleaner, just a little brighter after the first showers.

I have always loved the rains. I have also had the good fortune to experience its myriad facets in the many places I have stayed in over the years. I remember revisiting Mahabalipuram with friends, when a late-summer downpour caught us by surprise. The beach emptied faster than you can imagine, leaving our group to brave the elements. There was something surreal about standing on a deserted beach in the pelting rain, watching lightning cleave the darkening skies, while the winds whipped the casuarina trees into abject surrender.

I remember getting caught by a shower in Madras on my way back from work; after trying unsuccessfully to open my umbrella, I decided to walk from the bus-stop to my hostel - a distance of about a kilometre and a half. My room-mate passed by at the time in an auto, but she said later that I looked so happy walking in the rain, she didn't bother to stop.

The gentle rains of Bangalore barely wet the jasmine creeper in our euphemistically-termed 'garden' (Bangalore-waasis will know what I mean) but intensified the fragrance of the blooms all the same, and I exulted in the Bombay monsoons that tried to make my umbrella into a parachute and whisk me into the embrace of the sea. Foolhardy though it was (in hindsight) I remember standing at the embankment walls, umbrella folded and firmly secured, drenched to the skin, enthralled by the fury of the tide as it smashed against the rocks at Marine Drive.

I love watching the rains. Sitting on the window-sill of my bedroom as a teenager and watching the south-west monsoons lash the coconut trees outside into a frenzy was a favourite past-time. I loved the drumrolls of thunder and the vivid flashes of lightning that intermittently turned night into day. It was even better if I had a hot cup of coffee and a samosa (or two) from my favourite store. 

I love the sound of the rain, from the gentle pitter-patter of the first showers to the muted buzz of the incessant downpour when the drops merge into each other to form sheets and sheets of water. (By then, it's like Dame Washalot emptying her tub on washing day - Enid Blyton readers will know the reference.) It's soothing and invigorating by turns.  And even today, I splash into mud puddles, albeit a trifle guiltily. (I also catch myself looking around to see if anyone is watching!)

The rains are here, and oh, I wish I were back in India... 

Since I am not, let me celebrate the rains my own way. Here are some of my favourite rain songs from films I have seen. There were only two conditions - the songs should predate the 70s (which effectively removed one of my favourite songs) and, the picturisation had to involve rain. From gentle showers to deluges or everything in between.

1. Jo ijaazat ho to ik baat kahoon 
Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962)
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri 
Singers: Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi
It seems apt to lead with this song. A lesser-known number from a film that boasted the classic Na tum humein jano,  it is a light-hearted romantic number picturised in the rains. It is the quiet exuberance (yes, I know that's an oxymoron) that catches your attention. Waheeda looks beautiful as only she can, and if someone can explain to me how Dev manages to look dapper even when he is as wet as a drowned rat...

Jhoola (1962) 
Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Rajinder Krishen
Singer: Manna Dey 
Yes, I know. This song can hardly be called a 'celebration'; I chose it because a) I love it b) it is the flip side of the rains - it is a storm that brings devastation in its wake. Yet, it is not enough to douse the fires that gnaw at your insides. Coming at the point of conflict in the film, the rains effectively capture the inner turmoil of the characters played by Sunil Dutt and Vyjayanthimala. The mother is not unsympathetic either. I have felt both - exuberant happiness and exquisite hurt, and the rains have always enveloped me in their embrace, celebrating my joy and mourning my pain.


3. Dil tera deewana hai sanam  
Dil Tera Deewana (1962) 
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra
Singers: Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar
Now this, to me, is the quintessential rain song. Man! Shammi Kapoor knew how to enjoy the rain. No one can match Shammi for the sheer exuberance he brings to his songs. Rafisaab  channels his inner Shammi, Shammi Kapoor let loose all his energy and  joie de vivre, and Mala Sinha matches him step for step in this foot-tapping number as the rain comes down in sheets. 


4. O sajna barkha bahaar aayi  
Parakh (1960)  
Music: Salil  Choudhary
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Salilda's orchestration capturing the mood, a sitar rippling like quicksilver, the visuals of the raindrops falling off the leaves, a very young and very pretty Sadhana, Lata's exquisite voice echoing the romantic pangs of a young girl's heart... It is one of my favourite 'rain songs', its quiet melody bringing back memories of watching the rain through the bars as a much-younger me sat curled up on the window sill dreaming impossible dreams of my own. 

5. Rhimjhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat 
Kala Bazar (1960) 
Music: SD Burman
Lyrics: Shailendra
Singers: Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt
Dev and Waheeda again. Two people who love each other but are separated by circumstances come face to face on a rainy day in Bombay. Forced to walk because they don't seem to be able to get a cab (everyone else does), they take shelter under a common umbrella and their own thoughts. As he chivalrously escorts her, memories threaten to overwhelm both of them, and the rain provides the counterpoint... 

The video link does not have the full song, unfortunately; the last verse
Jab milte ho tum to chhutein dil ke taar
Milne ko tum se main kyon tha beqaraar 

Rah jaati hai, 
Rah jaati hai kyon hothon tak aake dil ki baat
Rhim jhim ke taraane leke aayi barsaat
Yaad aaye kisi se vo pehli mulaqaat


is missing, so here is the link to the full audio.

6. Pyar hua iqraar hua  
Shree 420 (1955
Music: Shankar-Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey
Probably the synonym for a rain song in Hindi films. Like the earlier song on this list, this also had the couple share an umbrella. But here, they are in love, fate has yet to separate them, and the rains provide the counterfoil to their quiet romance. The dark night, the emptiness of the streets, the pouring rain, one umbrella and two people in love... It is a song where melody, lyrics, and picturisation melded together to produce a whole that was greater than the sum of its individual parts. 

The film version of the song has a verse missing... 

Dil ye kahe is maang ko, main taaron se savaar doon
Tumse naya sansaar loon, tumko naya sansaar doon, 
Chaand aur sooraj, deep gagan ke
Is dharti pe utaar doon... 
For the full audio, click here.

Chhalia (1960) 
Music: Kalyanji-Anandji
Lyrics: 
Qamar Jalalabadi 
Singer: Mukesh
Nothing celebrates the rains quite as much as walking in it. Especially if it is the sort of downpour where having an umbrella or not doesn't make much of a difference. Raj Kapoor walks, dances, falls, gets drenched, splashes in puddles - see, the man knew how to enjoy the rains. He also knew that the best part of having an umbrella in the rains is that you can close it when you feel like it.

Music: Roshan
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Singers: Suman Kalyanpur, Kamal Barot 
On the face of it, this seems an unusual selection for this theme since the rain is glimpsed just occasionally through the window blinds. As the credits flash, two girls are seen doing their riyaaz under the watchful eye of their father and guru. For all that, the rain seems to pervade the whole atmosphere. Indeed, I can never think of 'rain' songs without Garjat barsat saawan aayo re coming to mind. Perhaps the word placement in the lyrics has something to do with it. Whatever it is, this song always ranks as a 'rain song' to me. 

Trivia: This song, a traditional bandish, was originally composed for Malhar (1951) as Garjat barsat bheejat aailo and sung by Lata Mangeshkar; Roshan modified the bandish to record this version. The lyrics differed - while Indivar penned the 'original', Sahir did the needful for this version.

Music: Salil Choudhary
Lyrics: Shailendra 
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar
A lilting romantic number from Salil Choudhary's baton, the song was picturised on Sabita Chatterjee and Ashim Kumar, whom I'm always mistaking for Anoop Kumar. Here, the rain does not just mirror their longing, it actually awakens them. Shailendra's lyrics evoke that longing - soye armaan jaage, kayi toofan jaage, maane ne man mora sajna bina... As she sings on the balcony of their flat, he is reading inside, until the second verse '...yaad aayi beeti baatein, tumse milan ki raatein, kahe ko bhoole mohe, apna banaa...' brings him out to her. He joins in, in Hemantda's liquid tones. And the rain, it rains...

10. Din aaye pyaare pyaare barsaat ke  
Sangram (1950) 
Music: C Ramchandra
Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan 
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
A little known song from the Ashok Kumar-Nalini Jaywant starrer, it combines two of my favourite things - the rain, and driving in the rain. There is something about driving in the rain, especially through the ghats. I like the attention paid to d etail in the picturisation - towards the end of the song, she takes a rag to wipe the inside of the windshield. :) (Anyone who has driven through the rains, or even fog/mists must have done that at some point.)

Can you think of any songs from this period that I have missed? Keep in mind that it is necessary that it is raining - clouds are just not enough!

Disclaimer: I restricted myself to songs from the golden period, because I found much to my astonishment that there were many songs from the later period that I actually liked  - even if I like them for different reasons. Enough to make a post of its own. And therefore, for probably the first time, a follow-up post will have 'modern' rain songs, some of which may have the maestros (and the purists) turn in their grave!

84 comments:

  1. Hi Anu:

    What a lovely theme! I love the rains too, especially the smell of the earth...the parched earth springing to life with the first drop of water. I missed the smell when I was in the US. And how one waits for the rains to come after long hot days of summer... the appearance of the dark clouds is such a welcoming sight.

