Monsoon Melodies – Beautiful Rain Songs

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Boondon ke Moti – The wet monsoon days always stand out distinct from the rest. For some, it takes them back to their childhood search of their Kaagaz ki kashti, while for some others the drizzle or the outpour outside evokes romanticism at its best. And there are some others, for whom this is just the gloomy weather to go back to their cocoons and find company in sorrow. But whichever way you perceive the rains, there is no denying the strong musical connection the pitter patter gets aligned to, and there is possibly a beautiful rain song for every mood that this tricky weather evokes.

Here is then an attempt to list down my most favorite 25 rain songs, in no particular order… Again these may not be the most popular ones, but they have the soul and charm of what rainy days mean…

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Pancham – Dual Version Songs

The genius of R. D. Burman is remembered in terms of how he brought in a new sound to the world of contemporary or film music. Even if there were inspirations, he would take them and convert them into something totally different. He also kept reused his tunes, some times even within the same language. So Humein raaston ki zaroorat nahi hai (Naram Garam) easily metamorphosed into Saagar kinare (Saagar), of course this particular tune has had so many versions by so many composers. He kept reusing the prelude or interlude tunes of his songs to make new songs as well and there are again plenty to quote there. But the biggest bucket of Ek Sur Do Geet from Pancham’s discography comes from how he kept making twin songs in Bangla and Hindi from the same tune.

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AARYA : The Rise of the Phoenix

“Dukan phir se khul rahi hai…”

As Aarya Sareen raises a toast in anger, helplessness, fear and utmost strength during her party, Sushmita Sen basically announces back to the entire world boldly that she is back in the business and how! Without any doubts, it is the most definitive performance of her career, and she nails down the complex concoction of a varied range of emotions of Aarya in every single scene. This is classic Sushmita Sen at her resilient, fearless, terrified, graceful and affectionate best, and helps raising an already solid writing of a highly engaging show to the next level. Sushmita with Aarya, and Aarya with Sushmita, flies and soars, in all her shades of a mourning wife, a helpless but super protective mother, a smart and sharp thinker, a vulnerable woman, and a go getter, never losing her focus or poise in her messy and challenging journey.

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GULABO SITABO : Jeevan ka Khela

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In general, our movie watching experience is often driven by a few things especially when we talk about the slice of life genre – How likeable are the characters? Can I emotionally root for one of them? How attached are the characters to each other thereby evoking compassion or sympathy? Is it explicitly making me laugh, feel sad, get angry? Is it aligning with my preconceived notion of how I am supposed to feel for this film? Sometimes when we don’t have clear answers to most or any of these questions, there is a chance we will dismiss the film as uninteresting, bland or confusing. But Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturverdi are not interested to find a happy path to these questions and create a feel good laugh out loud comedy to satisfy everyone. For the fourth time in a row, they present another deeply layered observational film packaged unconventionally yet again, this time as a dramedy, on the futility of attachments and running behind the eventually inconsequential things for a lifetime. Life is often about its nothingness and a goose chase to feed our desires, and the whole pointlessness of the entire journey and its disappointment is what one is left with in the end. Gulabo Sitabo shines because Shoojit Sircar and team intricately weave in this deep philosophy as the melancholic soul of the film, with an effortless ease into the everyday ordinariness of a seemingly brewing cacophonic premise.

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CHOKED : PAISA BOLTA HAI – waivers its potential

When the human moral compass waivers, and greed chokes the ability to feel anything else, the relationships go down the drain!

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CHINTU KA BIRTHDAY : Longing To Be Loved

What happens when the common ordinary man feels emotionally marooned because they are all trapped in a world of chaos and war? It could be a migrant Indian family desperate to go back home from a war laden Iraq, but their employer has opportunistically tricked them and their government has conveniently forgotten them. It could be a native Iraqi whose life has been shattered in the hands of an autocratic ruler and then by an unwarranted foreign invasion. It could be the trapped American soldier of the frontline whose inherent human instinct is long lost amidst all the violence and bloodshed but is desperately seeking a revival. Or it could simply be a young six year old boy whose innocent ask from life is to get his birthday celebrated, but last two years has robbed him of such simple joys of life. The new Zee5 Original film Chintu ka Birthday is a story of all such broken, marooned people who are desperate to cling on to life and its small gifts, however illusive they might be.

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NATKHAT : Soft Gloving Life Brats!

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Natkhat – The thirty odd minutes long short film by Shaan Vyas premiered on the We Are One global film festival and is an important film that talks about how misogyny is most often ingrained in young innocent minds in their homes and in the playful environments surrounding them, and how it is critical for parents to protect them from the same even at the expense of exposing their vulnerable selves to this impressionable innocence.

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EEB ALLAY OOO : Calling For Existence

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Because the basic human dignity of the marginalized has become a monkey business in this country!!

.. Prateek Vats‘s sharp political satire Eeb Allay Ooo that brilliantly inverts its lens for a bold commentary on the power dynamics between ‘Lutyens Monkeys‘ and ‘the common man at their mercy‘ is an essential viewing experience, more so now than ever before!

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Rabindra Sangeet in Films – This Millennium

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The songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore have always been a lifeline of Bangla films. For decades, they have been the voice of soul in our films, and when at the turn of the century a decision was taken to allow experimentation with the arrangement in Tagore Songs, there was a fear that it would be a disaster as far as preserving the sanctity of these songs was concerned. Has it really been the case on the whole?

Yes, there has been a Oo lala added to a Pagla Hawa in some cases, but Rabindra Sangeet has stood firm with its soul and its form preserved for the most, a few modern rhythmic adaptations like Jagorane jaaye bibhabori have actually worked, and in most cases even the form has remained as pure as possible. How much ever our storytelling might have changed, our filmmakers still fall back to the ever reliable and the deepest emotions of Rabindra Sangeet even today, and rightfully so.

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Ek Deewana Tha – Timeless Melodies of RISHI KAPOOR

An era came to an end when Rishi Kapoor left for a more peaceful abode on April 30th, 2020. A career that spanned five decade saw a growth trajectory that is rare for the Hindi Film Industry. While he ruled hearts and box office with his classic lover boy image for decades in the first 25 years of his career, the last two decades saw his terrific and fearless transformation to wittier, darker and more intense characters. From Luck by Chance to Agneepath, from Hum Tum to Do Dooni Chaar, from Kapoor and Sons to Mulk, and so many films in between, it was the most delectable second innings.

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