‘Pyaasa Sawan of Silver Screen’

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‘Pyaasa Sawan’ was a film having a song – ‘Megha Re Megha Re’… But today we are not discussing that film. We are discussing the relationship between the Silver Screen and the Sawan. Searching the rain on the Silver Screen or Sawan in the Cinema is actually an analysis on the environmental crisis. This is because our cinematographers have forgotten the Sawan; pain related to rainy night, feeling the beauty of the love in the rain, etc. They after leaving the greenery and paths related to Sawan have reached on the top of skyscrapers made with concrete where nature and environment are the philosophies of the past.

If we talk about the popular songs of the Hindi Cinema then we find some subjects which were hit formulas not only for the songs but for the films having those songs. Holi songs and Sawan songs, etc. are some of these topics. In the present day movies, we can listen to some Holi songs which have kept the tradition alive but the Sawan songs are altogether missing. We can say that the Silver Screen has gone dry like the land without Sawan or monsoon. We do not see the dark clouds or the rain on the silver screen. On the other hand, films in the past were full of rain songs. Rain scenes and songs were like a lifeline for the films. This is because the filmmakers of those times considered rain as an important source of creativity. The month of Sawan and its effect are the integral parts of our culture which has a history of its own.

You can remember some of the films of Raj Kapoor and Nargis. The rain scenes were the soul of films like ‘Shree 420’ or ‘Barsaat’. The image of Raj Kapoor and Nargis standing in the middle of the road, under an umbrella wetting with heavy raindrops has been permanently printed on the minds of the viewers. Whenever there is a discussion on rain in the cinema, everyone starts imagining the image of Raj Kapoor and Nargis standing under an umbrella.

The romantic song ‘Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua, Pyar Se Phir Kyun Darta Hai Dil’ from the film ‘Shree 420’ released in 1955 is still considered as one of the best songs. This song which was play backed by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar filled millions of hearts with ecstasy. Even after so many years the song has the same value and no song at par with this could be written or filmed, and the reason was having rain in its background. One will fail to imagine these songs without rain and thunders.

Likewise, the song ‘Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si’ from ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’ that was filmed on Madhu Bala and Kishore Kumar is still very popular. The viewers still feel their hearts tantalized on seeing this song filled with romantic gestures in the raining realm. They feel as if they themselves are enjoying the Sawan.

‘Umad Ghumad Kar Aayi Re Ghata’ a song from V. Shantaram’s classic film ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ having lyrics of Bharat Vyaas and music by Basant Desai is a situation based rain song which cannot be forgotten.

As far as expressions of sentiments are concerned then the song ‘O Sajana Bharkha Bahaar Ayi, Ras Ki Fuhaar Layi, Akhiyon Mein Payaar Layi ’from the film ‘Parakh’ is an outstanding song. On listening to it one feels as if the romantic sky has started showering the love-filled emotions. The listeners become excited and filled with passionate feelings after listening to the song ‘Rimjhim Ke Geet Sawan Gaye’ from the fil ‘Anjaana’ that was picturized on Rajendra Kumar and Babita. The Yogesh written song ‘Rhim jhim Ghire Sawan’ from the film ‘Manjil’ is also an extraordinary rain song. In this song, one feels extra-ordinarily excited when he/she sees the Amitabh Bachan and Mausmi Chattarji walking in style on the enchanting music of ‘Rhim jhim Ghire Sawan’ created by R. D. Barman and having the scene of Marine Drive in the backdrop. This is really enthralling and can produce a feeling of nostalgia in the mind. Although the rain during the Sawan in the Mumbai is the same as it was in the past but the way the filmmakers of that era were creating songs based on those raining scenes and contexts that have become a mere precedent in the present.

Try to remember the song ‘Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein’ filmed by Shakti Saamant from the film ‘Ajnaabi’ starring Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman or ‘Fir Se aayeo Badra Bidesi’ a song from Guljar’s film ‘Namkeen’ which was filmed on Shabhana Azmi, one of the memorable songs of Gulzar.  

Actually, the rainy season is the everlasting favorable weather for alluring the lovers and the simplest platform to express love by the lovers. Rain is also a symbol of prosperity and a full bloom of nature. Hence love, mating, beauty and renewal of nature are all gifts of rain. For this reason, rain is a positive and encouraging factor for writes, film-makers, and artists. As long as the writers had an emotional relationship with the cinema, the Silver Screen was bestowed with rain packed creativity, but in the Tsunami of Commercialisation, the multi-colored scenes of rains were eliminated from the Silver Screen. Therefore, the rain now has become a nostalgia for the Silver Screen.  

