Come monsoon and everyone's heart is filled with a range of emotions, nostalgia, poetry, romance and expectations. It is not just our economy that is dependent on monsoons. Rains and monsoons are ingrained in our culture classical music, dance, painting, sculpture, literature, it is in fact part of our life. In the ancient Vedic culture parjanya sukta and aap sukta the Rigveda and the varuna sukta of the yajurveda were sung in scientifically worked out meters and recited with specific musical notes to initiate the onset of rains each year. It was believed that by singing specific notes in a certain phrase could encourage the clouds to over cast the sky and rains could start.
According to legendary singer Tansen, raag megh manifests itself when the rain clouds cover the sky. It is said that Tansen had raised singing to such a divine level that he could actually bring rains when he sang monsoon ragas like Megh Malhar or his own composition miya ki malhar.
Surdas had also created sur malhar. The Famous Kavi Kalidas devoted his full Khand Kavya Meghdoot where Sanskrit Dr Ravinder Nagar tells us clouds become the messenger . And can rains be separated from romance . Beautiful lyrics and imagery of floating clouds , rain drops falling on roof , the sound of thunder , children making paper boats and floating them in the nullas find expression every where, The romantic songs have mesmerized the audiences since Indian Cinema began . Some times it the joy of farmers that find expression as rains come calling lie in Do Bigha Zameen . Can one ever forget the romantic number sung in the rain by Nargis and Rajkapoor in Shri 420.
Various moods and themes of monsoon find their place on the canvas. There are painting on various ragas including Rag Malhar . Beautiful paintings of Krishna as a personification of raag megh malhar blowing his divine conch to invite the rains. The list is endless.
Song of the Rain by Khalil Gibran says it all
I am beautiful pearls,
plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.
When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.
The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.
The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.
I emerge from the heard of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.
I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.
The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.
I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.
So with love -
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.
Sarita Brara, Feature unit.