Cham Cham Barsa Bollywood

As the monsoons have graced us earlier than expected, the frosty droplets of water from the heavens romance Bollywood like no other season. Come rain, and the season seduces the film industry in a way which is captivating and amazingly imaginative. Filmmakers have covered great lengths to showcase emotions through the rain – from delicate sensuality to aggressive passion, from violent anger to heart-breaking loss, and from forfeited love to misleading injustice and eternal romance. There has been no shortage of these emotions and this article is a tribute to rain and the film industry.

Every time I think of the rains, the first image that comes to my mind is that of the yellow-sari draped Raveena Tondon in Mohra, while she lip-synched the song “Tip-tip barsa pani”. Shot in a building that was under construction, the song effectively used the very physical props along with some equally coarse dance moves to deliver a smash hit dance number. Even today, people relish the idea of Raveena Tondon gyrating to the seductive number with her ‘assets’.

Most recently, the Rain Gods blessed the film industry with the song “Barso Re” from the film Guru where Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s rural charisma garnered reactions of praise and dignified admiration. The song had a subtle sense of romance draped in a robe of noticeable independence. The song shot in the pastoral surroundings drenched in heavy rain showcased the way Bollywood still pictures rural India; a green, idyllic and emotive world where simplicity can find refuge.

When we talk about romance, rain has played its part ‘oh-so-well!’ Be it the latest Shahid- Kareena starrer Jab We Met where they waltzed in the rain and expressed eternal love in the song “Tum Se Hi”, or in Dil to Pagal Hai where Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Nene Dixit danced superlatively to the song “Koi Ladki Hai” with street children in tow. The rain has a way of making us feel free, and that is a sentiment we have successfully inherited from Bollywood. Even now, when I get wet in the rain (which is quite often as the Rain Gods are bit too generous in Pune), voluntarily or involuntarily, the first reaction is to spread my hands with an open palm to the sky inviting the droplets to drain the heat off my heart and soul.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had quite a generous use of rain where Karan Johar used this natural prop to enhance the forbidden yet extremely enticing romance between Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. And in the same breath he showed the anxiety of compulsive contentment in a loveless union between Kajol and Salman Khan. Taal used rains to bring out the sense of loss in Akshay Khanna and the same actor brought out the sensation of first love in Aishwarya Rai in Aa Ab Laut Chale.

One cannot discount the use of thunderstorms by the Ramsay Brothers whenever they had to show some horror-stricken actress in trouble being troubled by a ghost. Thrillers have used liberal amounts of rain to electrify the movies with some added stimulation. Metro used rain as an eternal part of Mumbai to make the characters contemplate. Till date, along with the liberation and romance, rain has served as a tool for us all to sit, all soaked to the last bit of our skins and ponder on our past, reflect on our present and envisage a future.

There are countless examples of such movies and sentiments, stirred up in Bollywood every year with the help of some clouds, some rain, a little thunderstorm and a flood of emotions. Rain will remain a part of lives, more as an emotional and physical bond rather than a natural phenomenon nourishing our earth. Atleast the love birds will agree with me on this. A few drops of rain can ignite a sense of passion they never knew existed!

Long live the Bollywood rains!

Sayan Das

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