Dimple Lala was seventeen when readers first met her in Tanuja Desai Hidier’s Born Confused (2003 Best Books for Young Adults, 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults); two years later she is in college and planning a trip to India with her boyfriend, Karsh. Dimple’s sense of ancient India is rattled by the hip Bombay scene and the growing rift between traditional and modern ways. She finds that she is often seized by introspection as the timbre of New India becomes overwhelming.
One evening, Dimple and her father walk along Juhu Beach. As they overlook the Arabian Sea, Dimple’s father begins to reminisce about Dimple’s mother, the way she would sing song after song. He gently sang, Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat, a phrase from a love song that means, My whole life I’ll never forget this night of pouring rain. The song is from a popular 1960 Bollywood film romance, Barsaat Ki Raat, sung by Mohammed Rafi.
I could never forget that one rainy night.
The night when I met an unknown beauty.
I could never forget it for the rest of my life…
The clip below is the original Hindi version from the movie.
-Diane Colson, currently reading 2 A. M. At the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
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