The Rains Have Stopped Being Romantic
Ali Peter John
I still remember the sounds of the pouring rains. I still remember the way the roof of our house was blown off after every heavy downpour and how my mother used to run after the dry leaves and the bamboo sticks that formed our roof to put them in order again and how the rain used to be nasty and sometimes mischievous with her efforts when as soon as she had put our roof together, it had started raining more heavily and we had to spend the night under a leaking roof till the son decided to be kind again. I remember the sound of thunder which gave my young mind the feeling at the world around me was crashing down. I remember the flashes of lightening which tried to play hide and seek with the world. I don’t feel the same feelings for the rains now. The rains today are more of a pain and a sign of the dark and deary times are living through or are being forced to live by the evil doings of men who are supposed to take charge and care for the world. These days, it is a pain if it rains and it is also a pain if it doesn’t rain. Ask the farmers who crave and cry for the rain to come and they will tell you how important it is for the rains to pour because if it doesn’t man will find it difficult to live….
It is at these times that I also remember the sounds of all the songs sung in our Hindi films and the most romantic poets going crazy about love and how love inspires lovers and makes life more loving and lively.
I have never claimed to be an authority on any subject dealing with films and I am very hurt and shocked when some of my well-wishers expect me to know everything and be a know-all according to me, there is only one authority, especially on film songs and film music and his name is Manohar Mohabbat Iyer, but he is sometimes so busy promoting vintage music and having his own new show, ‘Manohar Monologue’ in which he goes down memory lane through a blend of his commentary, the subject of his monologues and the music whose knowledge I don’t think anyone has and even if there are some who claim to know, they know very little with some of them even following him and being his disciples once, or know nothing about Hindi film music.
I was aware of the monsoon songs written by poets like Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Gulzar among others. But I always had this feeling that if there was one lyricist who has written the maximum number of songs on the glory of the monsoons, the beauty of the monsoons and the help his poetry gives to the monsoon to maintain their glory at all times and under all circumstances, it is the poet of the people, Anand Bakshi who never considered himself a poet, but yet wrote the kind of poetry that could put all the poets, shaayaars and ghazal writers into some unknown corner.
On one Monday morning when the monsoons in Mumbai were in a mood to celebrate, I called Manohar Mohabbat Iyer and asked him for some monsoonish songs written by Anand Bakshi and the man who is a mad fan of Bakshi and who hopes to build a temple in honour of the poet of the people rattled off the first lines of some of the most memorable monsoon songs written by Bakshi. Every line he spoke brought back memories of some great songs in the rain, especially the rain songs picturised on the various heroes and heroines….
I only give you the first lines of the song and give me the freedom to sing and dance in the rain.
I will not go any further but give you the lines Manohar gave me which were written by Anand Bakshi who with his words could even add magic to the mesmerizing power of the rain.
And so here goes Bakshi Sahab–‘Sawan ka mahina’,‘Aaya sawan jhoom ke’,‘Rimjhim ke geet sawan gaaye’,‘Ab ke sawan mein jee dare’,
‘Sawan ke jhoole pade’,‘Bheegi bheegi raaton mein’.
Soe of his songs have a fleeting reference to the rains and among them are–‘Chhup gaye saare’,‘Rama Rama ghazab hui gawaa re’,‘Gore rang pe na itna gumaan kar’.
If just thinking or remembering these lines in the rains can take you into another world, or if they don’t, I think you must live on some other planet and experience the rains there. I am not sure if those planets will have there season of rains or not, so make the best of the rains here and make the rains more glorious and love-laden by listening to the monsoonish lines written by my friend who I will never have again, but whose words and feelings will live with me for all the monsoons in my life to come.
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