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Rimjhim ke Taraane… The Breezy Rain Songs (By Our Readers)

August 21, 2016 | By

Torrential rains may be submerging the major metros of India as water-logging hogs the media headlines yet again with expected regularity this time of the year. But when it comes to Hindi film music you can safely leave all waterlogging woes aside and enjoy the rains for what they stand for in cinema – romance, music, fun and friendship.

Our readers (their names in maroon) list some of the evergreen rain songs of Hindi films in Part II of our series on Rimjhim ke Taraane… The Breezy Rain Songs that never cease to evoke a smile, a memory or simply uplift the heart, especially when you hear the raindrops starting to fall.

Rain Songs II

From Dum dum diga diga (Chhalia) to Paani paani re, khaare paani re (Maachis) – the breezy rain songs in Hindi film through the decades

Silhouette presents an eclectic list of memorable and melodious rain songs contributed by our readers!

Click here to enjoy Part I of our series on Rimjhim ke Taraane

Jhir jhir jhir jhir badarwa barse ho kaare

soye armaan jaage
kai toofan jaage
maane na man mora sajana bina

Rain song suggested by Sanjay Banerjee

Bimal Roy gave the comedian-actor Asit Sen his first break as director in Hindi films with Parivar in 1956. Starring Usha Kiron, Jayraj, Durga Khote, Sabita Chatterji, Ashim Kumar and a guest appearance by Kishore Kumar, Parivar was a mild and soft film on family unity where four brothers and their wives share the storyline.

The music by Salil Choudhury was marked by songs like, Jhir jhir jhir jhir badarwa barse ho kaare kaare (Lata/Hemant), Jaa tose nahin bolun kanhaiya, raah chalet pakdi mori bainyan (Lata/Manna) and Kishore Kumar’s Kuyen mein kood ke mar jana yaar tum shaadi mat karna. This is a sweet romantic number sung by a couple in love as they watch the rain and enjoy the cosy togetherness.

Jhir jhir jhir jhir badarwa barse ho kaare (Parivar, 1956) Salil Chowdhury / Shailendra / Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar

Ho umad ghumad ker

kare-kare badra ki chhayi-chhayi re ghata

Rain song suggested by Monica Kar

In the villages, mostly dependent on agriculture for sustenance, the coming of the rains is a necessity, a need of a different kind. Poets in HFM have dressed this ‘need’ in many flowery similes. Two beautiful songs that come to mind are listed here, while the third… well, the third was penned by Gulzar and, while the imagery is that of rain, there is no rain shown on screen! Technically, therefore, not a rain song. Interesting, nevertheless.

In the two songs written by Bharat Vyas and Javed Akhtar, a special mention needs to be made of the richness of words used – alliterations, onomatopoeia, similes abound! Whether it is the ‘khanan khanan khan khanjari’ or the ‘ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aaye badraa’, the words create a scene of the richness that rain brings in these rural lives. So different from the romance it increases in urban lives!

Vasant Desai’s ‘Umad ghumad kar aayi re ghataa’ in Do Aankhein Barah Haath looks at the rain as a new bride dancing her way to her beloved’s home – the parched earth – dressing up, feeling shy, and giving alms to the needy earth.

Barkhaa dulhaniya… saawan ka sandesa lekar nikli apne ghar se…
dekho barkha ki ankhiyan laajey…”

…rang-birangi jholi bhar ke dhanan-dhanan bhandaar re lutaati aayi…
lutaati aayi, dekho bhai barkha dulhaniya…

There may be no other song in HFM that uses this imagery with the detail that Bharat Vyas uses here!

The other two songs mentioned here are listed below (as per year of production): Ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aayi badra (Lagaan, 2001) by Javed Akhtar and Laaga re jal laaga (Paheli, 2005) by Gulzar.

Ho umad ghumad ker (Do Aaankhein Barah Hath, 1957) Vasant Desai / Bharat Vyas / Manna Dey

Kare kare badra jare jare badra

meri atariya na shor macha

Rain song suggested by Yamini Venkatesh

When a girl is just happily singing to herself, she speaks to what else but Nature. She admonishes the clouds for making a racket outside her window and waking her up from her dream world. An album full of great melodies, Bhabhi , the popular tearjerker family drama from AVM house was one of the highpoints of Chitragupt’s repertoire.