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  2. How nice. Love the theme :-)

    I absolutely love 4, 8, 9, and 10, and then the others.

    Strangely no song from the Golden Period comes to mind immediately - the ones listed by you keep ringing in my years and are interfering with my memory :-)

    The one that do come to mind are from Samir's territory, and I won't encroach. LOL.

    But here's one being sung in such heavy rainfall. Not romantic but really really heavy rain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amHWsE0LlqI

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  3. Just remembered another lovely song where the rain starts about 1 minute into the song, but the rest of thesong (two thirds) is a proper rain song, all drenched.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2hr39IqH78

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  4. oops. Just noticed the multiple usage of the word 'song' in my post :-/

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  5. Thank you, Rohini. I agree with you about missing the smell of fresh earth in the US. What is more, I find the rains depressing here, simply because it usually comes at the fag end of winter, when we've all had enough of dark, cold, depressing days anyway.

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  6. Thank you, pacifist.
    And oh, the romance of the rains is always there, even if the song itself is not 'romantic'. This is a lovely song, the rain so pervasive, and she sounds so happy. :) Perfect addition.

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  7. I was wondering where the rain was. :) I didn't remember the song at all. You're right, they are getting well and truly drenched. Sort of ties in with Megha re megha in the post - the jhoola, the rains, the heroine and her friends celebrating the rains....

    Thanks for bringing it back to mind. Lovely song.

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  8. You have posted all my old-time favs!
    Including the new time favs like the one from Sangram
    Rains and India is something, which people in the West don't understand really!
    Ones you have missed and I like songs. I'm sure there are more, but I'm suffering the same syndrome like Pacifist.
    Shall we call it Pacifist Syndrome?

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  9. Rain songs, which fulfill your criteria and have not already been mentioned in the comments (hope so)

    ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8ta8sQk_ZM

    dar laage garje badariyaa from Raam Rajya
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAa2eud_K0U

    an unusual rain song
    din dhal jaaye from Guide
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtH_3SIM-rQ
    I'm sure there ar emore such songs, where the hero/heroine is having his/her blues and it is raining outside.

    not my very fav, but nice song
    jaane chaman sholaa badan pehloon me aa jaao from Gumnaam
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2f0NzCohyY

    again not my very fav, but enjoyable
    ghumad ghumad kar aayi re ghata
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tin-3Ihvm4s
    one could add dukh bhare din beete re bhaiya in the same vein, but it is not a fav of mine so I'll leave it.

    a song which Pacifist brought to my notice last year, which has also become one of my fav.
    jhir jhir badarva barse from Pariwar (No, it doesn't mean War of Angels)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeEY23hT_KM

    kajre badarva re from Pati Patni
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7VtgYgWT34

    A pity it doesn't rain in savan ki raaton me from Prem Patra! Frustrating!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_XcXNE8ojM
    The same here:
    rhum jhum barse badarwa from Rattan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHWuRLJCxd8

    So that is enough for tonight!
    I hope it stops raining here soon! We're having floods and what not!

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  10. I just realised that I forgot to mention the interesting anecdotes you have written about experiencing rain in different parts of India. The standing on the embankments sounds very thrilling and frightening, next comes the one at the beach, all alone in Mahabalipuram.

    My favourite memories are those in Mussoorie. You wanted to go out, peeped out of the window - 'oh good. The sun is shining.' You step out and within 3 minutes clouds appear from - nowhere and you are left drenched because of course you didn't think of an umbrella with the sun shining so brightly.
    Believe me, you got fooled - every time :-D

    Love the rains. People here look at me strangely when I say I don't mind them, especially when they are nothing like 'the rain' - as we know it. At first when the weather forecast said 'rain' tomorrow, I'd keep waiting for 'the rain' only to be told 'this is it.' - (that dribble outside) :-/

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  11. Subodh Agrawal2 June 2013 at 20:21

    Anu, I have always admired your style, but you have excelled yourself in this post - it reads like poetry. I love that Malayalam has a word for the smell that emanates from the earth after the first rain. North Indians too love that smell, but at least I don't know any specific word for it in Hindi or Punjabi. 'I wish I were back in India'. I am sure many PIOs and OCIs who read your post would be rushing online to book tickets for home.

    Songs 4,5 and 6 have the highest recall factor when one mentions the words 'rain' and 'Hindi films' together. Song 1 was a pleasant discovery for me. I couldn't think of any major rain song from the Golden era apart from the ones you have covered. I could recall some from the seventies, but you have promised a follow up post so I will wait for that. The one memory I have is of the rain scene - without a song - from 'The Guide'.

