Ten Memorable Rain Scenes

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Nina Hilger, who works with Dzintars Cers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Nina said she’d read my list of ten favourite monsoon songs, had been inspired to rent the films in which those songs featured—and wanted to do a radio show on the monsoon in India. Would I be willing to do an interview? Of course, I was very happy to do so—and had an extremely enjoyable hour chatting with Nina and Dzintars, telling them about why I chose those songs, and what the monsoon means to us here in India (both the good and the bad—from hot chai and pakoras, to waterlogging and floods. This was, happily, before disaster struck in Uttarakhand).

It also inspired me to try my hand at another tribute to rain in Hindi cinema. A list of ten rain-related scenes (from pre-70s Hindi films) that I find utterly memorable. These may be memorable for different reasons, both good and bad, but what sets them apart for me is that they’ve stuck in my mind over the years.

A rain scene from Tumsa Nahin DekhaOne important restriction I imposed upon myself: only scenes that neither segue into a song, nor follow a song, are included. This is why you won’t find here the delightful scene from Chalti ka Naam Gaadi where a damp Madhubala arrives at a garage with her broken-down car, because it’s followed by Ek ladki bheegi-bhaagi si.

Here we go, then, in no particular order.

1. Anand gives a mysterious woman a lift (Woh Kaun Thi?, 1964): Yes, this scene has some plot holes, but it’s one of the first scenes that popped into my head when I began making my list. Possibly because it’s such a good example of the association between Hindi cinema and rain—a stormy night always seems to be a favoured setting for suspense, both supernatural and otherwise.

Here, it seems to be supernatural: Dr Anand, driving through a thunderstorm, gives a lift to a mysterious woman dressed in a white sari. He’s found her standing in the middle of the road, and when—on his insistence—she agrees to get into the car, it’s on the condition that he won’t question her. And there is much to question. She gets in, and the car’s wipers stop. Anand can’t see the road ahead, but she says she can, and guides him unerringly. Anand notices that her finger’s bleeding, and she says, in a detached way that she cut it while sharpening a pencil. And likes the sight of blood.

I’ve watched and rewatched Woh Kaun Thi? so many times, this scene doesn’t intrigue me as much as it did the first time I saw it. Sadhana seemed really spooky (and Manoj Kumar thoroughly spooked). And that last bit—when the wipers suddenly swing into action again, as soon as she gets out of the car—is delicious.

Woh Kaun Thi?
2. Anand and his friend seek shelter in a haveli (Madhumati, 1958): Another Anand, and another stormy night—and the big daddy of old films about the supernatural. Madhumati begins with two men (Dilip Kumar and Tarun Bose) driving through the hills on a rainy night. When their car breaks down, Anand (Dilip Kumar) deputes his driver to find a garage; at his friend’s insistence, the two men climb uphill to a nearby haveli, which Anand—initially reluctant to approach—seems inexplicably to know, once he arrives there.

A romance peppered with tragedy, lust, comedy and more plays out, with some of the most dramatic scenes of the film set in similarly stormy nights. But this scene, with the seemingly mundane progressing swiftly into the unexplained, is perhaps the best of the lot.

3. Shankar arrives at the haveli (Mahal, 1949): This one resembles (or should that be the other way round?) the scene from Madhumati quite a bit: a stormy night, a spooky mansion, and a man who arrives at the mansion. In this case, though the man is new to this riverside mansion, he is the son of its new owner, so is entitled to stay here—and entitled to hear, too, the tale of lost love that the gardener/caretaker has to share.

While it’s not as dramatic a beginning as that of Madhumati, I find this opening scene of Mahal gripping. Partly because of the somewhat forbidding, flat monotone of the narration, which adds to the atmosphere. And partly because the scene proceeds in a series of seemingly mundane activities: the caretaker lights the chandelier (great cinematography, there); hoists the chandelier up—and continues his tale, while the storm rages outside… it’s a fine juxtaposition of calm and storm, the everyday and the unknown.

4. Shabnam and Aman take shelter during a storm (Barsaat ki Raat, 1960): From suspense and the supernatural, to another favourite theme for rain scenes: romance. Hindi film seems to equate rain with romance (a theme which still endures), and Barsaat ki Raat embodies that: a chance encounter on a rainy night, which leads not to just the romance of a lifetime, but to some absolutely sublime music.

This is where it begins. Struggling poet Aman, finding himself caught in a sudden downpour, takes shelter in the verandah of a smithy. He is still standing there when he is joined by another refugee from the storm—the gorgeous (and very wet) Shabnam, who doesn’t realize she isn’t alone until she bangs into him. Her shock and confusion, her embarrassment, her fidgeting as she tries to wring out her sopping wet dupatta—and her eventual running away—lead Aman to not just pen an ode to this encounter, but to fall in love with the unknown belle.

