Day 19: Raftaarein

Movie: Ra.One (2011)
Song: Raftaarein
Music Director: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: No Clue!
Singers: Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravijani
Actors (in the song): SRK and Kareena Kapoor.

This song should hopefully be the only one on my list that is here solely because I love the video more than the music… 🙂

When I think of Mumbai, I think of the trains. As much as I may despise the daily commute in the trains that usually runs into hours, I cannot help but miss them.

This song from Ra.One is one of the best picturised on the Mumbai Suburban Railway network, especially since a lot of it is graphics. The train, the small tidbits of conversations in Marathi  and the fear of there being a bomb – it’s all too real and well represented.

Personally, Ra.One was a well made movie, but sadly I was bored too soon. Especially with SRK and his noodles with curd habit. Really?! However, I  love the soundtrack of this movie as well as the background score. It’s a pity that some really great numbers got over-shadowed by Akon’s songs. My favourite song from Ra.One is Bhare Naina – the perfect blend of Western orchestra with Indian instruments and vocals.

Why apart from the video did I then choose Raftaarein today? It’s because there is something to be appreciated here about Vishal-Shekhar. The song clearly has the feel of an R.D.Burman number(typically the voice in this song) and since it’s sung by the duo as well, it just becomes much more fun! For a while now I’ve liked Vishal-Shekhar for what they do beyond music, they make it fun! Whether it be having Bappi Lahiri to do two lines in Bangla at the beginning of a song, a full song when he’s not been heard for ages, Usha Uthup with a peppy number in her inimitable style or SPB in a psuedo-Tamil one, singing for other music directors, or getting other music directors to sing for them, they’ve done it all. Which is a great shift from the previous generation of music directors who were so rigid that two songs with the same tune <– (explicit language) and battles over which was the “original” were far too common. This makes me connect with them, because for them music is part nostalgia and part novelty! Just like it is for me. (Sorry for the links! Proving a point. 😛 )

Coming back to this song, I love the feel of the song. It’s fast, peppy and in my opinion was put to perfect use as the promotional song for the movie. Coming to the video, there are some details that you cannot miss. The “secret control room” from where trains are monitored, the “fast train aahe ki slow” comment etc. are typical to Mumbai. Delnaaz Paul’s cameo matches her persona and somehow not funny at all but SRK warning the kids not to try his stunts at home certainly is.

There are some details so wrong that I’m surprised no body from the post-production team caught it before. CST (Main) train not stopping at Bandra station? Really?! It’d be weird if it did stop at Bandra. And what is the gibberish that the man speaks from the control room? “Panchbatti se CST local Varla station pe nahi ruki“(?!) even after 5 hearings I didn’t get that. Though I may not be knowledgeable, when Kareena increases the speed of the train, it is at around 35-40 km/hr. Is that how slow a train that’s not stopping anywhere will go at?

My favourite lines:

Khayalo mein bhi jo mumkin nahi ho,
Wahi kar dikhana himmaton ki to pehchaan hai

(That which is not possible even in imagination,
Performing that is the recognition of the brave.)

Enjoy the song, the singing, SRK and the Mumbai locals here! 🙂

Freedom!!

Sometimes even in the worse of situations, things happen that make you wonder, “Hey! There is someone who is having a good laugh at whatever is happening to me now!”
This happened to me yesterday. 9.09am Thane starting, CST bound local. (Wonder if I am always going to blog about trains! :-P) So after a long time, at peak hour office rush, I was travelling in the ladies first class (I usually travel in the general since I have a group of friends, males included, with me always). So, I reached about two minutes before the train was to leave, with not even an iota of hope of getting a place to sit but eternally hoping that I’d at least get place to stand. Imagine my relief when the entire passageway was empty. 
 
Reminded me of a forwarded mail, “Mumbaikar’s idea of privacy: When your leg is not stepped on in the train, and you have enough space to breathe!” By those standards, I was in heaven!
 