    We tend to believe that only Indians associate rain with joy. I wonder how true that is. How would you explain the sheer joy of 'Singing in the rain' and this performance if this thesis were true: http://youtu.be/e52LH-kVg-w

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  12. Subodh Agrawal2 June 2013 at 20:30

    As soon as I uploaded the last comment I recalled 'Aha rimjhim ke wo pyare pyare geet liye' from 'Usne Kaha Tha'. Great song that captures beautifully the exuberance of rain. However the video shows raindrops very briefly in the beginning. Maybe Sunil Dutt and Nanda were afraid of catching a cold. Can't figure out why the director refrained from drenching them for this song.

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  13. Yes, why not? 'Pacifist Syndrome' it shall be, as named by our resident scientist. :) I'm glad you liked the songs, Harvey and that I gave you a 'new' favourite in the form of the song from Sangram.

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  14. Ah, Harvey, you bad person, you didn't read my post, did you? Come, come, confess now. I have Jhir jhir jhir jhir badarwa barse from Parivar listed. :( And I wrote such nice things about it too. :( :(


    Thank you for your choices, even though there is no rain in the last two. (Good songs, though, so who cares, really? :)) I'll listen to it tomorrow because right now, my husband is snoring gently away next to me, and I don't want to disturb him. :)

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  15. Yes, the embankment was thrilling at the time. 'Frightening' came later when I heard of people who had been swept away by the fury of the tides. I certainly was old enough to do better, but I must confess that I did not think - just stood there and looked at the sky being cleaved into two by lightning and the rain pouring more water into an angry sea. It was beautiful!



    Laughing at your tales of Mussoorie - that always happened to me in Bangalore. The worst part of it was that once the rain drenched you, it just disappeared, the sun came out bright and shining once again, and people gave you strange looks because you would be the only wet hen clucking around! Did that happen to you?



    *Nodding head vehemently at the definition of 'rain' here.* I kept waiting for the 'rain' too. :( Again, I must confess the rains in the North East are depressing. It usually happens in Spring, when we have just about had enough of winter, and snow and cold and dark, depressing weather, and we just want some sun. But no! It has to rain. And all I want is to curl up like a kitten on the window sill and bask in the sun, and there's nary a ray to be seen. Uff!

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  16. Subodhji, what a perfectly lovely thing to say; you made my day (er, night; er... what is left of the night)! Thank you so much.

    I hope the follow-up post will not make you change your opinion. :) The songs therein are a mixed bag, because not all of them have been chosen for their musical worth.

    The video you linked to was absolutely amazing! But rain here is so different from rain in India. For most of us on the Eastern Coast, the rain in Spring is just Mother Nature's way of torturing us after dark depressing days (months!) of sub-zero temperatures during Winter. Can't say I enjoy it much over here.

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  17. I had that on my list, Subodhji. But as you noticed, there was no rain in the song, and that was one of my self imposed conditions for the post - the song must have rain as a physical presence.

    But it is such a beautiful song: let me link to it here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIgVdDFXv-U

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  18. I know Subodhji's comment wasn't addressed to me, but since I know the answer to the question he posed (regarding the Hindi word for the smell that emanates from the earth after the first rain - known in English as petrichor, by the way) - yes, there is one. It's commonly called a saundhi khushboo. So well-loved that one major attar shop in Old Delhi actually has an attar with that fragrance distilled into it.

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  19. For once, the two of us, while having done similar posts (I created a favourite 'monsoon songs' post a couple of years back) haven't got too many of the same songs on our lists! :-D Yes, we do share Garjat barsat saawan aayo re and O sajna barkha bahaar aayi, but that's it. Some in your list were new to me - the one from Sangram I'd never heard before, and the one from Parivar sounded familiar, but I couldn't be certain I'd heard it before. Lovely post, Anu, and even though I simply hate getting wet in the rain, I was smiling all through your descriptions of your memories of the baarish. Very evocatively written.

    Here's one song from Abhinetri. I know that's just on the cusp of your timeline - this is from 1970 - but I kinda like it. O ghata saanwari:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=himwydt4IIY

    By the way, was the 'favourite song' you mentioned as being from the 70s this one? Rimjhim gire saawan:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKry5yQqNr0

    When reading your descriptions of wandering along the embankment getting wet, I was picturing Moushumi Chatterjee. :-)

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  20. What a way to await rains (in our part of India)!