Barsaat ki Raat
5. Suresh Sinha lends his coat to a stranger (Kaagaz ke Phool, 1959): While it lacks the obvious romance of its parallel scene from Barsaat ki Raat, this scene from Kaagaz ke Phool also heralds the start (though not immediately apparent) of a relationship. Successful and wealthy film director Suresh Sinha, returning from a trip to his estranged wife and in-laws, is caught in a storm and shelters under a banyan tree—and finds that Shanti (Waheeda Rehman) has gotten there first.

Their conversation is interesting, indignant and suspicious on her part (she is convinced he will try to make a pass at her) and amused on his. It also offers an insight into the relative backgrounds and experiences of these two people. He is older, wealthy enough to be well-clad against the freezing rain, wealthy enough to be able to hail a taxi, and also more worldly-wise, still hurting from the day’s experiences. She, on the other hand, is poor (she admits to not having money for a coat), and very naïve. Yet Suresh Sinha’s sudden act of benevolence—to put his coat around her shivering form, before leaving—sets about a series of events that will eventually reverse their roles in life.

Kaagaz ke Phool
6. The rains come (Guide, 1965): Despite the fact that Guide isn’t one of my favourite films, this scene is, for me, a memorable one. In my interview with CBC, while discussing the monsoon songs I’d listed, one particular song I spoke of was Allah megh de—which I thought exemplified the desperation that sets in when the land is deprived of rain. The heat, the drought, the thirst: the anguish.

This, therefore, is the point that desperation finally reaches. Ex-convict Raju, forced into the role of a sadhu fasting in an attempt to bring rain, becomes the man on whom the hopes of an entire region are pinned. In this last scene, as he hovers on the brink of death, Raju finds himself confronting his less-than-perfect self (and also a sublime, super-Godman type self), edging closer to nirvana, while the villagers gathered in the temple are on the verge of giving up hope. And then the rains come, with thunder and lightning.

What I find ironic here is the speed with which the temple empties; everybody rushes out to savour the blessing of the rain, forgetting the man who has sacrificed himself for them. There is jubilation, dancing, embracing, tears of joy—and, Rosie, rushing back into the temple to tell Raju to open his eyes, and see the rain…

7. A stalled car is attacked by dacoits (Teesri Manzil, 1966): From the serious to the suspenseful: a scene that is the culmination of Sunita’s scheme to get Anil aka Rocky thrashed. When their car stops in the middle of the jungle, Sunita (Asha Parekh) confronts Rocky (Shammi Kapoor): he cannot defeat her, because her friend—stowed away in the boot—is with her. But the friend (Laxmi Chhaya) is, to our heroine’s shock, missing. And suddenly, Rocky seems to have turned from a flirtatious charmer to a man very dangerous indeed, as he drags Sunita into the car, begins to lock each door, roll up each window—and finally lock himself out of the car, so that Sunita is alone and secure inside.

This is where the rain comes—because, in the middle of the night, Sunita wakes to pouring rain. It batters the windows and windshield, it obscures her vision, and it hides the coming of a gang of dacoits who suddenly surround the car, and leering at the woman inside, assault the vehicle, trying to get in. What follows is a classic ‘fight in the rain’, while a terrified Sunita looks on from the confines of the car, before (when things fall silent) finally getting out to see what’s up.

Teesri Manzil
8. Radha and her children huddle in a flooded hut (Mother India, 1957): Like Guide, another iconic film—and, iconoclast that I am—one I don’t like (this one because it’s just so depressing). But no matter what I may dislike about it, one thing I will admit: Mother India had some fine cinematography and direction. Both are apparent in this scene where the much-battered-by-fate Radha, abandoned by her husband, neck-deep in debt, and with three children to support, tries to hold out against a storm.

Radha, her children, and a friend, Kamla, are out in the fields when the storm clouds gather; Kamla only has time to cry out, “Our crops will be destroyed if it rains now!”—and then the rain comes pouring down, in torrents so fierce that the little platform on which the group has huddled collapses. The water rises swiftly, gushing forth as the women—carrying the children—try to head for safety, with a panic-stricken Kamla getting swept away from them in the process. Radha finally manages to get her children into a half-collapsed hut, and holds up the wooden planks on which she seats them. She supports them, standing chest-deep in muddy water, while the children weep, and the youngest—a baby—quietly passes away.