Kare kare badra jare jare badra (Bhabhi, 1957) – Chitragupt / Rajinder Krishen / Lata Mangeshkar

Barso re haaye

bairi badarwa barso re

Rain song suggested by Dr. K K Goel

A plaintive cry to invoke the clouds to pour and douse the raging fire. Phagun had beautiful songs and this symbolises how critical it was to invoke the rain gods to bring succour, solace, prosperity and rejuvenate life.

Barso re (Phagun, 1958) – O P Nayyar / Qamar Jalalabadi / Asha Bhonsle and Mohd Rafi

Mehaa aao re

ghir ghir ke chhayo re
jal rahi dharti jal barsaao re

Rain song suggested by Dr. K K Goel

A desperate invocation to the rain gods to save a life which is on the edge. The legend goes that Deepak Raga was one of the most difficult ragas to sing. Besides, so much heat would be caused by a perfect rendering of this raga that not only would lamps alight, but the singer’s body too would burn to ashes. When Akbar asked Tansen to sing Deepak Raga, Tansen knew it can set the singer himself on fire. He also knew that if Megh Malhar Raga, which brings the rain, could be sung at the same time, he would be saved from the fury of fire. Rupa, a devoted disciple of Haridas, was trained to sing with him, with the permission of the Guru. (source:

In the film Sangeet Samrat Tansen, as Tansen begins to sing Deepak jalao jyoti jagao man me andhera hai (Mohd Rafi), the surrounding air gets warmer and warmer and his body becomes hot and feverish. Panic stricken, his childhood mate Hansa, also a student of Guru Haridas starts the opening sargam of Megha Malhar nervously. Guru Haridas’ blessings helps her gain strength and she picks up the vigour of the raga, singing with her heart and soul. Well, the rain gods have no option but to rush to the rescue of Tansen.

Mehaa aao re (Sangeet Samrat Tansen, 1958) – SN Tripathi / Shailendra / Lata Mangeshkar

Garjat barsat sawan aayo re

laayo na sang mein hamre bichhde balamwa
sakhi ka karoon haaye

Rain song suggested by Jyoti Sharma

Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot sing this semi-classical delight composed by Roshan for a film that has the rains in its title itself – Barsat ki Raat and is choc-a-bloc with everlasting melodies. Interestingly, the opening tune of this song was picked by All India Radio as its opening signature tune for Vividh Bharti.

Bharat Bhushan, the hero, produced this film, directed by highly talented Pyare Laal Santoshi (father of Raj Kumar Santoshi), the film starred Madhubala in lead, with Shyama and Chandrashekhar. How a film could just be woven around the songs with a working screenplay was evident in this film.

Garjat barsat sawan aayo re (Barsat Ki Raat, 1960) Roshan / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Suman Kalyanpur and Kamal Barot

Dum dum diga diga mausam bheega bheega

bin piye main to gira, main to gira, main to gira
haaye Allah, surat aapki subhanallah

Rain song suggested by Kailash Mundra

What happens when its suddenly starts to pour cats and dogs? Well, you run for cover, try to huddle under any available umbrella or paddle your cycle so quickly to rush home that you skid and fall in the slush… Dum dum diga diga is a fun rain song that captures many such moments – a hen scampers to escape the rain, a street dancer breaks into a jig accompanied by her companion who has a rather wet harmonium hanging from his neck, a traffic policeman tries to manage the traffic with an umbrella strapped to his shoulder. Go ahead… enjoy the rain in your own way or sing your heart out like Raj Kapoor!

Dum dum diga diga mausam bheega bheega (Chhalia, 1960) – Kalyanji Anandji / Qamar Jalalabadi / Mukesh

Ghar aaja ghir aaye badra sanwariya

Mora jiya dhak-dhak re chamke bijuriya

Rain song suggested by Jyoti Sharma

RD Burman’s spectacular debut in black & white super hit comedy drama Hindi film ‘Chhote Nawab’ (1961) starring Mehmood, Ammeta, Helen, Johnny Walker was marked by an amazing mix of melodies from rock-n-roll to romantic numbers to semi-classical delights. Ghar aaja ghir aaye sung by Lata Mangeshkar is a cult classic that reflected the latent talent of RD Burman in all genres of music. The song is picturised on a courtesan who sings as the lightning flashes outside while a teary-eyed Amita waits for her saanwariya to return home.