    A few songs that come to my mind, sans what are already posted / mentioned here are:

    Megha Re Bole – Dil Deke Dekho – Usha Kahanna – Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle - http://youtu.be/SFliOsKu6s0 (The song does not have rains,
    unfortunately)

    Ho Umad Ghmad Ke Ayee Re Ghata – Do Aankhen Barah Haath - Vasant Desai – Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar and Chorus - http://youtu.be/Tin-3Ihvm4s

    Megh De Paani De O Rama Megh De – Guide – S D Burman - http://youtu.be/Tin-3Ihvm4s - the song itself does not have rain, but the song is a vivid expression of the parched land, people and all the living for the longing for the much awaited rains.


    Zir Zir Barse Sawanii AKhiyan – Aashirwad – Vasant Desai – Lata Mangeshkar- http://youtu.be/--jROL3bMAw – Again a song that has so much ‘rain’ in its every element does not show rain on the screen.

    Aaye Re Din Sawan Ke – Gaban – Shanker Jaikishan -Lata Mangeshkar - http://youtu.be/-rUlYVoEQgg – one of the very sweet SJ compositions, expressing all that is coming in of Sawan, but falls short of showing the rains

    And of course, the most default ‘varsha’ song – O Varsha Ke Pahle Badal –
    Jagmohan – that is taking the help of rain clouds to get the mesaage
    through to the beloved one - http://youtu.be/O52A9SEHI2w

    To wrap this comment, here is a classic – “singing in the rain” – tile song of a 1952 Hollywood film - http://youtu.be/w40ushYAaYA

    The fact that out of these 8 songs that came to my instant memory, only 2 have ‘real’ rains’, also makes me realize the difficulty that the filter “the
    picturisation had to involve rain” has set in for this lovely post.

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  21. pacifist syndrome :-D I'm honoured, Harvey.

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  22. >because you would be the only wet hen clucking around! Did that happen to you?
    Actually people would give knowing sympathetic looks, because it had happened at some time or the other to everyone :-D

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  23. Subodh Agrawal3 June 2013 at 04:39

    Thank you Madhu. Actually I am aware of the term 'sondhi khushbu' - but I didn't think it was specific to the smell of the earth after the first rain. 'Sondhi' as an adjective seems to mean gentle, sweet, enticing. I have come across it to describe the flavour and taste of cooking. In fact there is an absolutely lovely poem by Nida Fazli using this word: http://www.anubhuti-hindi.org/sankalan/mamtamayi/besan.htm


    In a lighter vein Sondhi is a surname in Punjab. I am sure there are many Punjabi girls named Khushbu Sondhi. That would be a beautiful name.

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  24. I knew I had read about saundhi khushboo somewhere; it must have been on your post of rain songs. Funnily enough, the first time I heard of petrichor was when I was in college - it's a funny word, especially since my lecturer pronounced it to rhyme with chor. :)

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  25. Mussoorie has nicer people. [grin]

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  26. Yes, harvey got caught red handed ;-)
    But never mind Anu. His link works, your doesn't :-D


    I looove this song.

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  27. Urk! I swear the link worked when yesterday when I published this post! I checked!

    *Going off muttering to repair broken link.*

    And yes, chori pakda gaya, na? [I'm waiting to see what excuse he will come up with. :)]

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  28. ps: Subodhji, I think you are suffering from the Pacifist Syndrome. (*courtesy Harvey)

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  29. I can well believe that you had a post on the monsoon songs, Madhu; I'm surprised there were only two songs that were on both lists. :)

    I had completely forgotten about Abhinetri; what a beautiful song it is, and Hema looked gorgeous! Thank you for that one.

    And yes, Rhim jhim gire sawan is the favourite 'modern' rain song I was talking about.Laughing at your visualising Moushumi Chatterjee while reading my description. :) For the record, I was wearing a churidar kameez. Much as I love the rains, and saris, the idea of wearing one in the rains fills me with horror!

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  30. Ashokji, now that the monsoons have arrived in Kerala, you only have to wait a fortnight before the rains arrive in Gujarat. :) I love, love, love, Megha re bole, Umad ghamd ke aaye re ghata and Megh de paani de... unfortunately, no rains in any of them, so they didn't fit my conditions. I'm more than happy to have them in the comments, my disclaimer that all songs should have rains as a physical presence notwithstanding. :)

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  31. Subodhji, what a perfectly lovely thing to say; you made my day (er, night; er... what is left of the night)! Thank you so much.

    I hope the follow-up post will not make you change your opinion. :) The songs therein are a mixed bag, because not all of them have been chosen for their musical worth.