Mother India
9. Amar rapes Sonia on a stormy night (Amar, 1954): If the pure, chaste love of Shabnam and Aman (Barsaat ki Raat) begins on a rainy night, so do other romances—both begin, and progress. Rain (and preferably, rain at night) in Hindi films seems inextricably tied up with getting wet—and then trying to warm up, in invariably naughty ways (remember Aradhana and Ek Phool Do Maali?) This scene from Amar highlights another dimension—not of love, but of lust.

The suave, urbane lawyer Amar (Dilip Kumar), already in love with the beautiful Anju (Madhubala), is at home, shaken by a telegram informing him of his father’s illness—while a storm rages outside. In this scene comes intruding the naïve village girl Sonia (Nimmi), seeking shelter not just from the rain and lightning but also from her unwanted suitor, who’s tried to molest her. She’s met Amar before—there has been a moment of mutual fascination—so she trusts him. But Amar, in an unusual departure from the quintessential film hero, rapes her.

What stands out about this scene is not just the direction (which sets it up in a tasteful, subtle way that actually has the effect of amplifying the horror of Amar’s act), but the very fact that it is such an unexpected scene.

Sonia flees to Amar's haveli
10. Rupa breaks off a relationship (Chhoti si Mulaqat, 1967): Not a very well-known scene (or a well-known film; it was a terrible flop), but one that I remember vividly. Rupa (Vyjyantimala), married as a young teenager to a total stranger—and immediately separated from him—has grown up to be a beautiful, modern socialite, in love with the handsome Ashok, and with no desire to revisit her past. Until her past revisits her, and sends her life careening out of control.

One night, being driven home (in the rain) by Ashok, Rupa comes to terms with her past, her present, and her future, and realises that her conscience will not let her go off with Ashok while her husband waits for her somewhere. Arriving home, Rupa gets out of the car and stands in the driveway, her tears mingling with the rain as she tells Ashok that she can never be his. If romances begin in the rain, romances can even end in the rain. It’s a poignant scene, with Rupa’s grief making her highly emotional, while Ashok tries to plead with her.

Chhoti si Mulaqat
… And, as a bonus, one last scene which takes place at a dinner table, on a night far from rainy. I had to include this, because even though it doesn’t take place in the rain, it’s a hilarious take on rain in Hindi cinema. In Pyaar Kiye Jaa (1966), Mehmood plays Atmaram, producer/writer/director/man of all trades of Wah! Wah! Productions. In this scene, Atma narrates a scene from his upcoming film to his family—father and two sisters.

Atma’s story contains all the essentials: the hero, thrown out of home by his father; a street dog, who sees the hero and remembers that years ago, the hero had fed him a biscuit; and rain—a ‘symbolic shot’ (as Atma describes it) to show that as the dog weeps, so do all dogs around the world weep. “I cannot show all the dogs in the world weeping,” Atma says. “I show the sky, the rain coming down—that’s enough.” Touché.

Pyaar Kiye Jaa
On which note—talking about the symbolism of rain in Hindi cinema, and about all it seems to accompany (romance, lust, suspense, tragedy, ghosts)—I leave the stage for you. Do any rain scenes stick in your memory?


93 thoughts on “Ten Memorable Rain Scenes

  1. Congratulations Madhu! You will be soon heard on CBC!
    Liked the list, though only few of them would have been on my list, because either I can’t recollect the scenes from these movies or I haven’t seen them. That is why it is nice to read you describing them and I do read your writings very gladly!

    But the rains in Guide will always remain etched in my memory. Love the movie and love that scene.
    Kaagaz ke Phool scene is also one, which I like a lot, particularly for its subtlety and the fact, that they DON’T fall in love in that scene.
    Thanks for the scene from Pyar Kiye Jaa, makes me want to watch it right now! Am already stealing time from work, so won’t give in to these urges!


    • Thank you, Harvey! That’s sweet of you. (Though, to blow my own trumpet: I’ve already been heard on BBC and ABC, Radio Cyprus, AIR and IBN, so I’m a relatively seasoned radio interviewee) :-)

      You are very right about the beauty of the Kaagaz ke Phool scene lying in the fact that they do not fall in love right then. It’s a very subtle, very down-to-earth sort of scene (very different from the Barsaat ki Raat one, which is packed full of drama and chemistry).

      Oh, the Pyaar Kiye Jaa scene is very short; you can find the time to watch that, surely!


  2. Oh how I love this post. What is most amazing to me is how many of these films are already on my to-watch or to-rewatch lists!

