Post-drenchings: Ten Songs

The monsoon has arrived here, in Delhi and around. We’d had a parched and hellish June, the heat seeming to grow more unbearable—and then, suddenly, one morning we woke to an overcast sky. Grey clouds looming, and soon, rain. Except in my childhood (when I remember going out in the rain to play, with the express purpose of getting thoroughly soaked), I’ve never really liked getting wet in the rain. Come the monsoon, I don’t venture out without an umbrella. In our car, we always have an umbrella or two to spare (our latest acquisition in that department is a golf umbrella, large enough to accommodate two adults). If I should by some chance get caught in the rain—a rare chance, indeed, given the precautions I take—I will bolt for the nearest shelter, even if it consists of six inches of overhang.

The last thing that occurs to me is to sing.

Not so in Hindi cinema, where getting wet (almost always in pouring, roaring thunderstorms that come out of a clear blue sky) is invariably a precursor to bursting into song. For various reasons.

Sometimes (Dhool ka Phool, Ek Phool do Maali) rain drenches two already-in-love people who’re singing a love song, sending their hormones zooming and leading to the inevitable Main tumhaare bachche ki maa bannewaali hoon dialogue (how come rain always comes upon filmi women when they’re at their most fertile? Is there a Hindi film heroine who didn’t get pregnant after a naughty rainy evening?)

More often, though, the two people concerned realize just how non-platonic their relationship might be if they hadn’t got drenched. That drenching, and the resultant having to get out of wet clothes and into a blanket (or borrowed clothes, or whatever) leads to more. More, best expressed in a song.

Here, then, are ten songs, all from pre-70s Hindi films that I’ve seen. As the name of the post itself should explain, all of these songs follow a scene where the hero and/or heroine has got soaked—whether in the rain or elsewhere. It’s not necessary that the hero or heroine themselves should be the ones doing the singing; if I were to impose that rule, I’d have to give up on what is probably the most iconic post-drenching song, which is…

1. Roop tera mastaana (Aradhana, 1969): Yes, this is the song that came first to my mind when I thought about songs that follow people getting wet. This is the classic post-drenching situation: the two young lovers, out laughing and romancing in the prettiness of Darjeeling, get caught in the rain and end up having to check into a guest house. Vandana (Sharmila Tagore), wraps herself demurely (and seductively, even if she’s not aware of it) in an orange sheet, and the result of that is plain to see in boyfriend Arun’s (Rajesh Khanna’s) eyes. They don’t sing; the man next door does, to the woman he’s with—but the chemistry in this room suddenly goes up several notches.

I like the music here, Kishore’s singing, and—most of all—the acting: there is a brilliant mix of hesitation and longing in both Sharmila’s and Rajesh Khanna’s faces and body language, which says much more than words could (though the lyrics are highly appropriate).

2. Ishaaron ishaaron mein dil lenewaale (Kashmir ki Kali, 1964): Sharmila Tagore again, but in a song that’s diametrically opposite to Roop tera mastaana. Teamed (in her debut Hindi film) with Shammi Kapoor, here she’s a sweetly innocent girl who is romanced in the mist by her lover—after both of them, having gotten wet in a storm (coming out of a blue sky, of course), take shelter in a village woman’s hut. The old lady, having lent them her son and daughter-in-law’s clothes, discreetly takes herself off, leaving the two to wander out into the pines and sing of love. All very chaste and very romantic.

3. Dil jo na keh saka (Bheegi Raat, 1965): A classic example of the sort of song I referred to in the introduction to this post. A couple get drenched, and (as in the case of Roop tera mastaana) the woman ends up much wetter than the man, and therefore obliged to change into something rather more revealing. Here, they take shelter in a cave temple (or a cave with carvings on its walls, at any rate) and the romantic-erotic sculptures help add their own heat (along with the fire) to the sizzle between the pair. (Okay, Pradeep Kumar does not strike me as sizzling, but still). Meena Kumari, in an interesting change from her usual more demure self, projects a relatively bold heroine, a woman who has none of the hesitation and shyness of Aradhana’s Vandana: she, in fact, is the one doing the seducing.

4. Rimjhim ke geet saawan gaaye (Anjaana, 1969): A similar situation as in the previous song. Two lovers get soaked and take shelter in an abandoned and rickety building. She (now this is getting predictable) is far wetter than he is, and therefore ends up having to wrap a sheet around her. I don’t like either Rajendra Kumar or Babita, and this song, at least as far as the picturization goes, leaves a lot to be wondered at. What are these two feeling for each other? Love? Lust? Not much seems to come through, and the chemistry is zero. But the song itself isn’t bad, and I like the fact that there’s more than one reference to the rain itself.