Ghar aaja ghir aaye (Chhote Nawab, 1961) RD Burman / Shailendra / Lata Mangeshkar

Ek but banaunga tera aur pooja karunga

arre mar jaunga pyar agar main dooja karunga

Sadhna in ek but banaunga (Asli Naqli)

Sadhna in ek but banaunga (Asli Naqli)

Rain song suggested by Kailash Mundra

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Asli Naqli in 1962 was a powerful comment on the class distinctions in society, driven by money power. Sadhna played the simple middle class woman role opposite super star Dev Anand playing a lonely millionaire who finds love and brotherhood amid simple workers and their families. The film had hit music by Shankar Jaikishan and all the songs are still remembered.

Ek but banaunga tera aur pooja karunga (Asli Naqli, 1962) – Shankar Jaikishan / Shailendra / Mohd Rafi

Dil tera deewana hai sanam

jaante ho tum kuch na kahenge hum
mohabbat ki kasam

Rain song suggested by Kailash Mundra and Dr. Pisharoty Chandran

Dil tera deewana hai sanam (Dil Tera Deewana, 1962) – Shankar Jaikishan / Shailendra / Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar

Jhir jhir barse sawani ankhiyan

saanwariya ghar aa
tere sang sab rang basanti
tujh bin suna sab sukha

Sumita Sanyal in Jhir jhir barse (Ashirwad)

Sumita Sanyal in Jhir jhir barse (Ashirwad)

Rain song suggested by Dr. Pisharoty Chandran

The touching tale of a benevolent zamindar and a loving father who is forced to stay away from the apple of his eye, his little daughter, Ashirwad makes all fathers and daughters get a lump in their throat. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Ashirwaad (1968), written specifically with Ashok Kumar in mind tapped the full range of his acting and singing talents. Ashok Kumar showed that he had lost none of his famed lilt when he sang “Rail gaadi, rail gaadi” and “Naani ki nao chali” in Ashirwad and not surprisingly picked up the Filmfare award for best actor for the film.

This beautiful rain song is picturised on Sumita Sanyal, the daughter who is now grown up and a singer in her own right. She puts on her own record on the turntable and sings along merrily, waiting for her beau in the rain-drenched evening.

Jhir jhir barse sawani ankhiyan (Ashirwad, 1968) – Vasant Desai / Gulzar / Lata Mangeshkar

Kabhi Kabhi aisa bhi to hota hai zindagi mein

raah me chalte chalte raahi kho gaye bekhudi mein

Rain song suggested by Srinivasan Channiga

Kabhi Kabhi aisa bhi to hota hai zindagi mein (Waris, 1969) – RD Burman / Rajinder Krishen / Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi

Paani re paani tera rang kaisa

jis mein mila do lage us jaisa

Rain song suggested by Vishesh Parekh

Jaya Bhaduri in Shor

Jaya Bhaduri in Shor

“I believe that India being historically an agricultural nation, rains are crucial to our happiness (no rains, no fasal, no money) and hence rain songs play straight to our genes! I would just add to this list “Paani re paani tera rang kaisa…,” says Vishesh.

Manoj Kumar’s Shor looked at the struggles and travails of the industrial worker in the context of a father’s desperate efforts to help his son get back his voice, which the boy had lost due to the trauma of seeing his mother die in a train accident. Paani re paani tera rang kaisa celebrates the pure joy of getting drenched in the rain even when you are struggling to get two square meals a day.

The chawl dwellers dance in the rain while a distressed mother tries to make her child sleep as the roof of her hut starts to leak – kahin pe dekho chhat tapakati jeena hua haram. The joyful rain can mean misery for the homeless.

Paani re paani tera rang kaisa (Shor, 1972) – Laxmikant Pyarelal / Indrajeet Singh Tulsi / Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar 

Barkha rani jara jam ke barso

Mera dilbar jaa na paaye
Jhoom kar barso

Rain song suggested by Sudarshan Talwar

“When two lovers request rain to be in two different moods, the male version sung by Mukesh asks the rain to be active in Barkha rani jara jam ke barso and the female version sung by Suman Kalyanpur requests the rain to stop as she wants to meet her beloved,” says Sudarshan Talwar.

Barkha rani jara jam ke barso (Sabak, 1973) – Usha Khanna / Sawan Kumar / Mukesh

Abke sawan me ji dare

rimjhim tan pe pani gire
mann me lage aag si

Rain song suggested by Srinivasan Channiga

Abke sawan me ji dare (Jaise Ko Taisa, 1973) – RD Burman / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar

Abke na saawan barse

Abke baras to barsengi ankhiyaan

Rain song suggested by Vandana Bhardwaj

“Gulzar, my favourite lyricist, poet, director, screenplay writer,” says Vandana.

abke na saawan barse

Memories of getting soaked in the rain

Hema Malini came up with a sterling performance in Kinara. It was a story based on a dancer’s character and she was at home with it. Jeetendra, in all three films he did with GulzarParichay, Khushboo and Kinara gave some of his career’s best performances. The Kinara LP record came with a commentary by Gulzar running all through and it added ‘chaar chaand’ to the music track.

