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Hindi Movies, Ideas and Rain

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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In the English film GLADIATOR the hero says that Rome is idea i.e. it is not a city but it is an idea that triggers the thought process to innovate. Were this to be transposed the development of the Hindi cinema it can be said that Mumbai aka Bombay is also an idea that gives a new meaning and idiom to entertainment. One idea, which continues to find manifestation regularly, and which registers immediately to the mind is that associated with rains. Where the film industry not have shifted from Kolkata to Mumbai, the enduring image of romance, from SHREE 420, ‘Pyaar hua ikrar hua’ is still the most romantic image that gets immediately registered into the mind when romance in rain is talked about. In fact it was this iconic image that gave Raj Kapoor the iconic image of being the king of romance.

The promenade of Marine Drive with the rains cascading and kissing the contours of the landscape kindle the passion which no other city has been able to create as the rain the way it falls in Mumbai ignites the passion of romance which no other city can replicate even though there are so many cities which give diversified topography in rains. That is precisely the reason most of the rain songs have been shot in Mumbai. The daytime rain shot of Marine Drive in KAALA BAZAAR with the song playing from the background, ‘Rim Jhim Ke taraane leke Aai Barsaat...’ is one of the most evocative images associated with rain. Surprisingly enough, while Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand had number of songs associated with rain, Dilip Kumar did not have the songs associated with rain in the same proportion.

HANSTE ZAKHM's song, ‘Tum jo Mil Gaye ho’, is another extreme of rains in Mumbai, as it is Mumbai in rain by the night and the same passion for Mumbai's rain could not be emulated again as Chetan Anand did it in HANSTE ZAKHM. Every songwriter worth his name has given a shot to writing one song that is his tribute to rains of Mumbai. It is altogether a different matter that most of these songs are shot in the studio but the way they are mixed with the outdoor shoot of rains, it really creates an ambience unparalleled. Rain was always used as an opportunity to display skin and Raj Kapoor did this with great finesse, be it in AWAARA or MERA NAAM JOKER or AAH. Incidentally in the films that he made in the later stage rains stopped playing a role of igniting the sentiments of passion, and could that be the reason why the films of Raj Kapoor of later stages did not have that amount of passion.

Mumbai as a city is famous for its landscapes being dotted with car repair shops, and the juxtaposition of a car repair shop with rain is still unparalleled as it happened in the CHALTI KA NAAM GADI's song ‘Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagi si’. Madhubala never looked as ethereal as she did in that song, the passion and romance seems to flow out of every frame of this song.

The era of mysterious films that dominated the Hindi cinema during the Black & White era, owe their success majorly to the rains be it in WOH KAUN THI or BEES SAAL BAAD. Rain was also used as a prop for triggering of violence and the unsurpassed example has been that as Rahul Rawail did it in ARJUN. The symbol of rain, umbrella as it has been used in this film either in the long shots or in the close ups has not been used again with same effectiveness as Rahul Rawail could do it in ARJUN.

It would probably only be in the Hindi films that Hindi equivalent of rain, BARSAAT has been used as a name for so many films; BARSAAT, BARSAAT again, BARSAAT KI EK RAAT, BARSAAT KI RAAT.

The writers have been portraying rain regularly owing probably to mitigate the melancholy that they experienced during the earlier times when they were trying to create a foothold for themselves. When the expressions of melancholy became hit with the public, it continues to have encore generation after generations. Rains and passion as they are being expressed in Mumbai generation after generation still are on an endless quest, as every creative person associated with the business of entertainment has his own interpretation of rain as it happens in Mumbai.

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