    I can’t think off the top of my head of any oldies to add, but there is rain scene in Mriyudand (1997) that I love. Shabana Azmi’s character, who was rejected by her husband for failing to bear children, has been having an affair with Om Puri’s character. He finds her praying at a temple, and as she beaming my tells him she is expecting his child, the rain begins to fall and they embrace and laugh and twirl among the drops.


    • Yes, I guessed there are scenes here that you’d already have seen – I do know you’ve seen at least Mahal, Teesri Manzil and Guide, and a lot of the other films – Mother India and Kaagaz ke Phool among them – are the sort of films generally regarded as classics that everybody says you must watch. :-)

      I haven’t seen Mrityudand, but that scene sounds beautiful. And both Shabana and Om Puri being the actors they are, I can just imagine how powerful that scene must be.


  3. Wonderful post, Madhu. Enjoyed seeing this list. Although I’ve seen all these movies, I remember the rain scene in only some of them.

    What I like about your list is not just the scene but the way you’ve been able to find different scenes to match different emotions that are accentuated by rain. In Hindi movies, rain is often a forebearer of something significant – and you’ve found a variety of these.

    From the top of my head, I can remember Shikast (1953) which has a very long drawn-out rain/thunder/flood sequence towards the end of the film. Not sure if there was a song involved too (would break your rules) but the scene went on and on – well beyond any song, even if there were one.

    Also, I remember Chhota Bhai (1966) – where the protagonist, Ramu, goes to fetch the village priest in a storm and brings him back home to attend to Nutan. Again, there’s a song involved but the scene’s quite powerful. Not a romantic song, it’s a prayer.

    And if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t Sacha Jhootha have rain/floods early on? And maybe Dosti as well? Saw these movies long ago, so I’m not sure.

    And, in the 70s, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, towards the end of the movie, also had heavy rain scenes, causing floods, if I’m not mistaken.

    Also vaguely seem to remember Aap Ki Parchhaiyan also with something like this but I could be wrong.

    Need to see all these movies again now. My memory’s really terrible.

    Btw, Mera Naam Joker also had some heavy rain scenes but there’s a song (mohe ang lag jaa balma) so it doesn’t count. The most famous scene from Mera Naam Joker posters used to be Padmini seeking shelter from the rain in one of those huge pipes.


    • Thanks, Raja! Incidentally, I did toy with doing a ‘Ten moods of the rain’ post, listing ten different scenes that showed a different emotion against a backdrop of the rain. Couldn’t manage it, sadly, because a number of the scenes (as you can see) have very similar themes – the ones from Mahal and Madhumati, for example.

      You list a number of films that I either haven’t seen (Chhota Bhai, Mera Naam Joker) or have seen so long back that I don’t recall their details. That’s how it is with Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Dosti, Sachcha-Jhootha and Shikast. Shikast, by the way, is in my to-watch pile, so this should provide an impetus for me to watch it! Last saw it when I was a kid, so all I remember of it is that scar on Nalini Jaywant’s forehead.


  4. I was so engrossed in reliving the scenes you’ve described that ‘the end’ just came up. Wonderful scenes of films all of which I’ve seen.
    I like the roundingoff of each scene in your last sentence. Some examples.
    it’s a fine juxtaposition of calm and storm, the everyday and the unknown

    sets about a series of events that will eventually reverse their roles in life.
    ..and how.

    and, Rosie, rushing back into the temple to tell Raju to open his eyes, and see the rain…
    ..and the rest is history

    while a terrified Sunita looks on from the confines of the car, before (when things fall silent) finally getting out to see what’s up.

    She supports them, standing chest-deep in muddy water, while the children weep, and the youngest—a baby—quietly passes away.
    To think this could actually be happening/has happened in Uttarakhand :-(

    When I started reading this, immediately two scenes came to mind – Madhumati! (I thought), but there it was in the post, and another scene that the theme conjured up (simultaneously) was ….ahem… well… Jane Bennet going to Netherfield on Nellie, the mother saying triumphantly ‘It is exactly as I had planned.’ LOL, and next day Elisabeth landing at Netherfield to see her sister, with her petticoat six inches deep in mud (slushy mud due to the rain).
    But it’s not Hindi film I know :-/
    It’s difficult, this one. I’ll have to replay films in my head to think of some scenes not already taken.

    Thanks, Madhu. Really enjoyed reading it.


    • Thank you so much, Pacifist! Your comment warms the cockles of my heart. :-)

      Yes, when I was rewatching that scene from Mother India, I was thinking of Uttarakhand too. What has happened there is so tragic, and sadly, could have been far less catastrophic if warnings about deforestation and uncontrolled construction had been heeded…

      But, back to rain scenes: I don’t care if Pride and Prejudice isn’t a Hindi film (it should be, though, shouldn’t it? – as we’ve discussed before)! That scene fits this post perfectly. (and remember, Mr Darcy putting Miss Bingley in her place by saying that he hadn’t noticed Lizzie’s petticoats six inches deep in mud because he was so fascinated by her eyes. Or something like that – I paraphrase).


