When it comes to getting drenched, Bollywood actresses are next to none. They twirl and they twist in the torrential rain and they bring the house down, but not a sneeze! The only time the heroine caught a cold after getting wet in the rain was in Basu Bhattacharya’s Anubhav where Tanuja was seen sneezing and coughing after getting wet. Otherwise, the rains mean romance, erotica and sometimes babies in our movies. Here are the five most memorable rain sequences.
1. "Hai hai yeh majboori" (Roti Kapada Aur Makaan)
The great Manoj Kumar never touched his heroines. But he drenched them and enjoyed watching them in wet clingy sarees. Even the conservative Hema Malini was not spared in Kranti. But it’s Zeenat in Roti Kapada Aur Makaan crooning the ultra-seductive Lata Mangeshkar number that tops the list of all-time favourite rain romances. Recalling this dance in the rain Zeenat told me, “I never knew it would turn out so sexy. It was in the way he (Manoj Kumar) shot it and the way Lataji enunciated the words…We always think of the other sister (Asha Bhosle) in such songs. But Lataji was too smouldering. I give a large part of the credit for the impact pf that rain song to Lataji.”
2. "Ek Ladki bheegi bhaagi si" (Chalti Ka Naam Gadi)
Madhubala is considered by many to be the Venus of Indian cinema. No other film captured her in such a seductive style. For many, Madhubala in this Kishore Kumar number continues to be the epitome of monsoonal romance. Without showing an ounce of flesh, she oozed sex appeal. No wonder her leading man, Kishore Kumar couldn’t take his eyes off. Neither can we.
3. "Kate nahin kat-te yeh din yeh raat" (Mr. India)
Director Shekhar Kapur said Sridevi ran a high temperature when she song in the studio-generated rain. The electric blue saree and Saroj Khan’s swaying slinky movements immortalized Sridevi. Alisha Chinai’s vocals also helped to create an irresistible aura. Once when I asked Sridevi about the high level of eroticism she generated with her future brother-in-law in this song she giggled in her girlish way and said, “We shot it like any song. Who was to know it would turn out this way?”
4. "Roop tera mastana" (Aradhana)
Rain rain everywhere but not a drop on the screen. Director Shakti Samanta locked the smoking-hot pair Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in a room as rain and thunder lashed outside. Kishore Kumar’s seduction song was shot in one take, no cuts, no ifs no buts. Just two very attractive people gravitating towards one another like magnets. No wonder there was a baby-news the next morning.
5. "Ab ke sawan mein jee jare" (Jaise Ko Taisa)
Every time the line Mann mein lage aag si comes up in this amazing R D Burman song we see Reena Roy and Jeetendra look at one another so suggestively that it almost feels like an invitation to abandon all inhibitions. Jeetendra could never look rain-smitten the way his contemporary Rajesh Khanna could. He made up for his lack of romance by pushing hitting shoving his heroine down to the muddy wet ground. This song feels more like a wrestling match than a bout of seduction. But it nonetheless makes us tingle with anticipation.