Who can forget the song ‘Sawan Ka Mahina Pawan Kare Sor’ from the film ‘Milan’ starring Sunil Dutt and Nutan or the song ‘Hai Hai ye Majboori … , Yeh Mausam aur Ye Dhoori …’ from the film Roti Kapda Aur Makaan.   

These rain songs which symbolise the desires to meet and pain of separation have become immortal. Whenever we will discuss on Film songs on Sawan, each time we will have these songs on our lips.

The song ‘Aaj Rapat Jayein to …’ from the Amitabh Bachan and Samita Patil starring film ‘Namak Halaal’ is still very popular. Similarly, the song ‘Laggi Aaj Sawan Ki Phir
Wo Jharhi Hai’ from the film ‘Chandni’, ‘Dil Mein Aag Lagaye Savaan Ka Mahina’ or ‘Tip-Tip Barish Shuru Ho Gayee Hai’ etc. are equally popular.

In reality we have many examples in which a particular song helped a particular film, actor and actress to become hit. ‘Baadal Yun Garajta Hai’ a song from the film ‘Betab’ palyed a vital role in making this film a hit.  In ‘Rim Jhim Rim Jhim …’ a rain song from the film ‘1942; A Love Story’ the love of Anil Kapoor and Monisha Koirala is shown with the music of rain drops, in the vintage style. The song ‘Behta Hai Man Kahin’ from Sudhir Mishra’s film ‘Chameli’ also leaves a good impression on the viewers and music lovers. People will also remember the song ‘Barso Re Megha’ from the film ‘Guru’ that was filmed on Aishwarya Rai, for a long time. The important thing in the song is that from no point the rain appears artificial. Aishwarya Rai dances very nicely and with full involvement on the tune of the song written by Guljar and composed by A. R. Rehman that is filmed in the completely natural rain. However, in some films, one can see vulgarity in the name of rain song. For example in the song ‘Tip Tip Barsa Paani’ from the film ‘Mohra’ the rain is used only to soak the heroine.  But, this was not the situation with the rain songs from the films in the past. People still remember the song ‘Rim Jhim Ke Tarane Le Ke Aayee Barsaat’ from the film ‘Kala Bazaar’. The whole of village is waiting for the rain in Vijay Aanand’s film ‘Guide’.

After many years, Aashutosh Govarikar produced the same effect in the film ‘Lagaan’ in which the whole of the village celebrates the rain.

The lyrics of the songs ‘Mere Khawabon Mein Jo Aaye’ from the film ‘Dil wale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Ghode jaisi chaal’ from ‘Dil To Paagal Hai’ have no connection with the rain even then the use of rain in these songs is simply to show the jovial mood.

There is the word ‘Barsaat’ in the titles of some films like we have two films with the title ‘Barsaat’. One was released in 1949 having Raj Kapoor as A hero and the other which was released in 1995 having Bobby Deol as the hero. Similarly, Bharat Bhushan-Madhu Bala starrer film ‘Barsaat Ki Raat’ that was released in 1960 and in 1981 Shakti Saamant made a film titled ‘Barsaat Ki Ek Raat’ in which Amitabh Bachan and Rakhi played the lead roles.

But the question is how the trend which started with the rain songs from the Raj Kapoor’s film vanished by the time when Manni Rattanam’s film ‘Guru’ was released?

Is it the change in the environment that is also affecting the Silver Screen? Has in place of nature, the graphics and animation become everything for the film industry. Even the real world is not having the same type of rain as it used to have in the past. Does it mean that the way the greenery from our surroundings has vanished, in the same way, rain has vanished from the silver screen and the rain songs are now confined only to the bathroom singing under the showers? Though rarely, Sharda Kapoor is shown wet in the rain. But where are those romantic and motivating feelings which we saw in the stylish attitudes of Nargis, Madhu Bala, Mumtaj or Samita Patil? Filmmakers then considered rain as the fertile ground for creativity but for film-makers of today many rainy seasons pass for finding that ground.          

(Sanjeev Srivastava)


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