Last monsoon, I had a song list with songs picturised in the rain. This time around, I thought something a bit different for monsoon, and anyway, it’s too late for a rain song list ! But what exactly would be that ‘different’ thing? I let it simmer at the back of my mind. Then one day, while shopping in a mall with my family, my daughter demanded an umbrella with her favourite cartoon character printed on it. She already has a few at home, with her other favourites.
Obviously her favourite keeps on changing quite a lot. I summarily rejected the proposal and continued shopping. Of course, the proposal was re-submitted to the ‘Higher’ authorities and to my surprise, the same verdict was passed. Ultimately we came out of the mall with no umbrella. But I started churning the incidence in my mind, and Bingo! There was my answer! Songs having an umbrella as a prop. It’s not a very brilliant idea, but I thought it would be fun looking for such songs. I already knew a few, and I gathered some on the internet.
Before we go the list, a very short history of umbrella. It’s a folding canopy supported by wooden or metal ribs, that are mounted on a wooden or metal pole. It’s typically used for protection from rain or sunlight. In the latter context, it’s called a parasol. I never knew, there is even a National Umbrella Day observed worldwide, on 10th February.
The word umbrella evolved from a Latin word umbella (which is a round flower with flat top) or umbra (which means shadow).
The oldest reference to a collapsible umbrella dates back to year 21 AD, from China. Perhaps the oldest umbrella was designed in China. Its design was later brought to Japan, via Korea and it was also introduced to Persia and the western world via The Silk Route.
Mentions of either umbrella or a parasol are found in ancient cultures of nearly all countries, including Persia, Greece, Egypt, Italy and India. To read evolution of umbrella in Europe was very fascinating for me.
In many countries, the parasols were used during processions, behind a person of higher authority or position, not strictly a Royal! In many paintings across the world, someone holding a छत्र (as it is called in Marathi and Hindi) over an important person is seen. So I think, in ancient days, it was more of a sign of authority than for protection.
From the literature on history of umbrella, it appears that the umbrella attained its current status as a protective canopy in 17th century.
In modern days, carrying an umbrella is no more a fashionable thing! Still it has a large global market and we should have at least one for sure, let it be out of fashion! Now a days, due to online shopping, the enjoyment of buying an umbrella at the shops appears lost. It used to be fun in (my) childhood to visit a shop, look for different kinds of umbrellas (not that, there used to be that many!), have a look at different colours and sizes. Now a days, all the possible things you can see, printed on an umbrella (like the cartoons on my daughter’s) and buy it online too.
Before you hide your yawn behind an umbrella or think of beating me with it, let’s go to the topic proper!
There are some very good song lists, with mentions of other props, like jewellery, that women wear. I also found a hilarious post, on Harvey’s blog related to umbrella.
I think umbrella is an universal prop used in songs. In rain songs, we obviously get to see an umbrella. The couple walks along the path, sharing a single umbrella and singing romantic songs. The thunder showers, I think, work as a ‘on’ button for romance. As soon as the rain starts, the couple in question spontaneously breaks into a song, usually a melodious one! (Thanks to the Golden Era of Hindi films for that!) A few of the songs are sung after drenching, and we have a fabulous list of such songs by ‘Dusted off‘
A few stage performances with or without the mentions of rains also feature umbrellas. I found them in some of the songs, without any actual connection to the content of the song. The umbrella is just there because the heroine is walking on the streets in bright sunshine. Sometimes, the heroine is enjoying with her friends in a garden and they are carrying the umbrellas. They move about with the spinning umbrella in their hands, which looks good!
I have included the songs where the prop, umbrella is seen throughout the song or at least for a significant portion of the song. Also someone has to handle the umbrella, if it’s just kept there, even if open won’t count for the list.
So here we go, with the umbrella songs, in No particular order. This time I have crossed my blog’s timeline for a few songs, as those songs actually mention umbrella in the lyrics.
1. Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua Hai – Shree 420 (1955) Lata Mangeshkar & Manna Dey / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
It was obviously the first song that I thought of. The song is iconic in many ways. The lyrics, the picturisation, the cute and subtle romance, a chaiwala bhaiyya enjoying the rains along with the couple and the three cute little children, walking along the road. And above all the umbrella, seen throughout the song, hardly providing any shelter to the couple.
Vidya (Nargis) and Raj love each other, but she is a little worried about their relationship. They exchange their commitments and want each others company forever! The last stanza holds true for the song, for the couple as well.
‘रातें दसों दिशाओं से कहेगी अपनी कहानियाँ
गीत हमारे प्यार के दोहराएंगी जवानिया’
I like each and every aspect of this song. Enjoy this song.
2. Dekh Ke Akeli Mohe – Baazi (1951) Geeta Dutt & Chorus / S D Burman – Sahir
A club song by Geeta Bali. All the dancers wear a raincoat and also carry an open umbrella. They never put it down. I was a bit disappointed with its picturisation, I had thought of it as a real rain song. But anyway, fits the bill!
