Bollywood Reporter Ms Divya
RAIN DON'T GO AWAY Kareena Kapoor drenched to de-stress? A scene from Sudhir
Even as the Capital soaks in every drop of rain, the mind's eye
goes back to Raj Kapoor-Nargis starrer "Shri 420". Long before some
prophylactics manufacturer aroused the best in men and women, the duo had sent
the film-lovers into an overdrive of love and passion with "Pyar hua iqrar hua
hai... ." And the dream merchants of Hindi cinema have never looked back. Rain,
beautiful and soothing, sensuous and romantic, has always found takers in our
cinema. Be it "Chhatri na khol ud jayegi... " in the `70s where the hero and the
heroine ran themselves wild, or Sushmita Sen in "Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya" released
this past week, it has been raining songs. And cinemagoers have lapped it up, at
times pushing up the sales of the music - as in "Afsana Pyaar Ka", at others,
actually making the film a box office hit - as in "Roti Kapda Aur Makaan" or
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Yes, there have been nice little stop-over points like "Ek
ladki bheegi bhaagi si..." or the more recent "Ghanan ghanan" in "Lagaan". But
amidst all the changing notes, rain, perennial and peerless, has never failed to
enthuse our filmmakers. The English literature might equate it with pathos and
gloom, our poets, lyricists and directors have only seen hope and rejuvenation.
Though of course, not many have been averse to use the rain for titillation,
pure and simple. And when rain has not been a possibility, the waterfall has
come in handy - remember Raj Kapoor's "Ram Teri Ganga Maili" which sent
temperatures soaring with Mandakini in a translucent white sari or the more
recent "Main Hoon Na" where Sushmita Sen did her best in hot pants under a
waterfall! Avers Sudhir Mishra who drenched Kareena Kapoor to her last bone in
"Chameli" last year, "Usually the rain is used for titillation. There is not
much profundity involved in it. However, in `Chameli', the song `Kehta hai man
mera' was used as a means of de-stressing for the heroine."
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Laments Nida Fazli who penned "Hoshwalo ko khabar kya... " in
"Sarfarosh", "Poets are not needed in the film industry. The period of Sahir
Ludhianvi, Shailendra and Kaifi Azmi is gone. Anybody can write these days.
There is hardly any poet, market mein har cheez chalti hai. Today's
lyricists are not properly educated. Earlier, they knew Hindi and Urdu. Now the
composers don't know the language. They cannot discern. There is tukbandi
in the name of love and rain. Ishq ko badnaam kar diya hai... . There are
semi-naked costumes, there are commercial constraints. The true poet has died."
Incidentally, while "Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya" with Sushmita in a
rain dance, may be raking it rich at the box office but Fazli is embittered. The
reason? "Sameer has lifted part of my nazm published in the book `Mor Naach' in
1978 for the song, `Bada maza aaya ladai mein ke toot gayi choori kalai mein'."
He has taken legal recourse. Meanwhile, Bollywood continues with its dripping
Says renowned poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, "Rain is an
integral part of our tradition and culture. India is predominantly an agrarian
society. Our people still live in villages so its predominance is paramount. Our
crops depend upon rains and so rain is our lifeline. Hence, we celebrate rain.
For us, it is a source of joy, happiness, optimism, destination, future and so
on. Music also celebrates rain. Rain is lesser celebrated in our films and more
in our lives. Didn't we hear sawani gaana, don't we celebrate rains over
pakodas and chai?"
He, however, admits, "Our films have twisted its significance a
bit. Rain, which is actually an innocent expression of joy, is turned into a
vulgar expression. Just compare the rain song of `Do Bigah Zameen', which is
sung in expectation of rain, and the songs today, which are deliberately put to
show skin. Woh innocence aur simplicity kahain peeche rah gayi
hai." Incidentally, Akhtar himself penned "Ghanan ghanan" for "Lagaan" just
like the song "Haryali sawan dhol... " in "Do Bigah Zameen".
Then there have been other filmmakers like Vidhu Vinod Chopra
who wove poetry around rainfall with "Rim jhim, rimjhim" in "1942: A Love
Story". Or Rahul Rawail with "Badal yun garajta hai" in "Betaab". Or for that
matter, Yash Chopra in "Lamhe" where Lata Mangeshkar sought to bring alive the
joy of monsoon in "Megha re megha".
But the use of rain as a symbol of hope and resurgence has been
more in aberration than norm. Otherwise, Hindi cinema just seems to use the
rainfall to cater to the basest instincts. Just the other day, seasoned
filmmaker Amol Palekar introduced rain in the desert, courtesy ghost in
"Paheli". The whole village was dry, only the heroine, Rani Mukerji, had
rainfall in her courtyard, giving a new twist to that timeless couplet, "Ab
ke sawan khoob shararat mere saath hui."
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Kyun Kiya Movie Photo Gallery
But Rani was merely walking the path taken by the likes of
Zeenat Aman, Hema Malini, Sridevi, Jayaprada, Neelam, Raveena Tandon, and
Vijayantimala, Nargis and Sadhana, etc much before them.
Who can forget Zeenat Aman in "Hai hai ye majboori, ye mausam
aur ye doori" in Manoj Kumar's "Roti Kapda Aur Makaan"? Or Hema Malini in
"Zindagi ki na toote ladi" in "Kranti". Or Kajol in "Mere khwabon mein jo aaye",
the timeless number of "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge". And Lara Dutta with all
her chiselled features in "In the rain on the roof" in "Masti", panned by
critics last year!
Of course, the poetry was better, the picturisation more
aesthetic at the time of "Sujata" or "Kala Bazar" with "Rim jhim ke tarane le ke
Just as there was a nice melody halt with "Barkha rani zara jam
ke barso" and "Barsaat mein tum se mile hum". Not to forget those avoidable peek
points in "Meri Chhatri ke neeche aaja kyun bheegi Salma khadi khadi" or "Aaj
lapat jayen". As Fazli said, "Shair ka waqt khatam ho gaya hai". It
continues to pour.
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