Barsaat 1949

Indian films have an obsession for rain. There have been three Hindi movies with the name ‘Barsaat’, or the monsoon shower.

The first one was released in 1949, starring Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Nimmi, and produced by Raj Kapoor himself under his R K Films banner. It had many beautiful songs sung by Lata under Shankar Jaikishen’s music direction, that are indeed unforgettable.

The second ‘Barsaat’ was released in 1995. It had the debut performances of star children Bobby Deol and Twinkle Khanna. The storyline had no connection with the title of the film, except one scene in which the hero and heroine are lost in a dense forest and get drenched in a sudden shower. They find shelter in a blind man’s home in the forest but the thunder and lightning continue in the background for quite some time. While there was not much of rain in the movie, a cloud was constantly present symbolically, as the hero’s name was Badal.

The latest and third film of the same name was released in 2005, also with Bobby Deol as the hero, but with Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu as the leading ladies.

Then we have had the 1960 film ‘Barsaat ki Raat’ starring Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala, with its very popular song ‘Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat’. And there was another 1981 variant, ‘Barsaat ki Ek Raat’ with Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee Gulzar.

We have heard of artificial rain-making, in which clouds are induced to produce rain by seeding with fine particles. But in Hindi films rain can be produced even in the absence of clouds. A 1963 film with Biswajit and Asha Parekh in the lead roles was titled ‘Bin Badal Barsaat’.

There was one more film that was not named ‘Barsaat’, but for a change ‘Baarish’, just another name for rain. This 1957 film had Dev Anand as the hero and Nutan as his heroine.

The stories of most of these films had no literal connection with the meteorological term rainfall. But Barsaat need not always be a shower of rain. It could be a shower of love, a shower of emotions, a shower of success, or even a shower of films.