The choreography is too decent for a club song, so is their attire. But after all, it was a decent era, so that’s acceptable enough. Geeta Bali’s expressions for ‘उई’ and ‘छींटे उडाए’ are lovely.
3. Dum Dum Diga Diga – Chhalia (1960) Mukesh / Kalyanji Anandji – Qamar Jalalabadi
It’s a pleasure to listen to. Not a particularly great song to watch for someone like me, who’s not a great RK fan. The hero enjoys the rain with an umbrella which he casually carries. The passers-by appear to carry it very seriously. He flirts with every girl, he comes across, including one who slips with her bicycle in a muddy puddle.
4. Thandi Hawa Kali Ghata – Mr & Mrs 55 (1955) Geeta Dutt & Chorus / O P Nayyar – Majrooh
Madhubala enjoying by the poolside with her friends. Her friends move around happily with the umbrella spinning in their hands. For me, this song has only two things to watch. First, of course, Madhubala, who looks drop dead gorgeous and the cute umbrellas, the second! Enjoy it.
5. Gore Gore O Banke Chhore – Samadhi (1950) Amirbai Karnataki & Lata Mangeshkar / C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna
One of the most popular songs on the list. It is a stage performance, by Nalini Jaywant and Kuldip Kaur in an entertainment programme arranged for the soldiers of INA. Kuldip Kaur is in disguise with male costume. Ashok Kumar falls for Nalini Jaywant during the song. The song was inspired by a popular song from 1945, ‘chiko chiko’. The little umbrellas are too cute, so are the brimmed hats of the ‘male’ dancers.
6. Rimjhim Ke Tarane Leke – Kala Bazaar (1960) Rafi & Geeta Dutt / S D Burman – Shailendra
A perfect rain song to enjoy with a hot cuppa. The couple is walking along the roads in a single umbrella. The song runs in the background, as they recollect their journey together so far. Another disappointing song to watch. It’s been wasted in my opinion. It could have been picturised in a more romantic way. No doubt its lyrics suit more as a background song than as a lip sync. Such a great song, wonderfully written and composed.
7. Yeh Duniyawale Poochhenge – Mahal (1969) Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar / Kalyanji Anandji – Anand Bakshi
A song most popular during Doordarshan days. It used to feature in Chitrahar very often and each time my father used to tell me, it was from an unreleased film. Or even if it was released, performed badly at the box office. But it’s a beautiful melodious song.
Asha Parekh emerges from a heap of umbrellas, arranged by her friends, as if by magic! I wonder how she manages it ! She emerges from an umbrella that rests perfectly on a small bush. The girls dance in the garden with the bright colourful umbrellas. The lyrics have no relation to the umbrella or rain whatsoever! The couple want to keep their rendezvous a secret. They exchange their ideas of secrecy and how difficult it actually is to keep it a secret! Both of them look very charming and chic.
8. Dil To Kisi Ko Doge – Ek Saal (1957) Rafi / Ravi – Prem Dhawan
Johny Walker following Minu Mumtaz on the streets on a bright sunny day. She is carrying an umbrella. He is completely bowled over by her charm. He is now pursuing and making his point, if she has to lose her heart to someone, why not him? He is smart and handsome, he has made his name as well. Many girls are falling for him, still his heart beats only for her. He wouldn’t give up and keep following her forever. A fun to watch! And umbrella is never out of sight.
9. Chhatri Na Khol Ud Jayegi – Do Jhooth (1975) Kishore Kumar & Usha Mangeshkar / Shankar Jaikishan – M G Hashmat
Moushmi Chatterji and Vinod Mehra enjoying the rain. She begs him not to open the umbrella, else it will fly off by strong winds. Finally he opens it (after drenching in rain, why should he want to open it?) only to experience the anticipated threat.
Not a particularly good song, but it has the word Chhatri and has it throughout the song, so I included it. Don’t compare with SJ’s earlier songs, it’s not up to their earlier standards.
10. Ek Chhatri Aur Hum Hai Do – Maan Gaye Ustad (1981) Asha Bhosle & Rafi / Sonik Omi – Verma Malik
Again a song with the word umbrella in it. And again not a great song, not bad either, but certainly not a memorable one! Shashi Kapoor and Hema Malini strolling on streets with an age old umbrella (they could have got a better one) She wonders how would they both get in a single umbrella? He cares a lot about getting wet (wink wink). Of course he wants to soak with her. He throws the umbrella away which gets stuck on a tree branch. The couple then romantically enjoys the rain. The umbrella suddenly makes its appearance again and falls exactly in front of them. He finally allows it to blow away.
Which song would you add to the list?
Mehfil Mein Meri claims no credit of any image or song posted here. The images are copyright of their original owners. The song links shared from YouTube are for the music lovers to enjoy. The songs are the copyright of their original owners.