5. Aankhon-aankhon mein hum-tum (Mahal, 1969): Before I move on to rather more unusual situations and songs around this theme, one more song that involves lovers getting caught in thunderstorms and the woman getting wet enough to have to don blanket/sheet/other makeshift clothing. (Seriously. How come the men never seem to have the chivalry to take off their own coats/jackets and drape them over their beloveds? And even when they do, how come the woman still gets soaked through, while the man remains dry enough to not need to strip?)

Anyway, on to a song that I like a lot. The 1969 Mahal wasn’t anywhere as popular as the 1949 Mahal, and it had plot holes aplenty, along with a Dev Anand already past his prime. What it did have, though, was some lovely music. Aankhon-aankhon mein hum-tum is picturized mostly as the two lovers walk home from the place they’ve sheltered in (very chastely, lest one misunderstand) all night—but the song begins while they’re still there, waking up with the dawn and realizing that they’ve literally spent the night together. Melodious song, lovely lyrics, and there’s a charm to Dev Anand and Asha Parekh.

6. Ek ladki bheegi-bhaagi si (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): In a complete change from nearly all the other songs on this list, a funny song. Madhubala’s very wealthy young miss, her car having broken down and left her stranded in the pouring rain, manages to get to a garage, where the mechanic, played by Kishore Kumar, isn’t at all inclined to help. Cajoling and threatening and the offering of pots of money finally help break down his resistance, but even as he goes about repairing her car, he breaks into song—and teases her. A girl, wet and dripping, out in the rain. Meets a stranger: is this is a thing to gossip about, or not? A delightful song, both in its picturization and otherwise. I love the way everyday ‘music’—the hitting of a tool on a metal surface, for instance—is incorporated into the song.

7. Jaane na nazar pehchaane jigar (Aah, 1953): There are two things about this song that set it apart from the others in this list. Firstly, it’s an example of that very rare ‘post-drenching’ song in which the man too is so drenched that he is obliged to take off his clothes too (though, instead of wrapping himself artistically in a sheet like younger brother Shammi Kapoor in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, RK dries off by getting into an old oil drum and covering that with a blanket).

Secondly, the two people here haven’t got drenched in the rain: their wetness is a result of an unexpected swim in a river: Nargis’s somewhat scatterbrained heroine tried to cross it and floundered; RK’s hero, despite scoffing at her, let his better self prevail and went and saved her. And they end up in this derelict old house, trying to dry off. A sweet song, and a classic one.

8. Dekho mohe laaga solvaan saal (Solvaan Saal, 1958): Dev Anand (who was not usually one for going bare-chested in his films) seems to have more than his fair share of post-drenching songs. In the title song from Solvaan Saal, the song serves to cement the growing relationship between the heroine (duped by her boyfriend, who’s run off with her jewellery on the pretext of eloping with her) and the journalist who, in the hope of getting a good story out of this, has been trailing her all this while. When the girl, terrified of the consequences—the loss of face, the shame—tries to commit suicide by jumping into the sea, he rescues her. And, taking her to a nearby village, gives her a pep talk, promises to help, and generally gives her reason to fight back instead of buckling under.

They, just changed into dry clothes (but with their hair still damp) are interrupted by a sudden song-and-dance, and while Dev Anand joins Sheila Vaz in the singing and dancing, Waheeda Rehman looks demurely on.

9. Na jhatko zulf se paani (Shehnai, 1964): Biswajit has never been one of my favourites, and barring a couple of films (like Bees Saal Baad, Kohraa, or Biwi aur Makaan), he didn’t act in films that I particularly like. But one thing I like about Biswajit, and that is the number of great songs he lip-synced to: some of my favourite songs have been picturized on Biswajit.

Na jhatko zulf se paani is not one of my top favourites in the way Pukaarta chala hoon main or Beqaraar karke humein is, but it’s a great song nevertheless—and it fits in here perfectly. Rajshree, playing his beloved, comes hurrying into shelter when it starts raining. He, happily enough (though he was in the rain too), has not gotten drenched, so—in usual hero-style—does not offer her a shred of dry clothing, but instead sings her a song. A song, too, that even tries to persuade her not to dry her hair: the ‘pearls’ that drop from it will wreak havoc on her lover’s heart.

Somewhat uninspired picturization, but a lovely song, and Rafi at his best.

10.  Jigar mein dard kaisa (Apna Ghar Apni Kahaani, 1968): And, to end, a song that isn’t just a lovely one, but which also features my favourite drenching scene. Mumtaz and Sudhir made for an absolutely adorable couple in Apna Ghar Apni Kahaani (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve revisited the film only to watch their scenes together)—and they realize their love for each other because they get drenched in a storm.

These are childhood friends, and even when they meet as adults, the camaraderie of childhood remains the same, until they get caught in a downpour which gets them so wet that he takes off his shirt and she’s busy wringing out her sari… and suddenly they become conscious of each other. It’s an awkward little moment, but they gather themselves, rush off to their respective homes—and then cannot sleep. So he wanders out into the mist, singing a song, and she joins in. Lovely.