      • That was Bingley who didn’t care about the petticoat being 6 inches deep in mud. :-)
        Darcy had previously admired Elisabeth’s eyes, much to the annoyance of Caroline Bingley. She thinks this 6 inches deep in mud petticoat was so unladylike because of the ‘walk’ to Netherfield instead of in a carriage, so this would make Darcy re-evaluate his opinion of Elizabeth’s eyes. Which he did,
        by responding to her, “they were brightened by the exercise”. ROTFL


  5. Wasn’t there a rain scene in Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi? Where Raj Kumar and Meena Kumari go out for an assignment. Raj Kumar sleeps outside in the rain.


  6. What about the Sikandar (1941) scene? Alexander’s waiting for the right time to attack Porus. And he gets it one night when all hell breaks loose, with the rains lashing, very low visibility and a treacherous terrain to traverse. Yet Alexander picks that night to attack, precisely for these reasons – he reckons he will catch the army of Porus unawares. It’s quite a long drawn-out scene.


    • Raaajaa!! You’ve reminded me of yet another film I haven’t seen yet. I’d started downloading this from where Tom had uploaded it, but gave up after downloading the first part because it took so long. I think the net connection was playing up back then… must get around to downloading it fully and watching the film, Prithviraj Kapoor looks so fabulous in the couple of clips I’ve seen from it.

      By the way, that gives me an idea for a set of twin posts I can do…


      • I saw the movie a long time ago – I don’t remember all the details but I do remember the rain scene accentuated the climax scene of the film (it’s a murder supsense film, so though I know more, I will not reveal it :-)).

        Btw, I forgot to congratulate you for featuring on the radio show. Wonderful, and hearty congrats!!! Any chance of an audio link that we can all enjoy? :-)


        • I’ll find out from them if it’s possible, Raja, and if it is, I’ll post it. :-)

          I didn’t know Oonche Log was a suspense film. I must watch it! Suspense films, even when not that great, are always up my alley.


          • Pleas wait, just hold on a bit, after Mujhe Jeene Do it is Oonche Log on my list. While discussing my father there are only two films people talk about Anupama and Gumnaam. Some of his other films have almost gone unnoticed, Oonche Log is one of them, as far as I was concerned that was one of his best performances.


              • Madhu, a correction. I happened to watch Oonche Log a couple of days ago – and there is NO rain scene in it. I must’ve got it confused with some other movie.

                You should watch it. Am not sure you’ll like it but at least it’s not the usual cliched Hindi movie of the 60s. It’s very different.

                Am now waiting for Shilpi’s review of the film. :-)


  7. Good Choices! Yet to see ‘Barsaat ki raat’ though.
    Didn’t Raj Kapoor’s movies have rain scenes/songs as a kind of a norm in them? I know some songs, maybe some RK fan could mention some scenes. There was the film ‘Barsaat’, I saw it long time back, maybe some of the final scenes (spoilers) had rain in them or maybe not.
    I’ll just link this scene from a famous 90s film which comes to mind at the moment. I noted that SRK is the only actor to get the ‘romantic hero’ tag after Rajesh Khanna and he didn’t even start off as one like his contemporaries! Did anyone else get that tag in between?


    • Yes, I thought Barsaat would have had some important rain scenes, though it’s been ages since I saw that film, and I’ve forgotten it. Maybe Anu or another RK fan can help.

      Thank you for embedding that scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai! I love it. :-) Easily one of the most romantic rain scenes ever.


      • Barsaat didn’t, actually. :) It was more about waiting for the rains. And in the final scene when Premnath lights Nimmi’s pyre, the rain clouds gather. The rains are coming, but it is too late for Nimmi. (Premnath’s promise is that he would come for her during the rains.)


        • I see. I’d forgotten about that. Actually, now that I think of it, the only scene I remember from Barsaat is of when Premnath comes to Nimmi’s house (pretty much near the start of the film) and lies down on the bed and she takes off his shoes and socks and presses her face to his feet… but my reason for remembering that is the behind-the-scenes story to it. My uncle had been present at that shoot, and said that Nimmi kept on messing up the shot and just couldn’t get the expression right. Finally, RK stopped the shoot and told Premnath, “Go and wash your feet. Really thoroughly, with soap.” They canned it in the next shot. ;-)


          • RK had a reputation for noticing the tiniest details. Padmini Kolhapure mentioned in an interview that during her introductory shot where she puts her feet into the velvet slippers, she had been asked to get a pedicure before she came on sets. She forgot, and in the morning, scrubbed her feet really well, and assumed that it would be okay. RK, focusing on her feet, stopped the shoot and told her to go off and get a pedicure, and then the whole cast waited about till she got one. :)


            • Interesting! I hadn’t heard of that one before.