    The video you linked to was absolutely amazing! But rain here is so different from rain in India. For most of us on the Eastern Coast, the rain in Spring is just Mother Nature's way of torturing us after dark depressing days (months!) of sub-zero temperatures during Winter. Can't say I enjoy it much over here.

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  32. ps: Subodhji, I think you are suffering from the Pacifist Syndrome. (*courtesy Harvey)

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  33. Of course I read your post!
    but till the time I went searching for all my fav songs forgot which were in your list.
    Why do you think I won't read your post?
    pagal hai kya?

    Thanks pacifist for the site remark! Bas tumhara hi sahara hai!

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  34. Ha! I like that excuse! [grin] Okay, Harvey, you're forgiven. (But you knew you would be, didn't you?)

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  35. Isn't it? I wonder how they thought of it. Anyway, the phonetic pronounciation is pɛtrɨkər; the simpler way is this:
    PET-ri-kuhr. :)

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  36. Google knowledge - The word petrichor stemmed from the Greek words petros, meaning stone or soil, and ichor, the fluid running through Gods’ veins in Greek mythology. Petrichor was coined in 1964 by two Australian researchers, Bear and Thomas, in an article the two wrote for the Nature journal. The article describes how smell derives from oil exuded by certain plants in dry periods and absorbed by clay-based soil and rocks.

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  37. Beautiful post! Songs #3,#4 and #7 are my favorites. Thinking of rain, this beautiful song comes to my mind------ "Rimjhim Ke Geet Saawan Gaaye" from Anjaana

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5h7y_35TR4

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  38. Lovely post. I'd like to mention two songs by Salilda that are really wonderful, both in Bengali. The first one is from the film Pasher Badi from which I believe Padosan was adapted. The rain here is a physical presence and the song starts with Sabitri Chattopadhyay reaching out and touching the raindrops. With its rhythm and flute/oboe obbligattos I think this was a landmark in Bengali popular song. Salilda would use this tune in a Malayalam song nearly 25 years later with a different chordal arrangement as a duet. Salilda wrote the lyrics himself

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBPaayw1uQQ

    And then this song from the film Kinu Kinar Goli. The photography at the begining is marvellous and the music as the rain sweeps across the ponds and fields is wonderful, the way the sitar plays its melody like elusive raindrops over the backing strings that seem to represent the sheets of rain . I've seen this scene so many times in Kerala and Bombay (when there were still open spaces in the suburbs). Sandhya Mukerjee's faultless rendition of a complex melodic line is great too. Again lyrics by Salilda and of course Sharmila's delicate nakhras.:-)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dpi-mFnc4p8

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  39. Pradeepe, if I knew about 'petrichor' in the late 80s, don't you think I would have known *where* the word came from? [grin] I know its etymology. My question was more 'why 'petri- chor'? It has nothing to do with 'smell' of anything, much less the scent of earth freshly damp from the first rains. Makes no sense to me. It is not a descriptive word at all.

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  40. Thank you, coolone.

    Do you know I have never heard this song?! Ever. It's such a lovely song too. But I will listen to the song instead of watching the video - Rajendra Kumar and Babita is a combination that, to me, is unbearable. :)



    Thank you for introducing me to this song.

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  41. Thank you! :)



    The first song - the Malayalam version is obviously more familiar to me. The second one was completely new, and you're right - it's beautifully rendered.



    As for Sharmila's delicate nakhras [grin] Pacifist, I think he delights in this. You can answer him :)

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  42. Monsoon, movies and Bombay... an unbeatable combination! Many evenings we have spent along Marine Drive, chasing the rain and getting drenched in the bargain... A quintessential part of going to college in Bombay and the "phursat ke raat din."

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  43. I believe you! Dukhi mat ho...

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  44. You chased the rains, or the rains chased you? [grin] I have stood there and watched the rain come in sheets, just drifting towards me with the wind. Fursat ke raat din indeed - you bring to mind memories of those carefree college days. :)

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  45. Just so that one is aware of the vast range of Hindi cinema, may I present award for most cringeworthy rain song, subject of much hilarity in those days

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2uj3Y5f3sg

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  46. Yes. That one's so true - the wet churidars :-D

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  47. It seems the two Australian geologists thought up this word to describe the 'essence of rock' because 'petri' is rock' and 'water' is referred to as 'ichor'. It must have been taken up to describe the essence of 'earth' (since the rock's origin is earth anyway), in both cases it's a result of water (ichor) seepage into the ground;
    In case of the rocks - its formation.
    In case of earth - it's smell (which is absent with successive seepage of water, and so is limited to the first seepage only).