Which songs would you add to this list?

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54 thoughts on “Post-drenchings: Ten Songs

  1. Hi,

    I have no songs to add yet.

    However your post so,..so..so.., well so informative about the gender discrimination in getting drenched sequences of Hindi movies, that I cannot resist adding in a few crazy theories of my own.
    Perhaps the reason heroes do not get wet is that If they did and caught cold they would not be ale to sing praises of their lovely heroines.
    On the other hand it also means that our heroines are much tougher, they can sing beautiful songs even after the drenching and everything (like the Bheegi Raat & Mahal songs above).

    • Heh! I like your theories. ;-) Very plausible ones, too. Besides which, very few of the heroes back in the 50s and 60s had physiques that showed to advantage, so perhaps keeping their shirts on was all for the best!

  2. Some Pakistani numbers in Punjabi – referring to Saun da mahina – so the situation is more like when we went to drench in the rain as kids The song is so-so only…but reminds me of the joys od being allowed to go and play in the rain the first day of the monsoon

  3. 1 top of mind recall- ‘Pyar hua ikrar hua hai’ – Shree 420- two lovers in the rain under the umbrella :)
    Plenty of new rain-songs!
    You have compiled a cool list. Haven’t heard/seen the picturisation of some of them though.

  4. More of lovers getting drenched in rain… Kali Palak Teri Gori from Do Chor.. like the Aah song.. they have not drenched in the rain but a river swim escaping the police. What is nice about the song, other than the lovely song is the light-hearted flirtatious banter and not too much of a heavy tension, They are both comfortable in their bodies and with each other and this might be just that instance of Hindi films where rain-induced togetherness (which is strongly implied at the end of the song) does NOT result in ‘Main tumhaare bachche ki maa bannewaali hoon’ .. Much spunk our leading lady and man have and thats such a relief. Plus they do look goofily good together !

  5. Difficult — — — very difficult theme
    nd what made it so difficult is the word ” Post ”
    Madhu G , full marks for the theme.

    Ur selection of songs is gr8 ,
    What should I add ?!!!!!!!!
    Let me think .

    Hats off for the theme !!!

  6. Hello Madhuji,
    A cute and sweet post. The introduction part was very interesting and I couldn’t not control laughing or rather smiling at few of the remarks.
    A totally enjoyable post.
    Now, what to add?
    Indeed a difficult question!
    Let me think!

  7. What an interesting post! And for a change, I don’t have a list. Truth to tell, the theme didn’t even occur to me. (Though I wish it had.) Great post, great songs, Madhu.

    sending their hormones zooming
    Now, see, this is the part I’ve never understood! Apart from the fact that I used to love getting drenched in the rain when I was younger, the only thing that crossed my mind when I was getting out of my wet clothes is ‘Damn, these things are awfully hard to take off. When will I learn?!’

    Perhaps I’m not very romantic or passionate, but who the heck wants to writhe around on hay or a dirty floor or something while you’re wet? :(

    And three, how is it that all these deserted buildings always have stray blankets/ sheets/ whatever for these heroines to change into? (And why would they want to change into something like that anyway?) Except for Roop tera mastana , where they are at least shown to take shelter in a guest house.

    Re: pregnancy post-rain-drenched-coitus: In one of the old films I reviewed, the heroine didn’t get pregnant, but I can’t recall which one, now. However, Hum Tum had the leads giving into their ‘hormones’ and no baby on the horizon.

    • Also, with re: to my thought of how hard it is to get out of wet clothes… wouldn’t all your passion dissipate when you have to stumble through getting out of your tight kurtas or blouses or whatever? :)

    • LOL!! I am laughing at every single one of the points you make. You know, if I was dripping wet – and even in danger of catching a chill – I still wouldn’t put on God knows whose blankets/sheets/clothes whatever I found in a deserted house. All that dust and grime and who knows what other filth. Kashmir ki Kali is, along with Roop tera mastaana, an exception, since the house isn’t deserted, and the old woman presumably gives them clean clothes.

      Hmm… I don’t think I’ve watched Hum Tum. My mind’s becoming a sieve these days. Heera Panna also had them being pretty candid about getting into bed (not that there was rain – or at least I don’t remember), but no babies.

  8. ” Zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi wo barsat ki raat ”
    The whole song is a description of that particular rainy night , about a ” bheegi bhagi si ladki “.

    Can this song get at least passing
    marks ???!!!! 35 out of 100 ?!!!

    • Yes, that would fit. At just about the 35 out of 100 mark! :-D I had shortlisted it, but realized that it comes too long after the drenching to really fit with the rest of the songs on the list – but since it does come after the drenching, and since it has a bearing on the drenching, and since it’s such a good song…. yes.

