It is that time of the year when the rains tempt you to forget about work and sit back in your warm room, listening to your favourite songs. From romantic strains to vivacious dance numbers, there are many memorable rain songs in Indian cinema. Parshathy J. Nath lists 10 must-have monsoon melodies that you need to save on your playlists

Shree 420

Song: Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua Hai

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey

Composer: Shankar Jaikishan

Raj Kapoor and Nargis steal glances as they walk under a big, black umbrella. As they saunter into the sunset, they dream of a future together. Nargis’s expressions speak at once of her hesitation and longing to fall in love. This fifties’ love song has a freshness that survives time and age.

Manzil

Song: Rim Jhim Gire Sawan

Singer: Kishore Kumar

Composer: R. D. Burman

This melody, penned by Yogesh Gaur, brings to your mind all the dear memories associated with rain. A charming Amitabh Bachchan sings as a doe-eyed Moushumi Chatterjee looks on in admiration.

Raja Paarvai

Song: Andhi Mazhai

Singer: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam

Composer: Ilaiyaraaja

A blind musician, played by Kamal Haasan, is in love. He is so smitten that he can feel the twilight rain and see his beloved’s face in each drop. So can we, on listening to this evergreen romantic number.

Aradhana

Song: Roop Tera Mastana

Singer: Kishore Kumar

Composer: S.D. Burman

A storm rages outside as Rajesh Khanna and a towel-clad Sharmila Tagore circle a blazing fire inside a room. Rain is not seen in the song, yet, its presence can be felt. The expressions of the actors, the music and the rumbling thunder in the background have made this a very popular steamy rain song.

Namak Halaal

Song: Aaj Rapat Jaye

Singers: Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle

Composer: Bappi Lahiri

Throwing shyness to the winds, two lovers let go of their umbrellas and jackets to cavort in the rain. With audaciously suggestive lyrics and loud hip gyrations, the song tops the chart of raunchy rain songs in Bollywood.

Mouna Raagam

Song: Oho Megam Vanthatho

Singer: S. Janaki

Composer: Ilaiyaraaja

A sleepy bus stop comes alive as a group of college girls hit the streets to get drenched in the rains. Revathy and her gang, unfazed by curious onlookers, play in the puddles and jive to a happy song. They are so immersed in their rain-soaked world that even road-side Romeos cannot dampen their spirits.

Rudali

Song: Jhuti Muti Mitwa

Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

Composer: Bhupen Hazarika

In the arid deserts of Rajasthan, Shanichari (played by Dimple Kapadia), a rudali, wakes up to the splash of rain drops on her face. She rushes out of her hut to welcome the rains. The song captures the passion, romance and joy of the first shower.

Lagaan

Song: Ghanan Ghanan

Singers: Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Udit Narayanan, Alka Yagnik, Shaan and chorus

Composer: A.R. Rahman

When a whole village beckons kaale megha to shower kindness on them, the audience also prays that it rains on the silver screen. The song captures beautifully a village’s yearning for life-giving rain.

Guru

Song: Barso Re

Singer: Shreya Ghoshal

Composer: A. R. Rahman

Dark clouds gather in the sky and a village gets ready for a strong downpour. While everyone hurries back home, a dhavani-clad girl runs to the open fields to embrace the torrent. Aishwarya Rai is a picture of grace as she dances on the tip of a jutting rock with the waterfalls behind her. The “nannare nannare” refrain grows on you and before you know, you are dancing to this addictive number!

Mazhai

Song: Nee Varum Pothu

Singer: K.S. Chitra

Composer: Devi Sri Prasad

Shriya Saran dances her way into our hearts through this song. Shot in a railways station, it is choreographed to pulsating drum beats. Shriya’s energy is infectious and we are not surprised when the entire station joins her in the rain dance!