Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Rain, Baarish, And Rimjhim Gire Saawan

Rain is romance. Provided it falls in the right amount. But what amount is right amount? What may be right for lovers and songwriters may not be sufficient for the poor farmer; and what may be sufficient for the farmer may not be sufficient enough for a parched piece of land that had been waiting for years to recharge its groundwater levels. And then comes a time when rain turns into a mass destructor, washing away people and their homes.

Rain is pretty much like a guest who shouldn’t overstay its welcome. Stay for a couple of days at a time and we will fete you, write poems on you, and even make love to the sound of the shower. But if you stay on for a couple of weeks without giving us a break, you become an enemy.

Yet, year after year, despite the destruction and hardship it causes, we eagerly wait for the smell of the wet earth and the sound of the pitter-patter on the window panes. Why so? That’s because rain brings much-needed relief and distraction when the world around turns into a blazing desert, which it does every so often.

Then there is something else. Few sights match the beauty of water descending from the sky in the form of a natural shower. Imagine the water falling from the sky just like it would if you were to upturn a bucket! — but no, nature has thought it all out. It has installed an invisible shower-head somewhere up there so that when it rains, you don’t stand under a waterfall but a shower. And the drops of water falling on your skin have an instant rejuvenating affect; what a pity that our first reaction, when it begins to rain, is to run for cover.

Rain. Baarish. Brishti. Barkha. How sensual they sound! Especially baarish. I love the sound of the word. People enjoy the rain in their own ways. The adventurous and the romantic — people I always envy — enjoy getting wet. They don’t worry about catching a cold. In fact, the pouring rain kindles a fire in them. The practical and the pragmatic, on the other hand, like to enjoy the rain from an arm’s length. They sit on the verandah and watch the rain and munch on freshly-fried pakodas and sip hot tea.

Then you have people who are practical as well as romantic: who don’t want to get wet in the rain but at the same time don’t want to miss out on its sensuality. Some like to go on long drives during a drizzle, while others see opportunity in the immobility caused by a sudden downpour and they open the windows, make a drink and pull out their favourite book. Or they choose to make love. The idea is to make use of the setting — the smell of wet earth, the sight of the grey sky and bathing trees, and the sound of falling drops.

Given my temperament, I would say I fall in the third category. But secretly, I desire to belong to the first category: adventurous-cum-romantic. Imagine getting wet in the rain without a care in the world! Oh, and the best part about getting wet in such a carefree manner is the fire it kindles within you.

Once upon a time, a few years ago, I knew someone who was equally fascinated by the idea of getting wet in the rain. During one monsoon, she wanted me to come to the beach with her so that we could both get wet together. I had even bought a bottle of brandy, just in case the sensation of dry clothes on wet skin wasn’t enough to stoke desire.

But there erupted a hitch: where would we keep our mobile phones? She suggested options, but I was very nervous about staying away from the phone for a prolonged period. And so the trip to Marina never materialised. Today she is the mother of a two-year-old boy. I don’t think I can plan another Marina trip with her in the next 15 years.

But the desire remains: to get wet mindlessly in the rain, without worrying about the phone or the leather shoes or about the voyeuristic world, and to follow it up with something equally mindless. Until such time, I am going to make do with rain songs. Presenting the top five on my list:


1. Roop tera mastana;

2. Barkha raani, zara jamke barso;

3. Kiss me, kiss me;

4. Bheegi bheegi raaton mein;

5. Aaj rapat jaayen to.

Oh, wait, I forgot to mention the song topmost on my list. It is a simple rain song, shot in the most mundane of locations in Bombay, but the visuals (depicting innocent love) and the lyrics (explaining the sexiness of the rain) make Rimjhim gire saawan one of the most sensual rain songs ever made in Hindi cinema. Today, when I am 41, this particular song — and not the fight scenes I grew up with — makes me want to be Amitabh Bachchan.

17 comments:

Udaya said...

Its raining this very minute, while saavan ka mahina plays on one of my mom's ipod. You manage to capture the very essence of rain and romance so effortlessly! ah! yeh boonde!

(& YAY first to comment :D)

Anonymous said...

