Tea, fritters with a side of music – The New Indian Express

No matter how much we know about how rain is formed, the water cycle and types of clouds, there is still something almost magical about watching it rain.
Published: 13th September 2022 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2022 06:36 AM   |  A+A-
BENGALURU: No matter how much we know about how rain is formed, the water cycle and types of clouds, there is still something almost magical about watching it rain. It creates nostalgia, a bit of playfulness (dancing in the rain anyone?) or, if you’re anything like me, an intense desire to curl up and do nothing for the rest of the day.

A lot of traditional music around the world has been composed in praise of nature, and folkloric songs often fill the gap to explain things that are (or at least were, at the time) unexplainable.  Many cultures have special songs for rain.  Some cultures have songs to make it rain, while others have songs that tell stories about the rain.  
The musical style of Panihari, was created by Rajasthani women of the desert, singing of rain, flowing rivers, and an abundance of water, which has been a scarce commodity for them. Panihari has grown into a distinct style of music and dance, very important to Rajasthani culture. 
In South India, it is often said that Raga Amritavashini brings rain. Legend has it that Muthuswami Dikshitar, one of the Trinity of Carnatic music, created this raga, singing it in a little drought-hit village in Tamil Nadu, causing the skies to immediately open, and the rain to pour.This is a story often told to young Carnatic students, who listen in awe, hoping that they too, one day will have the power one day to invoke the rain.  Very often, Carnatic music lovers have anecdotes of an instance where they have heard of the raga bringing rain, while sung or played by a great master.
North Indian Classical or Hindustani music also has raagas like Megh Malhaar, which are believed to cause rain, and there are many annual Monsoon Music Festivals around the country.In contemporary music, across languages, rain is often associated with longing, romance, and a feeling of loss. Many iconic Bollywood movies have songs themed around rain, as do movie songs in other Indian languages.  
There are literally hundreds of songs in contemporary western music – country, pop, rock, soul, and other styles that speak of rain, often using it metaphorically.As we all know, children are fascinated with rain too, and are often taught songs themed around rain, complete with hand gestures, during the monsoon season. 
There is an abundance of music about the rains – in different styles, languages, and with different emotions. Whichever style of music appeals to you, the next time it rains, find a comfy spot near a window, and let it play!
Bindu & Ambi Subramaniam
(The authors run SaPa – the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts)
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