  9. Would you consider this? Sawan barse tarse dil from Dahek? its post drenching and then re-drenching and more brief interlude post drenching and then re-drenching eventually.. :) Lovely song though !

    • Hmmm… I’m not sure, because of that mid-song drenching. But I love this song so much, I will happily accept it! :-D Saawan barse tarse dil was one of those few really nice songs in an era when nice songs were a rarity. Thank you so much for this.

  10. Madhu,
    Nice post. Among all the theories about getting drenched, and, thereafter, pregnant no one seems to have thought of a more obvious answer. Our film makers were probably aware of an ancient knowledge that getting drenched was a treatment for infertility. That word answer most of your doubts.
    AK

  11. Lovely post and what an interesting theme! The only song that I could think of (and hadn’t been mentioned already) was Yug Yug Se Yeh Geet Milan Ke from Milan (the 2nd version of the song, set in the ‘past life’). It’s quite different from the other songs on the list – less seductive, more chaste – but Sunil Dutt + Nutan look great together as always.

    • Thank you for suggesting that one! I’d completely forgotten Yug yug se yeh geet milan ke (in fact, forgotten it to such an extent that I had to go and have a look at it). The version I found didn’t have the drenching scene, but I’ll take your word for it.

      Glad you liked the post! Thank you. :-)

  12. Interesting theme, Madhu and a nice set of songs. I’m glad to see that someone else likes “aankhon aankhon mein” and “jigar mein dard kaisa” as much as I do.

    I don’t contest the iconic status of “roop tera mastana,” but to me, *the* post-drenching song is the Parakh masterpiece – O sajna barkha bahar aaye.

    O sajna barkha bahar aayee – Parakh/Salil Chowdhury/Lata Mangeshkar/Shalindra

    • I had completely forgotten that O sajna barkha bahaar aayi follows a drenching! :-( Thank you for that, Shalini.

      And yes, Aankhon aankhon mein is a lovely song, isn’t it? Sad that it gets overlooked so often.

      • Oh
        This aankhon aankhon Mein song made me think of another aankhon aankhon Mein by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar
        Is is post drenching song?
        Looks like one!
        The song has no rain in picturisation I guess
        Let me add the video

        • It’s been too long since I watched this film (at least 20 years, I think) for me to remember exactly what the situation was. But it certainly does look like it qualifies!

  13. Though this song does not have rainy lyrics, but picturized in full fledge rain drenching Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz completely.

    • But does Chhup gaye saare nazaare follow a drenching? That’s the point of this list: songs which come after people have been drenched, not while they’re being drenched.

  14. Well Aradhana again!! that movie just makes it to your pre requisite of pre 1970!! I read somewhere that the song was picturized in a single shoot, no breaks!! they used special concentric tracks or what ever they use to mount the camera on.

    Great song with my favorite actor, ever green hero Rajesh Khanna. Not sure if the song in his first movie Akari Khath, ‘aur kuch der teher, aur kuch der na jaa’ is sung after a rain!! that is a nice song too. All his movies had great songs.

    Girish Vaidya

    • “that movie just makes it to your pre requisite of pre 1970!!

      There are a few other movies that, though they were released in the first couple of years of the 70s, have enough of a flavour of the 60s that I make exceptions for them. Pakeezah for example, or Sharmeelee.

      I am very impressed that they shot that song in a single take. Wow!

  15. Jigar mein dard kaisa (Apna Ghar Apni Kahaani, 1968)-just exquisite. Hadn’t heard this before and can’t get it out my head now.
    This song is definitely not pre 1970 but remains a pe(rain)nial ;) favourite –
    Rimjhim Gire Sawan-Lata Mangeshkar version -https://youtu.be/cmD6GfZgKX8

    • Yes, Jigar mein dard kaisa is a lovely song. Another of my favourite songs is also from this film: Chaand bhi koi deewaana hai:

      Rimjhim gire saawan is a wonderful song, but it doesn’t fit this list – this list is of songs sung after the drenching, not during it.

  16. Loved the whole post! You come up with such categories!! And I reserve a special kind of respect for people who don’t like Rajendra Kumar or Biswajit or Babita. :-)

    • “And I reserve a special kind of respect for people who don’t like Rajendra Kumar or Biswajit or Babita. :-)

      Hehe. I have been lambasted rather rudely, though, by some diehard fans of Rajendra Kumar’s for daring to say that I cannot bear him. ;-)

    • Yes, I wondered… by the way, I took the liberty of inserting the names of the songs. That way, even if the embedded video disappears from Youtube (that happens all too frequently), at least readers know which song you mean.

    • I did think of that, but then realized that he hasn’t enough songs in pre-70s films for me to be able to compile a post of ten great songs from ten different films (especially as I don’t put two songs from the same film in one list). But maybe someday I will watch Nai Umar ki Nai Fasal just for Kaarvaan guzar gaya. What a wonderful song that is.

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