Filmy Weather (40): “Jalebi”, or Life is like Climate Change

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The Hindi movie, Jalebi, which was released quite recently, is the story of a writer Aisha Pradhan (Rhea Chakraborty), who is going from Mumbai to Delhi for the release of her first book. She takes an overnight train in which she shares her cabin with Anu (Digangna Suryavanshi) and her daughter. Anu turns out to be the wife of Aisha’s former lover and husband Dev (Varun Mitra). Later in the journey, Dev himself joins them. Their conversation is interspersed with many flashbacks including songs, and as the journey comes to an end, the viewer is able to place properly all the pieces of the story and bring it to a logical conclusion.

Jalebi is sweet, sad, subtle, soft, touching, restrained, and in spite of all that, it is convincing. It has some nice songs, and as a meteorologist, I liked one of them particularly. It is written by Rashmi Virag and sung by K.K. It says that life keeps changing all the time. What was there before, is not to be found now. And it uses the analogy of climate change to prove its point!   

Pehle ke jaisa kuch bhi nahi hai
Din raat aankhon mein ik nami hai

Pehle ke jaise mausam nahi hai
Baadal toh hai par baarish nahi hai

Kis modh pe aa gaye hum batao
Raahein toh hai humsafar hi nahi hai

Aao chale hum phir se wahan pe
Jahan pe kabhi khushbuon se mile the

Shayad wahin pe kahin kuch bacha ho
Jahan pe kabhi saath hum tum chale the

Jise kho diya hai, khatam ho gaya hai
Us pyar ko zindagi denge phir se

Filmy Weather (38): “What’s Up Lagna”, with a Monsoon Song

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While I am proud as an Indian citizen of the tremendous progress we have made from the “khat likh de sawariya ke naam babu” era to the present internet age, I am happy as a meteorologist that Indian films still follow that old practice of having at least one rain scene. The new Marathi movie, What’s Up Lagna, is no exception. It has that mandatory rain song Tu Jarashi showing Aakash (Vaibhav Tatwawaadi) and Ananya (Prarthana Behere) getting drenched on their honeymoon night. They invoke the monsoon, and lo and behold, the monsoon obliges, along with chilly winds, starry skies, soft shadows and moist soil. The singers are Hrishikesh Ranade and Nihira Joshi. Music is by Nilesh Moharir. Here are the lyrics composed by Ashwini Shende:

Man paavsali vaare Sparsh Olasar Maati
Mag Savalya Sukhachya An Ghatta Bilgun Yeti
Hi Raat Othatali Darvalate Chandane
Aahe Aturale Halave He Ek Maagane
Tu Jarashi.. Ye Uraashi..

Ya Savalya Nashechi Hava Gaar Oghalate
Lay Aaj Dehachi Alvaar Viraghalate
Tu Sodvun Jashi Tari Majhe Guntane
Aahe Aaturale Halave He Ek Maagane
Tu Jarashi.. Ye Uraashi..

Ya Pavasala Jara Mag Aarjave Karavi
Aapuli Tahaan Vedi Ardhi Ardhi Vhavi
Man Utu Jaate Aata Ase Tayche Saandane
Aahe Aaturale Halave He Ek Maagane
Tu Jarashi.. Ye Uraashi..

The movie has three more beautiful songs but the video promos are better than those actually picturised in the film.

An Article on “The Music of the Monsoon”

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An article by Prof R R Kelkar entitled “The Music of the Monsoon” has been published on 8 September 2017 in the IAPT-IISER journal Physics Education. Click on the link to read.


Filmy Weather (36): “Half Girlfriend”, with a Full Rain Song

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I saw Half Girlfriend not exactly first day first show, but almost. What I liked was that while the story was about the half things of life, the movie had a full rain song. That too at the very beginning. St Steven’s College (St Stephen’s College?) has just put up its admissions list on the notice boards. The moment Madhav Jha (Arjun Kapoor) and Riya Somani (Shraddha Kapoor) see their names, it starts raining. Shower se zyada, cloudburst se kam. And Ash King and Shashaa Tirupati sing to the accompaniment of thunder:

Yeh mausam ki baarish, Yeh baarish ka paani, Yeh paani ki boondein, Tujhe hi toh dhoondhe…

Yeh milne ki khwahish, Yeh khwahish puraani, Ho poori tujhi se, Meri yeh kahaani…

Hawaaon se tera pata poochta hoon, Ab toh aaja tu kahin se, Parindon ki tarah yeh dil hai safar mein…

Tu mila de zindagi se, Bas itni ilteja, Tu aake ik dafa, Jo dil ne na kahaa, Jaan le…

Intermittent showers continue through the movie but towards the climax, it graduates from rain to snow. As New York celebrates Christmas eve, it begins to snow. Snowflakes se zyada, snowstorm se kam. Arjun Kapoor runs, slips and recovers in the snow, as the movie ends half-heartedly.

