Barsaat aa gayi hai, and you’re lying if you tell me that you are not sitting by your window and imagining that your lover has left you, which is why you’re singing Bheegi Bheegi from Gangster (one of the most dramatic songs, ever). The rains have been used and overused in Bollywood to enunciate on super dramatic moments — when the leads fall in love, when they break up, when there’s a death, and when the music director has composed a heartbreaking-ly (is that a word?) beautiful song that can only be done justice to in the rain.
Like these iconic scenes:
Wake Up Sid
Marine Drive. The rain. Konkona and Ranbir Kapoor ki chemistry. Iktara playing in the background. The climax of Wake Up Sid is beautiful, and for all the right reasons. It’s got realistic dialogues, builds up to the moment when Sid goes searching for Ayesha (and knows EXACTLY where to find her, of course), and the two of them profess their love to each other in a super comfortable, relatable way. We love!
What was probably the steamiest kiss of the ’90s (besides being one of the rare few), this one shared between Amir Khan and Karisma Kapoor is everything Bollywood: melodramatic, bheegi baarish mein, and two star-crossed lovers who have committed the highly sinful act of…kissing ! Haw! Anyway, this movie helped to skyrocket Amir and Karisma to fame, so maybe the cliched baarish scene was worth it.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
“No music,” Anjali whispers to Rahul. To which he waves his fingers and magically, music is created through thin air and the raindrops. I don’t need to give any words for this scene to be honest, everyone knows it so well. Their reunion as adults spurs romantic feelings within Rahul, and awakens the feelings inside Anjali that she tried so hard to suppress. It’s a beautiful scene, with the right amount of ‘we can’t do this’ drama that happens at the end.
The clouds rush over the sky and rain begins to fall at the perfect moment in Lagaan. Amir Khan and the Indian villagers just beat the cruel British colonizers in a game of cricket, and finally the Gods bless them with baarish. I remember crying and crying in theatres when this scene came on the big screen. Ah, Bollywood. Guaranteed to make us cry.
I mean, this scene needs no words. Raj Kapoor in a suit with a hat and umbrella, Nargis in a sari and wearing a pained expression of love on her face, Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar providing backing vocals…it’s nothing less than iconic. The still of Raj and Nargis walking below an umbrella has inspired many paintings, songs, and more movie scenes like this one.
Om Shanti Om
Okay, I know that this counts more as a song than a scene, but it is super emotional, okay. Om just discovers that Shanti is secretly married to Mukesh, is pregnant with his child, and can therefore never be Om’s alone. He has to live with this unrequited love, and Farah Khan’s witty directorship made rain fall at exactly this moment. Since Om Shanti Om itself was a tribute to Bollywood and all its melodrama, we know that the rain falling over Om when he’s sad is both a commentary on how the movies control climate and the audience’s emotions, and also a tribute to how nature is incorporated into so-called manufactured scenes. Who hasn’t sung Jag Soona Soona while crying and/or making memes?