There was all sorts of experimentation in the music in this film. Abke na saawan barse is a song full of memories that come back to haunt Hema Malini – of times spent together, of getting soaked in the rain

Abke na saawan barse (Kinara, 1977) – RD Burman / Gulzar / Lata Mangeshkar 

Sona kare jhilmil jhilmil

Roopa hanse kaise khil khil
aha ha…vrishti pade tapur tupur
tip tip tapur tupur

Rain song suggested by Deepa Buty, founder of

A cute and innocent song of two teenagers enjoying the rain in the family drama Paheli, from Rajshri Productions.

Sona kare jhilmil jhilmil (Paheli, 1977) – Ravindra Jain / Ravindra Jain / Hemlata and Suresh Wadkar

Ghir aayi kaari ghata matwari

Sawan ki aai bahar re

Rain song suggested by Samina De

Shyam Benegal’s Junoon, a period film based in the backdrop of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 had some beautiful songs composed by Vanraj Bhatia and written by Yogesh Praveen. The vivacious Nafisa Ali, the elegant Jennifer Kendal and the ladies of Shashi Kapoor’s house enjoy the onset of the monsoons with a lovely melody.

Ghir aayi kaari ghata matwari (Junoon, 1978) – Vanraj Bhatia / Yogesh Praveen / Asha Bhosle and Varsha Bhosle

Main to kaare badarwa se haari

garje to raat jagaye
barse to aag lagaye

Rain song suggested by Deepa Buty

RD Burman’s music and Gulzar’s lyrics with Lata Mangeshkar’s voice – need we say more? Devata may not have been a box-office scorcher but this song with an offbeat pair of Shabana Azmi and Benjamin Gilani captures romance in the rain.

Main to kaare badarwa se haari (Devata, 1978) R D Burman / Gulzar / Lata Mangeshkar

Saawan ke jhoole pade

tum chale aao

Raakhee and Amitabh Bachchan in saawan ke jhoole pade (Jurmana)

Raakhee and Amitabh Bachchan in saawan ke jhoole pade (Jurmana)

Rain song suggested by Dr. Pisharoty Chandran

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s love triangle Jurmana (1979) had a star cast he repeated three years later in Bemisal (1982) – Raakhee, Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Mehra. Both films had his typical stamp of great music and wonderfully shot song picturisation. The music team was also the same – RD Burman and Anand Bakshi.

This song by Lata Mangeshkar, used twice in the film, went on to become a super-hit and is remembered whenever one thinks of the onset of the monsoons or saawan.

Saawan ke jhoole pade (Jurmana, 1979) – RD Burman / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar

Phir se aaieyo badra bidesi

tere phankhon pe moti jadungi

Rain song suggested by Sundeep Pahwa

Says Sundeep Pahwa, “Phir se Aaiyeo Badra Bidesi / tere pankho pe moti jadoongi
Bharke Jaiyeo hamari talaiya / main talaiya ke kinare milungee
Tujhe mere Kale Kamlee wale ke saun

“Gulzar sahib wrote these words picturising the song on Shabana Azmi in Namkeen.She played a mute girl living in a village. The song recalls the rains filling up the ponds around her. A senstive and certainly not a sad song but one that gives hope. Pancham composed it brilliantly,” says Sundeep Pahwa.

Directed by Gulzar, Namkeen – was a story of four female characters and their helplessness. The film was well imagined and structured but had an open ending.  Much like the Kinara record, the LP record for Namkeen also came with Gulzar’s interspersed commentary and made it an interesting listening experience. The songs are of superior quality and made much ahead of their time.

A gem of a song Asha Bhosle’s Phir se aiyo badra bidesi, tere phankhon pe moti jadungi, with all ingredients of Gulzar imagery and masterfully tuned by RD. The avrodhi-swar touch here is provided by, tujhe mere kaali kamli wale ki saun. Enjoy:

Phir se aiyo badra bidesi (Namkeen, 1982) – RD Burman / Gulzar / Asha Bhosle

Rimjhim, rimjhim, rumjhum, rumjhum

Bheegi bheegi rut mein tum hum hum tum
Chalte hain chalte hain

Rain song suggested by Anu Krishnan

“A favourite of mine, Rimjhim, rimjhim, rumjhum, rumjhum from 1942- A Love Story, Javed/Pancham da combo!! Mindblowing!” says Anu.