Filmy Weather (31): Dilwale, Romance in the Rain

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There are many things that make Dilwale such a lovable film. Kajol’s eyebrows, Kriti’s chin, the colours of Gerua and the melody of Janam Janam, to mention a few. But the meteorologist in me spotted the rain and the umbrella.

Bollywood films have an unceasing obsession for rain and Dilwale is no exception. It has not one but two rain situations. In the first, Kali (Shah Rukh Khan) shuts the door on Meera (Kajol) but she does not leave. She continues to sit on the steps on the verandah waiting for him to come out. It grows dark and then it begins to rain. She refuses a friendly offer of refreshment but prefers to brave the rain. Until Kali relents and his hand holds out an umbrella over her.

Dilwale brings back memories of the classic scene from Shree 420 in which Raj Kapoor and Nargis sang a whole 3-minute song Pyaar hua ikraar hua standing under a small leaky umbrella. But there is a difference. In Dilwale the umbrella is large and strong, and it is soon dispensed with. The message perhaps is that it is love that matters and not the protection of the umbrella.    

The situation is repeated later in the film but with a role reversal. Meera’s car has broken down on a dark deserted road and she is clueless. Just then Kali’s car happens to pass by. He gets down and tries to fix the problem. But it starts raining heavily, and unpredictably as always. While doing the repair job, Kali gets soaked to the skin. Now it is Meera who holds out a large and strong umbrella for him. And again, it is dispensed with, and sent flying away with the wind. The situation quickly transforms into a fantasy song, Janam Janam, shot in black and white with streaks of blue and full of energy and rhythm, sung by Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra.       

When you are drenched in love, why would you need an umbrella?



Ek “Lehar” si utthi hai abhi

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If winter comes, can spring be far behind? If Helen comes and goes, can Lehar be far behind?

On 22 November 2013, as cyclone Helen made landfall on the Indian coast, another storm was seen brewing in the southeastern corner of the Bay of Bengal (Satellite image source: IMD web site) If this system develops into a full-fledged cyclone, it would be named “Lehar” as per the naming system in vogue. It could take a long time for Lehar to reach the Indian coast, if it does indeed. In the mean time, the name reminds me of an old ghazal written by Mohammed Abdul Quadeer and sung by Ghulam Ali in 1981. Singing in his inimitable style, Ghulam Ali had told us how life is made worth living by breezes of freshness in the midst of turbulent waves.

Dil mein ek lehar si utthi hai abhi
Koi taaza hawa chali hai abhi…

Waqt accha bhi aaye ga
Gham na kar zindagi pari hai abhi

(There’s a wave rising in my heart
There’s a fresh breeze blowing now…
But good times will return, so don’t be sad,
There’s a whole life to live even now…)

As we watch cyclones come and go, we may as well spend some time listening to Ghulam Ali at


Filmy Weather (23): Waiting for “Helen”



The severe cyclonic storm which is expected to hit India’s eastern coast on 22 November 2013, has been named Helen. So far, most Indians have associated this name with the famous dancer of Indian films, Helen. While waiting for the cyclone to make landfall, I remembered many of Helen’s popular and evergreen dance songs, which are all about waiting expectantly for someone. One of her dance songs even gives us tips about survival on earth. Here are a few songs picturized on Helen:

“Aaj ki raat koi aane ko hai…” (Film: Anamika, 1973, Asha Bhosle)

“Piya tu ab to aaja…” (Film: Caravan, 1971, Asha Bhosle)

“Koi aaya aane bhi de….” (Film: Kaala Sona, 1975, Asha Bhosle)

“Aa jane jaan…” (Film: Inteqam, 1969, Lata Mangeshkar)

“Is duniya mein jeena ho to sun lo meri baat…” (Film:Gumnaam, 1965, Lata Mangeshkar)

What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot, I say

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