Sawan ki Ghata Poster

Many Hindi films have been named after some aspect of the weather, even when the story has had little to do with it. One such film is ‘Sawan ki Ghata’, meaning the monsoon cloud, produced and directed by Shakti Samanta and released in 1966.

The story of ‘Sawan ki Ghata’ is based upon the proverbial love triangle, formed by Gopal (Manoj Kumar), Seema (Sharmila Tagore) and Saloni (Mumtaz), with Kailash (Pran) as the villain. While the film itself had little that could be called truly extraordinary, its songs sung by Asha Bhosle, Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor under the music direction of O. P. Nayyar, have remained unforgettable. ‘Meri jaan tumpe sadke’ sung by Mahendra Kapoor for Manoj Kumar and then by Asha Bhosle for Sharmila Tagore, are two intensely romantic songs. ‘Zara haule haule chalo mere sajna’ and ‘Aaj koi pyar se dil ki baatein kaha gaya’ are two other playful, melodious numbers sung by Asha Bhosle.

‘Sawan ki Ghata’ is set in some place in a hilly terrain which has lush green tea plantations, and also a lake, a waterfall and a fast-flowing river. The film begins with the titles written across colourful paintings of clouds, the colours as varied as orange, pink, blue, green and dark grey. The film also ends on a similar vivid rendering of the clouds. In between, shots of thunder, lightning and rain are repeated at appropriate times. Quite a lot of the shooting has been done outdoors in natural surroundings and most of the time, white fair weather cumulus clouds are seen prominently against the backdrop of a bright blue sky. Occasionally one sees sights of thin cirrus clouds or rising cumulonimbus clouds.

The story as such has no connection to its title. However, one of the songs has this to say: ‘Zulfon ko hatale chehere se, thoda sa ujala hone de, sooraj ko zara sharaminda kar, …ho jo mausam ko pata, yeh teri zulf hai kya, choom le maang teri, jhuke sawan ki ghata…’.

The Mahendra Kapoor song ‘Meri jaan tum pe sadke ahsaan itnaa kar do’ also has this yearning for the monsoon rains: ‘Ye tumhaari zulf jisko mili shokhiyaan ghataa ki, inhin baadlon ke neeche meri har nazar hai pyaasi, meri pyaas tum bujhaa ke ehsaan itnaa kar do. meri zindagi mein apni, chaahat kaa rang bhar do.’ As soon as this song ends, there is a cloudburst accompanied by thunder and lightning that forces the hero and heroine to take shelter in a temple. The parallel number sung by Asha Bhosle again uses the language of the weather: ‘Main hava ka rukh badal doon agar pyaar mile tumhara’. Indeed the power of love can make the wind change its direction! The song ‘Zara haule haule chalo’ describes the ‘bheegi bheegi rut’ but it is nowhere to be seen.

Hear these songs: they have not yet lost their charm!

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