Sunday, 5 June 2011


Other day I read a beautiful quote: "Some people love to walk in rain; others only get wet."
What makes the difference? You need to see Gene Kelly's 1952 'I'm Singin' in the Rain' to know the difference. Listen to José Montserrate Feliciano García singing 'Listen to Pouring Rain' to know the difference. He was a blind Puerto Rican composer who couldn't have seen the rain; but rain is not meant to be only seen.
"Listen to the pouring rain,
Listen to the rain pour;
And with every drop of rain,
I love you more...

Let it rain whole night long,
Let my love for you go strong;
As long as we are together,
Who cares about the weather?
Listen to the pouring rain,
Listen to the rain pour."
Rain means diffrent things to different people. To some it means an obstruction keeping them from what they want to do; they only get wet and are annoyed with the rain. Others enjoy getting drenched in the rain. It is a welcome experience.
By and large, I believe, lovers love the rain as it brings them closer. An Urdu couplet says:
"Badal tu itna na baras ke wo aa na sake;
Aur jab aayen to itna baras ke wo ja na sake"

"Rain cloud, hold on please so my beloved can arrive,
And when she does, pour so much that she can't return")

Various communities in India have different songs, in their own languages, about the rain. In the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) since rains are brought by East winds (in Hindi "Poorba" or "Poorvaai") they have songs about how pleasant is Poorba. In Punjab, the rains, called sawan (pronounced saunh) remind you of what all you can do during the rains, eg, eat fried sweet delicacies. So on with other states. Maybe Indians just love to love and love rains in many different ways.
Only a few decades back, when we were kids we were so eager to sing, "Rain rain go away; come again another day". But now rains are welcome.

My favourite Hindi songs have a special place for rains (sawan).

"Sawan ka maheena, pawan kare sore,
Manva re jhoome aise jaise banva naache more
(Rain month is here, the breeze touches you pleasantly,
Mind dances with joy in the manner of a peacock dancing in the forest)

In folklore, somehow, rains affect no one as much as lovers, and separated lovers at that. Taste this:

"Saawan ke jhule pade hain,
Tum chale aao....
Aachal na chhode mera, pagal hui hai pavan
Ab kya karun main jatan, dhadke jiyaa jaise panchhi ude hain
(The swings for the rains are out, my love
Come be with me.
Playing with my stole, the breeze has gone crazy,
Now what should I do, my heart is beating like the flight of birds)
Or listen to the lyrics of Raja Mehdi Ali Khan in the 1967 movie Anita, with playback singer Mukesh singing these:

"Saawan ke din aaye,Beeti yaaden laaye,
Kaun jhuka ker aankhen,
Mujhko paas bithaye;
Kaisa tha pyaara roop tumhaara,
Poochho mere dil se, hai
Tum bin jeevan kaise beeta, poochho mere dil se
(When the rainy days came,
They brought past memories,
Of the one who sat beside me,
With eyes looking down.
How lovely you looked, my love;
You have to ask my heart.
Without you how I lived,
You have to ask my heart)

Sawan must be a great all round friend for all of us that we get so excited by its arrival. According to me, and pardon me for getting mushy, if you haven't ever enjoyed walking in the rain you are missing something in life. And, if the following (Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar in Ishq Per Zor Nahin, a 1970 movie) doesn't touch you, nothing will:

Yeh dil diwaana hai,
Dil to diwaana hai.
Saawan ke aate hi,
Baadal ke chhate hi,
Phulon ke mausam mein,
Chalte hi purvaai, milte hi tanhaai,
Uljha ke baaton mein,
Kehta hai raaton mein,
Yaadon mein kho jayun,
Jaldi se so jayun,
Kyunke saanvariya ko sapno mein aana hai

Phoolon ke mausam mein

(This heart is crazy,
Crazy is this heart, because,
On the oncoming of rains,
In the shadow of the clouds,
In the season of flowers,
When the East winds blow, and when I am alone,
It gets me entangled in following talk,
In the nights:
Sleep quickly my master,
And get into the world of memories,
Because your beloved has to meet you in the dreams)
There are songs and songs on rains. Finally, my all time favourite is by the Music Director Salil Chaudhary, who composed music for this song from the 1960 movie Parakh in such a way that you not only get the pangs of separation but the pitter-patter of the rain that makes the separation unbearable:
"O sajnaa, barkha bahaara aayi,
Ras ki phuhaar layi, ankhiyon me pyaar layi,
O sajnaa

Aisi rimjhim mein o sajan, pyaase pyaase mere nayan,
Tere hi, khvaab mein, kho gaye,
Saanvali saloni ghataa, jab jab chhayi,
Ankhiyon mein rainaa gayi, nindiyaa na aayi
O sajnaa ..."
(O Love, rainy season is here,
That brings the spray of nectar (of love),
And longing in the eyes.

A view from my house in Kharghar
In this pitter-patter, my love, my eyes thirst for,
Dreams of you in which I lose me,
Dark clouds of rain when they come,
My eyes look for you in the nights, sleepless)

Saawan, folks, unfetters dreams.....

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