    That's what I would think about the name :-)

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  48. > I was wondering where the rain was.

    Well, here's another song, where the rain comes in quite late, leaves them drenched, forces them to take shelter - and the rest is history (of the film).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75qwDYkeKL8

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  49. PS: It seems the name describes the act which results in the smell.
    Perhaps I should have just written this instead of rambling away in the above post :-/

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  50. Oh, yes! Especially the long-sleeved cotton kurtas. And I remember when I was in school, the fashion was for tight churidar kurtas; oh, getting out of those (without tearing them) was torture.

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  51. Yes, I know, but somehow it still does not seem to fit, if you know what I mean. I remember there being a spirited debate in class when we were first told of this word and its meaning. Somehow or the other, that sense of 'smell' or fragrance does not come from that word.

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  52. [grin] It's so frustrating, no, when we dither over complicated explanations and then a much simpler one strikes us just minutes later?

    Have a coffee.... relax. :)

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  53. I haven't watched it yet, but let me guess: it is one of those where the fortuitous rains which result in a night of illicit passion, which, in turn, results in the heroine getting pregnant? :)

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  54. AKM, you did that on purpose!!

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  55. hahaha of course!! :-D

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  56. The Bengali word is similar to the Hindi one only pronounced differently, it is shondha the n is not pronounced there is just the touch of a nasal accent on that one. The first rains and mum would always say there a shondha shondha gondho which in Hindi means saundhi saundhi khushboo

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  57. As I am always late, thanks to all my activities, others invariably beat me to the draw and post all the lovely rain songs that I would have liked to add to your lovely list. However your experience of the rains in Marine Drive reminds me what my mum once did. Mum and dad were driving down Marine Drive, at least dad was driving, it was the rainy season and the sea was in its element, absolutely beautiful, mum had rolled down the window to feast her eyes on the sight and my father warned her not do so and the next thing you know a huge wave lashed out and completely drenched mum and dad even while the car was in motion. Yes indeed the sea looks absolutely beautiful. In fact the song rimjhim gire sawan from Manzil has some wonderful sequences of the rains in Bombay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLQ7AwRAjk

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  58. Since Anu seems to be accepting songs partially set in rain here's one from Paying Guest. It starts raining heavily (looks artificial though like someone had turned on a huge shower) towards the last minute.

    Both Dev and Nutan are such spoilsports. They don't run around drenched, singing in the rain - but take shelter. One can see 'the rain' pouring, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuMgYRG3vPU

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  59. Predictable, aren't they? :) It's a pleasant song, though. I wish Asha wouldn't spread her consonants around so much, though...

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  60. I thought it would be churlish to say, 'Not this, not that'... SoY is always complaining I don't agree with his selections. :) Besides the songs listed are, most of them, such lovely numbers. This one, for instance; Asha is at the height of her naughtiness here.

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  61. Better late than never, Shilpi. :)



    What a lovely anecdote about your parents! I can just see myself doing that - leaving the window open to feast my eyes, when, SPLASH! [grin]


    You are the second person who's listed Rhim jhim gire sawan - it is such a quintessential Bombay-in-the-rains song, isn't it?

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  62. There is something very attractive about the Bengali enunciation. :) That is one of the two languages I want to learn some day. (The other is Urdu.)

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  63. Yes, the tight churidars - that was what I meant. Oh, SO difficult to get out of if they were wet!

    BTW, don't know if anyone has suggested this song. Waaaaay past the stipulated time period, and it has much wrong with it - Kajol is too plump and her look all wrong; the rain is too artificial, and the general set-up rather idiotic. But id does focus on the rain, all right:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgpjHZNDnmM

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  64. [grin] I have that down in my second post. But then, I wasn't focusing on the rains or Kaajol... I'll leave it to you to guess what I mean. :)

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  65. AK mere baap, you did complain that my conditions were too tough. You know you did. :) Thank you for the compliment, though. Thank you even more for not taking it back even when you thought I was being tough on you.

    I didn't reject Umad ghumd jar chhayi re ghata; reading comprehension, my friend. :) I said, unfortunately they didn't have the rains, and my self-imposed condition was that the rains should have a physical presence in the song. So it couldn't make my list. And that I was more than happy to have them listed in the comments. I even said I loved the song!

    C'mon, just for you, I relax my 'tough' stance, and now you complain about that too? Not fair.

    I am very happy that AKM has posted Rain is falling chhamaa chham chham, ladki ne aankh maari... Serves you right!

    Groan! That 'song' (I hesitate to even call it thus) is a blot on the old escutcheon. Did I really deserve such a fate?

