Mother India and Lagaan are two Hindi films that have carved out a permanent place for themselves in the history of Indian cinema. There have been many Indian films with drought and famine as their central theme, and many others have addressed the issues of poverty and exploitation that go in parallel. But what sets Mother India and Lagaan apart is the way in which they have brought out the indomitable spirit of the Indian farmer whose hopes and dreams remain alive against an atmosphere that is out to defeat them. This is reflected in the roles played superbly by Nargis and Aamir Khan, and also in the films’ music and songs.

The Mother India song ‘Dukh bhare din beete re bhaiya, ab sukh aayo re, rang jeevan mein naya layo re..’, a Naushad classic based upon raga Malhar, is a song that exudes joy and happiness. But happy times do not come easily and hopes often get belied. In Lagaan the villagers of Champaner get a glimpse of the clouds on the horizon and begin dancing to the beat of the thunder, but only to see the clouds recede and fade away. In the song ‘Ghanan ghanan ghir ghir aaye badra..’, A. R. Rahman’s music and Javed Akhtar’s lyrics bring out the sheer dependence of life in rural India on the monsoon rains, the joy of expectation, the reality of disappointment and the zeal to win against all odds. Visit the blog for the lyrics of the Lagaan song and some select dialogues from the film.