RD Burman signed off with a flourish with the beautifully composed melodies of his swan song 1942 A Love Story, proving his genius yet again. The film was a period story that captured how romance used to be tender and delicate in those days, with soft focus photography.

The lyrics by Javed Akhtar were honest and innocent, the music gentle. RD Burman drew from his Bengali music roots and Rabindra Sangeet to compose an amazing compilation. Not surprisingly, the album went on to become an all-time hit!

Rimjhim, rimjhim, rumjhum, rumjhum (1942 A Love Story, 1994) – RD Burman / Javed Akhtar / Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy. 

Paani Paani re

Nainon mein bhar jaa
Neendein khaali kar jaa

Rain song suggested by Naveen Anand

ये रुदाली जैसी रातें जगरातों में बिता देना
मेरी आँखों में जो बोले मीठे पाखी तो उड़ा लेना
बर्फ़ों में लगे मौसम पिघले
मौसम हरे कर जा
नींदें खाली कर जा

Paani paani re from the film Maachis. Gulzar at his finest. Tabu looks ethereal. A real treat…” says Naveen Anand, of the Ibaadat Foundation, a trust dedicated to bringing alive poetry.

A song soaked in melancholia floats gently in amid the snow covered pines and peaks, the sounds creating ripples in in the chilly breeze of the wilderness and the rain bounces off the wooden roof in perfect rhythm. The words rue a lost world, a home, a village, a life…

Paani paani re (Maachis, 1996) Vishal Bhardwaj / Gulzar / Lata Mangeshkar

Ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aayi badra

ghan ghana ghor kaare chhaaye badara

Rain song suggested by Monica Kar

Javed Akhtar teams up with A R Rahman in Lagaan to celebrate the Coming of the Rains! For the advent of this ‘amrit jal‘ to a thirsting land essentially means ‘ras agar barsega, kaun phir tarsega…ujaale muskura denge andheron par…aai hai rut matavaali bichhaane hariyaali…‘.

Here, the earth is the bride, waiting for the adornment the rains will bring, to complete the ‘shringaar’. ‘ye bijuri ki paayal, ye baadal kaa aanchal,
sajaane laai hai dharati ki dulhan ko….
Daali-daali pehanegi phulon ka kangan…”

Ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aayi badra (Lagaan, 2001) A R Rahman / Javed Akhtar / Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan

Laaga re jal laaga

jami ki god bhari re lage hari

Rain song suggested by Monica Kar

The third song that comes to mind is written by Gulzar, and not, as I first thought, a rain song. It’s actually a song celebrating the birth of a child and the simile the poet uses is that of rain filling up dry wells, akin to this little life being birthed in the womb, to later “fill” the lives of the parents-to-be.

The words Gulzar uses, and M M Kreem puts to tune? “Laaga re jal laaga, barsaa re jal barsaa…” this, without a single drop of rain being shown! Only Gulzar!

Laaga re jal laaga (Paheli, 2005) M M Kreem / Gulzar / Shruti Sadolikar, Sonu Nigam, M M Kreem

More to read in Music

‘She is Capable of Delivering Anything a Music Maker Can Think Of’ – Salil Chowdhury Speaks About Lata Mangeshkar

Tere Mere Sapne Ab Ek Rang Hain – Eternal Melodies of SD Burman-Rafi

‘Rehearsals were Never Easy, Music Sittings were Always Fun’ – Remembering Madan Mohan

‘In Aradhana, Sachin Karta Gave Me My Life’s Biggest Hit’: In Conversation with Shakti Samanta

Fifty Years Ago: Films and Music of 1965

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Editor in Chief, Learning and Creativity; Consulting Editor, Silhouette Magazine. A former business journalist, Antara writes extensively on the changing trends of music, direction and filmmaking in cinema. Her articles aim to provide well-researched information on the legends of cinema for the movie and music enthusiast. She is also the Founder-Editor of Blue Pencil, a New Delhi-based publishing house. She edited and published Incomparable Sachin Dev Burman, the biography of SD Burman written by HQ Chowdhury. She has co-authored a chapter on Hemant Kumar's Bengali music in the acclaimed book The Unforgettable Music of Hemant Kumar, written by Manek Premchand. Her articles have also been published in and Antara is Editor-Creative Director of Wisitech InfoSolutions Pvt. Ltd.
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