When was the last time when rain was used as a backdrop for a romantic song in recent times? Suddenly one finds that the rains as the catalysis to burst into a fight, to do a jig for celebration of love does not find the necessary idiom in the oeuvre of the Hindi film makers. Probably it has to do with the fact that the sheer joy of soaking into the rain as it falls has not been experienced by the present generation or the fallouts of the rain are so much firmly etched in the memory that one does not use it on a regular basis.
The last time it was found as an accompanying idiom was in DHOOM-2, where Hrithik was playing basketball, or DON in which Shah Rukh Khan dances during the immersion of the Lord Ganesha idol. For a country where a whole classical raga, celebrating the spirit of monsoon, Megh Malhar, has been created, and where legends of performers like Miya Tansen having the prowess to invoke the rain gods is told with pride, it indeed is surprising that such a vital part of our life does not find reference in such prominence. The last film, in which rain was contextualized with finesse within the canvas of the city, was in LIFE IN A METRO. This film for the first time had juxtaposed the day-to-day existence of the life in Mumbai in the backdrop of the rains.
The icons of the Indian cinema like Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar could not live without rains in their films, and they used to use the magic of rains for display of skin. The suaveness, with which however they could use it, without it shaking hands with vulgarity, could have been the reason why even Hema Malini did a rain song in KRANTI and none of the female actors of Raj Kapoor never thought twice about being a part of rain sequence.
The magic associated with rain in the Hindi films was a gift that was given by Raj Kapoor to this industry; that reached its climax through SHREE 420 and it still is one of the most romantic songs ever picturised on the canvas of Hindi cinema. It then indeed is fortuitous that his grand daughter Kareena Kapoor broke into her own groove after the film CHAMELI that has rain as a predominant background in the motif, as also the title song as well.
The spunk and spontaneity that the sheets of water pouring from the sky produce is also reflected on the face of the performers as well. A Preity Zinta dropped all her inhibitions for the rain song in KOI MIL GAYA. Spooling backward, even a Smita Patil got her commercial moorings firmly entrenched after that lovely song from NAMAKHALAL, "Aaj Rapat Jayen".
Probably with the topography and the background of the filming shifting to the foreign locales, where rains do not fall in such magnitude as they do in India rain shots have also started having diminishing visibility. Once the films return back to shooting in Mumbai or in other parts of the country where rains fall in abundance, then as magic may regain its prominence in the Hindi cinema. Till that time, we would have to live in the nostalgia, associated with rains through the films of the yore.