Before the shameless days of Aa Saari Raat Besharmi Ki Height and the likes, erotica in Bollywood had a common trigger – rain.
Quite often, it was the rain which changed the mood of the scene from platonic love to manifestation of it – lust. Quite often, it was the rain which let the audience know that even though movie was strong proponent of the theory “love just happens”, in reality love has to be made. Quite often, it was the rain and the scenes/songs in it which became the selling points in movie’s posters.
Quite often, male and female protagonist would find themselves (just the two of them) in a secluded place with thunderstorms threatening an Armageddon. It is then when lightening would strike, female protagonist would suddenly try finding shelter in male’s arms, they would sing a song and just before audience hoped to see some action, two flowers would be shown fighting with each other.
There is a similarity between movies those days and current state of affairs – we waited for rain back then, we are waiting for rain now. Well, at the onset of monsoon, let me take you back to some of my favourite rain songs – the days of rain, dance, plain chiffon saris and the unmentionables.
Yellow, yellow. Dirty Fellow (the Tip Tip Song, Mohra) – For all those who have spent adolescent years in 90s, Tip Tip Barsa Paani ofMohra has to be in one of the top songs if not the topmost song. Ravishing and bootylicious Raveena Tandon clad in a plain yellow chiffon sari, showing off curvaceous body and numerous sensuous swells – the song had it all to make you drop your jaw. As it happens, Raveena crank/prank calls Akshay Kumar to a secluded location to lure him with her dance and Maans. Somewhere at the middle of the song, Akshay’s loses control – it is the moment he starts laughing. For some strange reason, Akshay Kumar always laughs in such scenes – he is yet to disclose the reason behind it.
Forget the video, even audio of the song is awe inspiring. High pitch voice of Udit Narayan gives the song a new life – not that it was lacking before his arrival at Da da da da dooba dariya mein, khada main saahil par. Alka Yagnik has been at her mellifluous best.
This song, ladies and gentlemen, was to that year what Baby Doll is to year 2014.
Red Riding Hood (Jaane do na, Saagar) – Oh we are back to Akshay Kumar. This time he would just be a reference. Jaane do Na fromSaagar was filmed on Akshay’s mother in law and Ranbeer Kapoor’s father. Okay, to simplify it – on Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor. This isn’t exactly a rain song but much better than a lot of such songs. I just loved the way song was filmed – proves that camerawork isn’t just about lights, magic can be done with shadows too – shadow of the swimming pool along with it is filmed, shadow of people in the song, shadow of Dimple’s hair, shadow of Rishi’s about to explode tummy. All the shadows worked their magic to give the song a desired effect. So much was the play of shadows that one is left wondering – if Dimple’s sari was red or it was the shadow of Rishi Kapoor’s lips which looked so red as if they were painted.
Bleed Blue (Kaate nahi Kat-te, Mr. India) – If ever there has been a singer more versatile than Late Kishore Kumar, I would really like to listen to him. There wasn’t a single human emotion which his magical voice couldn’t express in more than one ways. He, in one single word, was a genius.
With due respect to their greatness, in the days of Sari clad Lata Mangeshkar and Gajara wearing Asha Bhoshle, playback singing did lack a bit of glamour. A few new names did appear only to disappear at a rapid pace. That’s why Alisha Chinoy is important. She brought back the glamour in the art of playback singing.
Mr. India’s Kaate Nahi Kat-te was her debut song. The blue chiffon Sari that Sridevi wore, the rustic setup, the red colour which was used to see Mr. India and eventually the rain – this was the song of the decade. Ending of the song was exactly like it should be for such songs – you wish if it had lasted a bit longer. The husky voice of Alisha saying “Love you, love you”, Sridevi’s expression of being left wanted for more of you-know-what when Mr. India leaves her to fight Mogambo’s bad guys and slow dimming of light – the perfect ending ensured that song was epitome of perfection.
Purple Haze (Baarish Ka Bahaana, Yalgaar) – Sparks had to fly when a politician romanced an accused in the case of Mumbai Bomb Blasts. Fly they did. Those were the days when SanjuBaba sported long hair, had a few muscles and was on his to stardom. 1993 was still a year away. Those were the days when Nagma still had a figure to put on a two piece bikini. For some strange reason, colour of Sari in this song and the colour of bikini she wore later in the movie – they were same. Why? Go figure. But the song had its moments.
The song most likely to figure in this list – Roop Tera Mastaana, missed out for not really being a rain song. A rain song must have three things – lightening, thunder and a wet Sari. Presence of rain in the song is always an added bonus.