By Raza Elahi
After hot and humid summer when monsoon sets in, it brings back relief, joy and cheers around the corner. In India, everybody has his own style to enjoy the rainy season. Succulent jamuns, irresistible bhuttas, garma garam chai and pokaras are inseparable part of the monsoon and so is the romance with poetry during the season.
Whether it is Bangla lori Brishti pore tapur tupur; node elo baan,baaner jole bhaslo pukur, bhaslo golar dhaan or Hindi movie song Rim jhim ke tarane leke aayi barsaat, rain and poetry always move hand-in-hand.
Famous poet Mirza Ghalib often sought to give up drinks, but like an intelligent man he made exceptions when he said:
Ghalib chhuti sharab, par ab bhi kabhi kabhi
Peeta hoon roz-e-abr shab-e-mahtaab mein
(Ghalib, I gave up drink but even now sometimes I drink on a cloudy day and on moonlit night)
Another Urdu poet Faiz was not far behind when he said:
Aaye kuch abr, kuch sharaab aye
Uske baad aaye jo azaab aaye
(Let there be some clouds, and let wine come. After that let any disaster come).
Kalidas visualized monsoon clouds as messengers who carried affection and desire to and fro between separated lovers. And years later, Majrooh Sultanpuri described the same feeling of separated lovers when he penned lyrics for movie “Dharti Kahe Pukaar ke”:
Jaa re kare badra balam ke pass,
woh hain aise buddhu ke samjhe na payaas
Rain songs are always been there in Hindi cinema. While lyricist Yogesh wrote rim jhim gire sawaan for film “Manzil”, Jawed Akhtar penned rimjhim, rum-jhum, rum-jhum, Bheegi bheegi rut mein, tum-hum, hum tum … for “1942: A Love Story.”
There are quite a few directors in the Bollywood who have captured the mood of monsoon through beautiful lyrics and superb music. Songs like Barsaat main hum se mile tum; zindagi bhar nahin bhoolenge woh barsaat ki raat; Payaar hua iqrar hua and the title song of aaya sawan jhum ke are a few among others which signify monsoon as a season of celebration and joy.
However, for some rain is a time for remeberance and despair as far as this couplet of a poet is concerned:
Yun barastain hain tasauvvar pe purani yaadein
Jaise barsaat main rim jhim ka samna hota hai
(Old memories fall on the surface of my mind, like raindrops in monsoon)
But, the mood really becomes sombre if one hears Mohmmad Rafi’s
Sawaan ke mahine mein,
ek aag si seeney mein lagti hai to pee leta hoon,
do char ghari jee leta hoon.