              I am impressed at RK’s powers of observation (though I suppose in the case of Premnath’s smelly feet, it was also his powers of deduction that came into play!). I doubt if, just by looking at a woman’s feet – unless she was used to walking around barefoot and her feet were in a terrible condition – I would be able to say whether she’d had a pedicure or not.


  8. Congratulations Madhu for the interview, must be very rewarding as a writer to be noticed and also to be specially called for such an interview.
    Now the first rain scene that obviously came to my mind, as I was so deep in it, was Madhumati but then it is already on your list. There is another scene that I would like to draw your attention to is from Bandini. Remember the post I did on Bandini I had picked out some memorable scenes from that film. Now I have a problem, I always worry while doing my posts, I wonder is it getting too long? I therefore decided not to include another memorable scene. This is a rain scene, here Bimal Roy uses the rain as a tool to convey the sense of despair that she feels while she waits for her lover (Ashok Kumar) to come back. This scene was one of the critically acclaimed scenes of Bandini, critics appreciated the way it was shot. You see Nutan sitting with a despondent look on her face, watching the rain as ducks and birds seek shelter from the rain. Here is the link to the scene, it comes in at approx 8.16— Shilpi


    • Thank you, Shilpi – both for the appreciation, and for that beautiful scene! It is so very Bimal Roy. Understated, subtle, down-to-earth (in some ways, those very everyday images of rain remind me of O sajna barkhaa bahaar aayi from Parakh: that too has imagery like raindrops falling from the edges of leaves or off the petals of a flower, or into a little empty flowerpot kept to catch leaks). I also like the fact that this is quiet, very believable rain – it builds (from when she’s sitting and watching the ducks) to a steady downpour later. Not obviously artificial rain.


      • I couldn’t have described it better Madu and if you notice all you here is the steady sound of the downpour. I think we all do feel a bit upset when there is a continuous downpour and if that is coupled with some unfortunate event in our personal lives, then there is no way you are going to enjoy the rain.


        • “I think we all do feel a bit upset when there is a continuous downpour

          Very true! And somehow that scene of Nutan sitting there all by herself, looking out at the steady drizzle, is very evocative of her loneliness.


  9. What a refreshingly different list, Madhu! Like pacifist, I love the descriptions, the way you summarise the scene with such vivid descriptions. ‘seemingly mundane progressing swiftly into the unexplained’; ‘it’s a fine juxtaposition of calm and storm, the everyday and the unknown’;’sets about a series of events that will eventually reverse their roles in life’…

    And congratulations on the interview/recognition. :)

    One of the most frightening rain scenes is the one in Awara, where just after the judge has thrown his pregnant wife out on the streets and she gives birth in the rain-soaked grimy city streets, a watcher in the shadows smiles grimly Mubarak ho, judge saheb. Aapko beta hua hai.

    The scene from Baarish where Nutan, under the mistaken impression that her husband has been killed tries to kill herself and is rescued by her husband. The ensuing scene where he asks her to pretend to remain a widow until he completes his mission.


    • Thank you, Anu! Glad you liked that. Coming from someone who writes as well as you do, it’s high praise indeed. :-)

      Ah, I’d forgotten about the scene in Awara. Somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind there was a recollection that the film did have a rain scene, but I couldn’t remember where or what – and since this post was all about scenes I remembered, I decided it would be dishonest to go looking for rain scenes! Thank you for describing that one – as well as the one from Baarish (which I have seen, but had forgotten about).


  10. Hi,
    Very impressive and as always excellent choices.
    I love rain. One song that is always on some people’s mind is the one from the movie
    `Shree 420′ by Lata and Manna Day.
    It had Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Sashi Kapoor, Randhr and Rishi Kapoor in the raining scene.
    “Pyar Hua Ikara Hua”

    Thank you


  11. Just saw this post and thought What a coincidence! It has been raining cats and dogs here since early afternoon, I am cooking dal, rice salad as well as a multitude of other dishes to tide my son,s family for the next four or five days because I am returning home tomorrow. And a big pot of pepper rasam to be sipped as the rain pelts down on the roof, but,alas no papad to go with it!
    The only other rain scene that I can think of is the one of the deluge in Satyam Shivam Sundaram.


