Millennium Post

No Rain, No Gain!

The rains have always had a magical effect on me. They sometimes make me jump with joy, while at times they make me melancholic. Being an Austen-addict and a closet-English, a lot of my daydreams and fantasies revolve around rains. Since my adolescence, I’ve fantasized about rainy English afternoons. The idea of sitting by the fire, reading a book while exchanging nervous glances with the house guest-your distant cousin, the man of your dreams, who’s just sitting idly, his back straight as a rod, eyes focused on nothing in particular, even as your sister plays the piano, mother knits furiously, and your father nurses a glass of whiskey.

Today I’m not writing from my red and yellow-hued room in Mumbai. I’m in Kolkata, which has just been washed by a sudden spell of pre-monsoon showers. While it’s true that there is no glorious fire to read next to or a gorgeous man to exchange glances with, but the thunderous clouds and the first few drops of rain in my hair give me hope. So this week is going to be all about rains. And, what better way to celebrate them than with music! All of us have grown up watching beautiful actresses fall for charming actors in the rains, which are sometimes seductive, sometimes romantic. Baarish mein bheegna is absolutely necessary to fall in love in Bollywood. From sharing an umbrella (Raj Kapoor-Nargis in Shree 420) to getting jiggy with it (Akshay Kumar- Raveena Tandon in Mohra), rains have featured prominently in most Bollywood love stories. And, like every cine buff, I too have a list of favorites. Here goes!

Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua, Shree 420 (1955)
Raj Kapoor and Nargis share an umbrella in pouring rain. Nargi’s quivering mouth and Kapoor’s twinkling eyes made a promise of eternal togetherness- the kind of happily-ever-after that our parents’ generation believed in and we only dream of.

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
Heavy downpour. A pretty girl’s car breaks down. Flirtatious mechanic steps in to save the day and breaks into a song. Madhubala’s damp diva act and Kishore Kumar’s animated playfulness makes it an evergreen gem!
Bole Re Papihara, Guddi (1971)

Guddi (Jaya Bachchan) is a lot like an Austen heroine- a rebellious child-woman looking to create her own identity and hoping to find true love. This song captures Guddi’s inevitable transformation and the simmering yet unspoken chemistry between her and her distant cousin/potential groom.
Aaj Rapat Jaayein, Namak Halal (1982)

I have no words to describe this infectious, mischievous track. As if the playfulness in Kishore Kumar’s voice isn’t enough, there’s Amitabh Bachchan with such a lot of exuberance that even the otherwise sober Smita Patil can’t resist his madcap moves and joins in the fun!

Tip Tip Barsa Paani, Mohra (1994)
From Akshay Kumar’s hairy chest to Raveena Tandon’s shapely bottom, this song gave everybody something to talk about. But for most of us who grew up in the nineties, it shall forever remain the single-most sensuous and seriously addictive rain song. It redefined chemistry and taught us sexy!
I’ll be back next week with…oh wait! It’s raining. Perhaps men too! Let me go check. Happy weekend!

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.
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