What are the songs that you recall in the months of Asharh and Sravana? There is that certain effect that the rains have on the mind, which is when you remember Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar singing aaha rimjhim ke ye pyare pyare geet liye / aayi raat suhani dekho preet liye. You can't deny that the passions of the heart get a trifle more fiery when it pours in the monsoon.
And that is a truth which Runa Laila gives you through her very soothing onek brishti jhore tumi ele. The waiting has been long, the yearning of the soul has been on a level of impatience. And now that the lover is finally here, the woman who holds the key to your heart will sing in quiet ecstasy. Amar du chokh bhore tumi ele … you fill her world. What more could you ask for?
If you go further back in time, there is Hemanta waiting for you with his inimitable ei meghla din-e ekla ghor-e thake na to mon. You have a sense the rains will come down soon. You would like your beloved to come to you, to be beside you. But you know she will not or cannot. And that is when you are drawn to the world outside your door, under that cloud-laden sky. So what do you do?
You go into a world of dreams. What if the song Noor Jehan and Munir Husain once sang could be sung by you and the woman you dream of holding in your arms even as the rains make music in the woods? That song is one you will not easily forget, for rimjhim rimjhim parhe phouar / tera mera nikta pyar speaks to you of love that does not die. It is again the rains which give a fresh spurt to your love, re-energises you as it were.
Or suppose the winds which accompany the rains were to have your doors flung open and into the room rushed your beloved? There is the perfect song for you to devote to her, Ahmed Rushdie's ae abr-e-karam aaj itna baras / itna baras ke wo jaa na sakey. Has it occurred to you, though, that as you imagine such a moment of high-powered romance the empress of the kingdom of your heart could be thinking of you, could indeed be humming emoni borosha chhilo shey din / shiyore prodeep chhilo moleen? There is nostalgia, in all its sweetness, in that song. There is something magical about the rains. They make you come alive.
Not even the distraught Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet was unaware of the power of rain. She sang, in all her grinding sadness, for the rain / it raineth every day. But there is too the cheerful human spirit which manifests itself in melody that comes associated with rain. We speak, of course, of BJ Thomas' raindrops keep falling on my head.
Lata and Mukesh give us intimations of rain when they sing sawan ka mahina pawan kare sor / jeeara re jhoome re aise / jaise banma nache mor.
There is an abundance of sensuality in the monsoon sky.
The writer is Executive Editor, The Daily Star