    • Yum, Lalitha! The pepper rasam and the rest of it sound so perfect. :-) I wish I had someone to cook all of those for me while I sit back and watch the rain come down over the fields beyond our windows. This year, after an initial couple of days of rain, it’s again gone dry in Delhi – let’s see when it’ll rain again. Am missing it!


  12. Look at me – I forgot to congratulate you on your interview and to mention that this was such an unusual way of doing a post on rain.


        • It’s a technical term, Lalitha, not often used outside of certain communities. ‘Subject Matter Expert’. I used to work with NIIT as an instructional designer till a few years back; we used to design and create instructional courses for corporates – everything from Reuters to State Bank of India, Reliance, etc. For each course, we were assigned an SME from the client, somebody whom we’d turn to for every little clarification related to the subject.


  13. Lovely superb rain scene posts here, I just went down memory lane ! I too vividly remember a rain scene of film “Koshish”, where Asrani comes to steal in his sister’s (Jaya Bhaduri’s) house in the rain. Since both Jaya & Sanjeev Kumar are deaf & dumb,he succeeds in stealing their money, but leaves the door open where their kid crawls out, & dies in the rain !! Unforgettable rain scene for me atleast ! Another was in the old movie “Bhabhi ” where Balraj Sahni suffers a heart attack in the rain & his faithful dog accompanying him,rushes home with his stick & lantern … that is where his family comes to know that something terrible has taken place !!


    • Unfortunately, I’ve never got around to watching Koshish yet – somehow, the thought of it always distresses me a bit. But that scene sounds rather tragically beautiful. I have seen Bhabhi (hated it – just too melodramatic for my liking), and I remember the scene you mean.


  14. Let me not repeat what is already said on the beauty of the post idea, selection of scenes and very vivid narrative. Count my vote in.
    Every time we will see a film, we will now reminded to remember such – any type of scenes’ which have a distinctive pattern, used quite tellingly- scenes and make note of it. Well, one needs some support material to meaningfully ‘contribute’ to discussions on such a topic!
    I hope CBC interview can be uploaded on Net for listening to on the platforms other than CBC Radio.


  15. Just today I read a profile of people who create rain on sets in movies. They say at times they are kept so busy that they work all days of the month. Rain scenes are popular in movies and in TV serials as well. They charge by the tanker and the nozzle. If ‘heavy’ rain is required, two tankers are used.

    All the scenes you have described here are wonderful. This is such an unusual idea for a post, it succeeds totally.


    • That’s interesting, Ava! Was this article online? If so, could you share, please? Would love to read. (Incidentally, until I read an interview with Manoj Kumar, I hadn’t known how ‘snowflakes’ were created in Hindi films. He was talking about shooting for Hariyali aur Raasta, and mentioned a scene where he and Mala Sinha were supposed to be singing, with snow falling about. The ‘snow’ was actually soap flakes, and because Manoj Kumar was such a newbie, he didn’t realise he should keep his mouth shut most of the time. As a result, he ended up with a mouthful of soap and a co-star who was very derisive).


  16. First of all congratulations to you on your interview! I remember a scene which occurs after a song “Lag Ja Gale” from Woh Kaun Thi? it starts pouring and Anand(Manoj Kumar) tells Sandhya(Sadhana) that let’s go;but she insists that she wants to enjoy the rain and he says that he wants to enjoy her company as long as possible,meanwhile a cobweb falls down(Raj Khosla’s imagery). It was such a romantic and beautiful scene..


  17. Ooh! Interesting post– I really liked the way you wrote about these scenes. The Guide one is one of my personal favs. I didn’t really like Amar- the rain scene was very powerful, though, and the movie had brilliant picturization. The movie itself rankled with me because of the way Sonia rightly hated Amar after the rain scene, but then took a 180 degree turn and started to love him, despite what he’d done to her. It’s a very realistic movie though, perhaps too realistic for my tastes (similar to Andaaz, which was also directed by Mehboob Khan). It’s horrible what’s happening in Uttarakhand right now- really shows two sides of rain.
    Congrats on the radio interview!!! You’ve been on BBC? That’s so cool!


    • Thank you! :-)

      Yes, the horrid way in which Sonia’s anger at Amar changes into love was impossible for me to swallow. That was one reason I didn’t like Amar. But I did think Madhubala’s performance in the film was excellent – it’s one of the few films where she actually got a good role where she was called upon to do more than just look beautiful.