So I happily put my bag down, plugged in my earplugs, and decided to have a hell of a time till Matunga. Salman was dancing to Shankar’s tunes at that time “Mann gaaye re haay re…” (Yes, it was my Facebook status also!) It was all so peaceful, too perfect to be true actually. Should’ve understood it then that there was going to be something wrong when the next song that played was the theme of Requiem for a Dream-dark and pensive-something bad was bound to happen. And it did.
Mulund station. In came hordes of women, like there was some free for all sale at D-Mart. Okay…I agree this would be the height of exaggeration, but the look on their faces made it seem like it was a war. And here was the first battalion leading the entire force. I stuck on to my place, second from the door, with my bag between my ankles, waiting for the forces to strike!
 
They came, found their space, and now I was a bit wary, but still had some place to stand. And accepted it all with a pinch of salt. It was okay! J At this point, Kareena was maroing thumke on Sunidhi’s sexy voice, “Ha! Chalo ab door yaha se, pahaadon se bhi aage…” How I wished I could!
Nahur. Women got down, more got in, Bhandup, some more got down, even more got in! By the time the train crossed Kanjurmarg, unfortunately, I couldn’t do what Hard Kaur was urging me to- “Rock to the rhythm and rock to the rhyme!” Though, I was “doob ja” oing, in a sea of harrowed women and unfortunately not in someone’s pyaar!
All this while, Facebook updating, mutual commenting was on. It was getting difficult by the minute to see the messages though. You can’t really read messages when your hands are pinned down, with two women leaning on you, pinning you to a corner the way you’d expect some Hollywood couple would make love. Really, absolutely no sense of privacy, physical torture! Which increases when someone’s stilettos come right down on your toes and you don’t even know who the guilty is!

Ugh!
Physical, mental, psychological torture. Vikhroli. Physical, as you obviously get poked at horrible places! Mental, as you hear words you wouldn’t want to hear early in the morning! (To be read as “melya college chya students” roughly translated as “Be gone ye College students”) Psychological? Tough to explain. What else would you call the torture of having your waist, butt touched, unabashedly just because they’re all women. And women breathing down your neck…their hot breath. Leaves a scar on young minds like mine!
Add to this the fact that the next station is Ghatkopar, where a hundred more climb in, along with some human bomb! (Biological warfare) Who didn’t clear her stomach before leaving for work; if you think those aromas are the worse that could happen to you when you are on your way for a big presentation, then think again my dear friends.
Because the worst part is you don’t know who it is. And even more worst is the fact that your hands are tied down. You can’t even cover your nose! Pah! Baba Ramdevji ke anulom vilom ki yaad aa gayi
I did sort of introspection at this point- why was I doing all this? What was the need? And BAAAM! came the answer in the form of Avril Lavigne who screamed in my ears “So much for my happy ending!” No kidding.
Hopes ran high, when Kurla came, I thought most of the women would get down, and I could move closer to the door, some fresh air, but no! More women came in. I wonder how the floor of the matchbox like ladies compartment never caves in. I was pushed in…but I went against the swarming numbers of women against me, egged by Shankar and Hrithik! “Haa yahi rasta hain tera!” Aur maine tab ye jaan liya tha!
I think I didn’t mention, I was wearing a churidar on this fateful day. Which was freshly ironed, and I didn’t want creases on the dress that I would make a presentation in. High hopes! My duppatta got stuck in someone’s hair, caused a huge, shrill scream when I tugged, and all I could hope was that it wouldn’t tear.

Thank god for small mercies…it didn’t!
Finally, after Sion went in a blur…came Matunga! Who got down? Just me! No one else got off from the entire compartment! But well, at that point of time, I would have danced better than Aishwarya for all her money and beauty when Shreya aptly sung in my ears “Re beheke chali main to keheke chali….na na re na na re na na re nana re!” How the faces I left behind in the train looked at me and my newly found freedom!