    But you have ended your long plaint with some nice things about me, so thank you once again! As Ashokji pointed out once, our nok-jhonk will continue, n'est ce pas? [grin]

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  66. Subodh Agrawal7 June 2013 at 06:34

    Anu, I do think your condition of rain actually being there was too tough. It left out one of the most iconic rain songs 'Zindagi bhar nahin bhulegi wo barsaat ki raat.' For once I watched the entire video to see if it showed rain. I feel cheated that the director of the film deprived us of the visual treat of Madhubala enacting these evocative lines - 'Phool se gaalon pe rukne ko tarasta paani,' 'surkh aanchal ko daba kar jo nichoda usne' and 'dar ke bijli se achanak wo lipatna uska.' Madhubala, of course, makes up for this with her wonderful reactions as she listens to the song on radio. Unfortunately Bharat Bhushan looks about as romantic as a neta delivering an oration at a funeral. It is a great pity that some of the most memorable songs of the golden era have been wasted on him and Pradeep Kumar.

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  67. Ashraf Lakhani7 June 2013 at 08:32

    This song has no rains, but I cannot resist the temptation of uploading it because

    it such a beautiful song and sone pe suhaga my favourite Sadhna is singing it.

    You can do the cruel job of rejecting it,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxaDhRZGoEU&feature=player_detailpage

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  68. Unfortunately Bharat Bhushan looks about as romantic as a neta delivering an oration at a funeral.

    Thank you! (Laughing!)

    I apologise for the 'strict' conditions; hey, I even relaxed it to 'partial' rain songs. I agree with you that the lyrics were most evocative and really sets our imagination on fire.

    It is a great pity that some of the most memorable songs of the golden era have been wasted on him and Pradeep Kumar.
    I always said Mohammed Rafi had a lot to answer for: if he hadn't sung those beautiful, beautiful songs, we wouldn't have been inflicted with Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Biswajeet... It is because of his songs that these actors became so popular. All his fault! :)

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  69. Thank you for the compliment.

    For some reason, Ashraf, as I read your comment on my email, I was thinking 'If only the Prem Patra song had rain!' Then, I click on the link, and lo, that is the song you have uploaded. So, while this has no rain at all, and therefore cannot be a part of the post, I'm still glad to see it here. (I hope your smiley comes back.) Sadhna is quite a favourite of mine as well. :)

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  70. Anu, since one of your readers declared you are a poet, did you know this rain poem? http://www.jovie.ca/ilpleut.htm
    It's one of the most beautiful poems I know.

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  71. Subodh Agrawal7 June 2013 at 10:08

    Merci beaucoup Yves. La poeme est tres jolie.

    "Je t'aime. Oh! ce bruit d'eau qui pleure,
    Qui sanglote comme un adieu.
    Tu vas me quitter tout à l'heure:
    On dirait qu'il pleut dans tes yeux."

    J'ai arrive a la limite de mon francais! Why do French love songs usually end so darkly? It was going so beautifully. One could have done without the last stanza. Reminds me a lot of my favourite french song of the golden age - Mon amant de Saint Jean.

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  72. I am no poet, Yves, and it is kind of them to say so. As for the poem you linked, no, I'd not read it before. My French is very limited, and I had to struggle to get the meaning. Despite that, I thought the imagery in the last stanza was incredible!

    je t'aime. Oh! ce bruit d'eau qui pleure,
    Qui sanglote comme un adieu.
    Tu vas me quitter tout à l'heure:
    On dirait qu'il pleut dans tes yeux.


    It's not just the rain standing in for tears, but the sound of the rain mimicking the sobbing - beautiful.

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  73. Wow, super, I always marvel at the knowledge of people so far away who actually speak our language!! And you know Edith Piaf too. I also love that song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5Nm8T0ppQk)
    But I don't think the end of the poem is so dark, I'd rather say it's poignant: the love-story it tells (or alludes to) is, like so many in life, broken, and he's transmuting it to the beauty of the rain falling over Paris: I find this beautiful.

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  74. Edith Piaf is a favourite of my husband's. I first heard her songs after I got married. :)

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  75. Why doesn't your story about the rains surprise me? :)

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I haven't been on the blog much.

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  76. Subodh Agrawal25 July 2013 at 01:11

    Came across this beautiful rain song from a Bengali film featuring a very young Aparna Sen: http://youtu.be/Laeq6MgYVPk

    Aparna Sen also figured in Brian Brake's iconic photograph of Monsoon: http://aparnasen.blogspot.in/2009/07/first-shotby-brian-brake.html

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