  18. I know this is all about Bollywood rain scenes, but I was thinking of the scene in An Affair to Remember, with Cary Grant waiting at the top of the Empire State Building for Kerr in the rain.


    • Oh, yes. Hollywood has its fair share of ‘rain scenes’ that are quite memorable. I’d forgotten the one from An Affair To Remember, but that’s probably because I tend to blank that film out. If I remember correctly, even Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a memorable scene in the rain – the last one.


  19. Ooh, this is a great post! :D My kind of favorite rain scenes are mostly songs, see? (I must admit, in the last half an hour or so of Guide all I really wanted was for Dev to get up and get a shaver. :P) But I think one of my favorite scenes in the rain was in C.I.D., when Dev climbs into the car and Shakila doesn’t really appreciate it and then they chase the criminals, well, you know the story. :D


    • Thank you, Sasha! How are you? Long time no see – have been missing you. :-(

      Hehe. I agree about wanting Dev Anand to get up and shave in those last scenes of Guide. The main reason being that his beard looks so patently false! :-D

      And I like that scene from CID too. Very sweet. :-)


      • I’m fine, but very busy! It’s National Novel Writing Month and I’ve been writing like crazy for the last few days. :D I’ve been missing you too. No one to make huge rants about Dev in my absence? :D How have you been?

        LOL! I’ll have to go back and see. I mean, I just want Dev to be all handsome and clean-shaven and being all well-dressed and everything. Y’know, if I had ended up watching the English version somehow, where the rains didn’t come, I would’ve probably have been depressed as anything.

        Oh, yeah, one of my favorite quotes! :D
        Dev: I’ve told you, I’m pursuing a murderer!
        Shakila: Shut up! You look more like a murderer!


        • “I’ve been writing like crazy for the last few days.

          Oh, WOW! So glad for you, and can’t wait to read when it’s finished. I hadn’t realised it was NaNoWriMo yet – someone I know on FB spends the rest of the year plotting thrillers, and writes them during NaNoWriMo.

          I’ve been fine. Hard at work, too, trying to get my fifth book completed. It’s taking the mickey out of me. :-D


  20. When I think of rain, the one scene that stands out for me is the opening scene from Dil Se… — one of the finest opening scenes in Hindi Cinema, in my humble opinion.

    It doesn’t rain during the scene but at the end. Amar is left holding two cups of garam chai as he watches the beautiful stranger board the train and go out of his life forever. The raindrops fall into the cups, and he pulls his jacket over his head to protect himself from the rain and says “Duniya ki sabse choti prem kahani”.

    Great direction, writing and acting!


    • Ow. Now I’ll have to admit that I haven’t watched Dil Se. Blame it on a long-ago colleague who told me the entire story, scene after scene, thinking she was giving me a good idea of how great a film it was. All it achieved was to make me steer clear of a film that seemed to be so eventually tragic, and so – well, odd. But that scene sounds fabulous. Maybe I should watch it.

      By the way, a couple of months back, I finally got around to watching a film you’d recommended: The Descent. Brilliant! It really shook me up.


  21. There’s this rain scene in College Girl, which I have now watched. :-)
    Can’t say whether it was memorable or not, but it’s there and perhaps marks an important development in the plot.

    The film was of course exactly as you had described. It had a good progressive theme,
    I was reading a review of the film Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani somewhere (was it Rangan? – Perhaps) where he talks about how in the modern times it’s not like ‘then’ when a failure in love was like ‘an end’ etc. Here the heroine moves on and involves herself in her education, also to become a doctor BTW, till the return of the hero.
    While watching, I thought, Ha. This film showed that years and years ago :-)


    • I know the scene you mean. Yes, a very apt one for this list! But it would’ve been quite a spoiler, so perhaps it was just as well that I forgot about it. (Though, now that I think of it, if I forgot about it, it wouldn’t have qualified for a ‘memorable’ scenes list anyway!) :-)

      You should’ve left that comment on the review of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, if there was scope to do that!


      • >it wouldn’t have qualified for a ‘memorable’ scenes list anyway!) :-)

        Yes, agree :-)

        >You should’ve left that comment on the review of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,
        Unfortunately then I hadn’t seen College girl, and now I think it’s too late. I don’t even remember where I’d read it :-/


  22. Neeru wrote to me saying you had a list of rain scenes as well, and I said, ‘Does she? I’m not surprised!’ So I came over to check this out and I discover that not only have I read this before, I’ve even commented on it! Thankfully, we only have four scenes that overlap. :)


    • To be honest, we’ve each written so many posts, it’s hardly surprising that one would – despite having commented on a post – have forgotten that it was written. I’ve done it frequently enough to you!


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