July 09, 2013

From Barkha Rani To Varsha Rani

Surely he made a play on Barkha Rani. How could it be anything else? Varsha is Barkha, rain. And it’s July, the rainy month. Except Varsha could well be his living, breathing muse unlike Shatrughan Sinha pleading Barkha to continue pouring so his sweetheart would stay longer, with him.     

Remember Barkha Rani from Sabak (1973)? That evergreen classic monsoon melody where Shatrugan Sinha asks the rain to keep raining, for years (Tu Baras, Barson Baras), so his drenched-to-the-skin girlfriend can't leave for a lifetime (Yeh Umra Bar Na Jaaye Re)?

It might just as well have been Varsha Rani and nothing would’ve changed in Mukesh’s rendering of the 1973 hit from Sabak, Barkha Rani.

Ah, the romance of the rains; trust Mukesh to communicate it. I never tire of this melody, rain or not.

Barkha Rani, Jara Jhamke Barso
Mera Dilbar Jaa Na Pahey, Jhumkar Barso
Barkha Rani

Yeh Abhi Toh Aaye Hain
Kahetey Hain Hum Jaye Hain
Tu Baras, Barson Baras
Yeh Umra Bar Na Jaaye Re
Barkha Rani

Mast Sawan Ki Ghata
Bijliyan Chamka Jara
Pyar Mera Darke Mere Sinhey Se Lag Jaye Re
Barkha Rani, Jara Jham Ke Barso
Mera Dilbar Jaa Na Pahey, Jhum Kar Barso

(Lyrics of the song, Barkha Rani

I hummed the first stanza as Varsha Rani zigzagged alongside, watching her weave in and out of traffic, this way and that. Soon I lost the song beyond the first stanza. 

The evening was slowly haemorrhaging light in face of gathering monsoon clouds. It’s been July since the first week of June. Newspapers are saying Mumbai hasn’t seen rains this heavy this soon for this long in a long, long time. Monsoon records have been threatened if not broken already.

Can’t help thinking Shatrugan Sinha would’ve been happy with the monsoons this year, Jhamke Jo Barkha Rani Baras Rahi Hai, Ya Kaho Varsha Rani Baras Rahi Hai.

I catch a quick glimpse of the sky. It’s getting darker with heavy monsoon clouds moving in, and with rain gauges around the city registering unusually high rain levels, it looks like Tu Baras, Barson Baras is within the realm of possibility, just that Shatrugan Sinha is long past romancing in the rain, maybe someone else is, invoking Barkha Rani with the same ardour as Shotgun Sinha of yore.

I hope he has passed on the baton to Sonakshi Sinha this monsoon. It helps to have the rain in your corner.

Rain is truly the Rani. And no, it's more than a mere juggling of alphabets. Rain Rani.

Note: Varsha is 'rain' in Sanskrit, and so is Barkha. And, Rani is 'queen' in Sanskrit.