The 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once proclaimed, “without music, life would be a mistake”. A century later, in 1982, the French initiated the World Music Day or Fête de la Musique on the solstice day of June. Started as a festival to celebrate the sounds that knit together to soothe our body and soul, the day is marked in more than 120 countries to honour the music and musicians that help us navigate this journey called life.
For Indians, music is an age-old practice of healing and well being like meditation. Unlike the deterministic nature of classical music, Indian classical music—like Hindustani and Carnatic—involves a much greater degree of personalisation. And for most Indians, might be no better music, perhaps, than the eternal sounds of the rumbling clouds and the pitter-patter of the monsoon rains.
The intricate relationship between music and monsoon is truly timeless. In the fifth century, the dark monsoon clouds inspired Kālidāsa to compose the epic Meghadūta. The ancient Indian classical musical mode Malhar Raaga is also closely associated with torrential monsoon rains. Even today, people across India celebrate the monsoon with a recurring sense of nostalgia— childhood sports, puddles, chai and pakoras, the smell of native land and of course, the timeless rain songs.
This year, as the monsoons covered nearly three-fourth of the country in the first half of June itself, most parts of the country have witnessed substantial rainfall over the past three weeks. Usually, music lovers flock to the famous avenues in cities like Paris to celebrate World Music Day. But this year, due to the pandemic, celebrations are likely to remain low-key across the globe and especially in India.
But, worry not! We have curated a playlist of popular rain songs from different parts of the country to get you through the day. Monsoon rains have had an immense influence on art and culture in every nook and corner of the country. From folk to modern movie songs, the romance of rains is blissfully celebrated through numerous songs in each and every language of India. Here are some of the most popular rain songs from 11 languages across India:
Mungaru Maleye | Mungaru Male (2006) | Kannada
Mazha | Shikkari Shambhu (2018) | Malayalam
Barso Re Megha | Guru (2007) | Hindi
Adada Mazhaida | Paiya (2010) | Tamil
Havey Pahelo Varsad | Soli Kapadia (2020) | Gujarati
Jao Pakhi | Antaheen (2009) | Bengali
Saun | Sabar Koti (2016) | Punjabi
Nuvvosthanante Song | Varsham (2004) | Telugu
Chimbh Bhijalele | Bandh Premache (2007) | Marathi
Megha Barasila | Vani Jairam (1976) | Oriya
Boroxun | Rupam Bhuyan (2020) | Assamese
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