Be it "Kaatey nahin kat te" or "Zoobie doobie", there has always been something sensual and seductive about Bollywood songs shot in the rain. The trend continues with two new songs - "O saiyan" and "Piya o re piya", which make for emotional, passionate and romantic additions to their films.
While "O saiyan" features Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan in "Agneepath", B-Town's soon-to-be-married-couple Riteish Desmukh and Genelia D' Souza will be seen romancing each other in the "Piya o re piya" song from their forthcoming movie "Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya".
Choreographer and "Dance India Dance" judge Geeta Kapoor, who has choreographed the latter number, says rain dance songs are definitely in vogue but are different in feel nowadays.
"Rain dances were never out of fashion. But the way they are shot or portrayed today has become different. There are now more of sequences and have a little less dancing. It is difficult sometimes to come up with different visual techniques and lighting, but there is always a small reason that makes a big difference like the cast, story and situations which help a rain dance song look different from all those that we have seen over the years," Kapoor said.
Rain has formed the backdrop for several Bollywood songs since the black and white era. From "Pyaar hua ikraar hua" to "Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si", "Aaj rapat jaaye toh", "Bheegi bheegi raaton mein", "Na jaane kahaan se aayi hai", "Tip tip barsa paani", "Kaate nahin kat te", "Gale lag jaa", "Barso re", "Alvida", "Dilbara", "Main yahaan hun", "Jo haal dil ka", "Chak dhoom dhoom", "On the roof, in the rain", "Hum tum", "Bhaage re mann", "Idhar chalaa main udhar chala" and "Zoobie doobie" have used the charm of rain for adding oomph on the big screen.
But the feel of the songs has changed over the years, says Pony Verma, who choreographed the song "Gale lag jaa" from "De Dana Dan".
"Earlier, rain dance in movies was only restricted to walking hand-in-hand and singing songs, then there was a phase when people started giving structured dance moves. But now, once again filmmakers are getting back to the old days and putting rain sequences but with a little bit of dancing," she said.
According to Bollywood choreographers, rain dance sequences are not only difficult to direct but also tough on the actors.
"The artists have to spend the entire time under the heavy flow of water and this sometimes leads to unhygienic situations. It's mostly a challenging task to keep the spirit and continue the shoot as the hot body temperature and cold water create side effects in many cases. It is required to take a break every now and then while shooting such songs," Ganesh Acharya, who choreographed Lara Dutta and Vivek Oberoi in the song "On the roof, in the air" from the movie "Masti", said.
Kapoor agrees. She said: "While choreographing a rain sequence, a lot of factors need to be considered. Things like appropriate clothing, minimal unit depending on the sequence, weather conditions, and clean choreography need to be taken care of so that the product look decent and watchable.
"Also, it's not really that difficult to choreograph such songs if one has a good rain machine set-up, great director of photography, good camera and good artists...all that combined make for a good rain sequence."
A noteworthy point is how most dance directors choose to make women wear a sari in most of the rain songs. Wonder why?
"I think it's a tried-and-tested thing for filmmakers to give a sari to actresses for such songs as an Indian woman looks her best in a sari," she said.