You left out 'Mazhai'. It thrills me the same way 'Baarish' thrills you...Any song with the word 'mazhai' in it, and I actually perk up :-)
Beautiful blog post as always... bought back memories of my tall, thin grand-father, who would insist we all sat on the verandah and watched the rain. So, monsoon in Chennai to me was always about 'watching' rain :-) More recently, it was about scented candles, deep sofas, fat quilts and boxes of chocolates... and a little squirmy daughter (the husband and I are way too big to share a sofa ;P) The odd day I did get soaked to the skin - and came home with my teeth chattering, and my neck in spasm from the cold - I would hate it. But only until the next time I was out in a drizzle, when rain pulled stitches on the river, the leaves grew limp edged with raindrops, the barks glowed dark brown, and the world was moist, and my eyes would turn moist, unable to take in so much beauty at once. Damn, I actually miss it. But if I say loudly here, these two won't stop crowing! :-) Thanks for bringing back such lovely memories B. Been enjoying all the recent blog posts, and esp love the fact that its so much more frequent. Please continue...

Dreamer said...

Lovely post...I'm the first sort of person, I think. I love rain-it has always signified beginnings and fresh hope and romance.

Mom with a Dot said...

In India, I would always look up towards the sky as it rained, esp at night. Try it sometime, its wonderful. Under a lamp post, even better!

Never been out in the rain here in the US. Its way too aggressive - hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, hale, etc. Went to Canada couple of weeks ago and enjoyed getting drenched in rain after a really long time. Our first rain in the US was during a drive night. We got some drive-thru icecream cones and decided to eat in the parking lot. Within minutes, we were the only car till eye could see. So, two of us, locked in a car, while it poured down, thundering over our heads! Water! water! everywhere, not a drop to drink.......

Sepiamniac said...

I would include Rimjhim ke taraane leke from Kaala Bazaar, too :)

Meera said...

I like your monsoon playlist, but what about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6FkVPOMtvM ? :D

Deepa Nagaraj said...

Indian Rain- "Rain clouds in the sky, I don't know why they make me blue..."

Ohoo megham vandhatho-Mouna Ragam

Vaan megham poo poovai thoovum-Punnagai Mannan

Soumya said...

Well! First time listener of Songs No. 2 & 3. Er... maybe, one has to listen to them a couple of times before liking them (am being polite!).

Anonymous said...

..anticipations in the wild winds before the clouds decide to pour....smell of the wet earth when the first showers touch it.....all dust,monotony and heat washed away to reavle the lush green around...and the love story grows to the pitter-patter on the window panes... in the misty 'rim jhim 'rains ...while 'arman hamare aankhe na moonde....sulag sulag jaaye maan'
P...

Anonymous said...

you don't have to wait for "the day" to come. just go out and get drenched. the feeling is exhilarating! absolutely NOTHING can match it. it's worth spoiling your leather shoes and phone. these will come back believe me! :)

Santosh Sadasivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamita said...

Loved the writing. I am a sucker for baarish in Mumbai.
I grew up there(lived close to the beach) and deliberately picked rainy days to walk on the beach and get soaked. I've gotten sick a few times because of that, but guess what? I don't care, I'll do it again in a heartbeat.So you could say I belong to the first category (adventurous + romantic. Add 'crazy' to that).

P.S. Just use a Ziploc bag to keep you wallet and cell phone dry.Its that simple.: ) And bring the brandy along for sure.

Anonymous said...

Support free speech, Rain Man. Bring back unmoderated comments. (yup, I'm vetti, zimbly putting off work; mooching around here, there, everywhere on the net :-))

Anonymous said...

Support free speech.... why not ....the heart of this blog is fearless and this blogger's spirit is always free .... write what u wish... when did we care for the world...
P...

Anonymous said...

I love driving in the rain and I do it every year. The chilly breeze and the wet raincoat are my friends. Never mind that I end with a bad cold, a runny nose and sometimes fever too. But there is nothing to beat a day out in the rain. And oh, I have loved sailing paper boats always...

Unknown said...

I love the songs you have listed. Specially Rimjhim... Amitabh is superb in this song. Cant believe he did all those action movies.
Thanks for adding all the links. It makes life easy...

Anubhuti said...

Mr Ghosh, next time, try getting wet in chilly baarish of a hill station, when the water is so cold, it makes you shiver. The only warmth at such moments should be the warmth of an arm around your waist & a kiss on your lips.