"Gone are the days when Raj Kapoor enacted a love song amidst heavy rains, tucked under an earnest black umbrella. This timeless favourite from Shree 420 was by no means the only example of a screen pair cloaking its sweet nothings behind an umbrella. The parasol has been as key to Bollywood's romantic tales as trees for lovers to run around and the rain that drenched the heroine's contours. Where would pre-liberalisation Bollywood have been without this handy monsoon accessory? Introduced at the strategic moment, didn't it shield a generation of viewers from going astray?"
Bollywood may no longer need to hide demurely behind a black umbrella, but that doesn't stop it recreating and reinventing this iconic film moment from Raj Kapoor's 1955 film Shree 420, from the song "Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua". It begins to rain, and Vidya (Nargis) awkwardly offers her umbrella to Raj (Raj Kapoor).
Eventually, they end up sharing it, shyly, demurely at first:
And as the song progresses, and they speak of the love blossoming between them, they walk through the rain under the umbrella:
And, of course, so iconic that it has been recreated in other, later films, including in Aditya Chopra's 2008 film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, where, in the song "Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte", we're treated to Shahrukh Khan and Kajol under the infamous black umbrella:
And more recently, in Anees Bazmee's forthcoming film Ready, the song "Character Dheela" puts Salman Khan and Zarine Khan under the black brolly:
Finally, the umbrellas may no longer be black, but they still signal the blossoming of love, in this case between Pia (Kareena Kapoor, granddaughter of Raj, of course), and Rancho (Aamir Khan) in Rajkumar Hirani's 2009 film 3 Idiots: