One of the advantages of walking in a metro city with your ears plugged to music is that it gives you visuals automatically. No doubt that it helps you cover the distances much faster than you think. Blame it on the most clichéd examples of the theory of relativity – that time passes fast when you are with your girl friend etc. etc. - only thing my girl friend is my music.
Having said that imagine if one day you had a lot of money to spend, enough to splurge in the world’s 4th most costly city – just for one day – then which of these girl friends would you choose to be along with you for that day? I know its getting a little too much hardik – but its ok – the city, along with the visuals also gives you the power to imagine. So let it be.
So coming back to which girl friend alias which music (in my case) I would choose? See money as equivalent of time, as every other Bombay Gangster film will tell you. So one of these days I had a lot of time, and accompanying me was my girl friend – music.
Here’s what I did.
Slumdog millionaire will be my girl friend for that day (how ironic, the day I have a lot of money i.e time). Now if you walk around Mumbai, where actually the film also happens to be, then listen to each song of the whole original soundtrack album. Each place you will visit, you will get to know that this is where the song is meant to be. This is the best place for the song to happen for me. As I said the city will give you visuals for free. So after moving around for a few days with the soundtrack plugged into my ears – I came out with this comprehensive list – that each song of Slumdog Millionaire when played in a particular area of Mumbai –will almost give you a magical feeling of belonging it there. Needless to say the feeling is relative. It may or may not happen to you. Or it may happen to you at a different place.
Here’s the list.
When O Saya is played
Undoubtedly you have to be on the roof of a FAST local train towards Churchgate in the morning rush hour. When you are between Vile Parle and Santacruz, and if you are still clinging to the rooftop, stare at the expanse, and you know what it feels to be on the TOP.
Beware: These stunts are performed by “professionals”. Children are requested to not to try and imitate.
If you are caught in a traffic jam on the Linking road at Khar or at Andheri West J.P road, then only thing you need to do is pull out a fictitious gun from your pocket and whenever the song has the trigger being pulled forthe gun shots – behave as if the gun and the city are yours – walk in between the cars, buses – and take an aim from your fictitious gun to people who are honking – and when the song plays “dhash dhash dhash” – pull the trigger on them. Wow! What a feeling. Gus Van Sant – my Elephant is ready. The Indian Elephant..:)
Take an auto rickshaw from the Bandra flyover to your home in the middle of the night. Considering your home is more than 15 mins or more from that fly over. Else the fun is lost in the short duration. Play Ringa Ringa full volume – the auto driver wont mind – he too will love this song. Needless to say the Auto is gonna cruise – but I am sure hearing this along with the almost empty highway – crossing both airports, watching the planes fly above you – it will be a magical experience.
Get down at Grant Road station and start walking towards the red light district. Once there, turn towards Nagpada and Dongri. Continue walking till Masjid Bunder and you will know what am I talking about. I better not describe the pulse of this route. It’s a long walk – so make sure you play this song on the repeat mode. Oh ya, try walking through this route around 10pm.
Latika’s theme/Dreams on Fire (since both the themes are same)
If you are lucky enough to find that corner on top of the Kamala Nehru Park from where you get to see one of the most amazing visuals that you will ever see in this city. Make sure its dusk when you reach there. For once you will stop complaining about this city.
Aaj Ki Raat
Try getting to the second floor of any “Restaurant aani bar” (written in Marathi). The second floor is where stuff happens. You would be welcomed with a warm handshake from a neatly dressed-thick mustached towering guy, needless to say who he is. Once inside, you have to tell the “Orchestra” group to play “Aaj Ki Raat” and let the fun begin. Its shocking to see so much money coming out of the pockets of people, whom you wont expect to carry. I hope people know what “Orchestra” stands for at these places. Money, Women and Night – three things that can change your life in more ways than one.
A cliché is a cliché is a cliché because it works! So lets stay with it – the groovy music of Millionaire asks you to be inside a pub. A place, full of energy, lights and lots of people. The way “kung-fu fighting” was shot by Meirelles in City of God – see again a cliché – but try doing it – and I am sure it will work.
Mausams and Escape
This is where I salute Danny Boyle. There’s no place other than a CST train terminus where you can imagine this fusion track. Sitar, so well played that would even make Ravi Shankar stand up and listen to. The intense raw energy of the song will make you run at CST, no matter whether your Latika is being kidnapped or not. You would love to run amongst that crowd when “Mausams and Escape” plays in your head.
u need not go to any location to hear this. Mumbai is singing it. From political parties to discos, from society programs to reality shows – you can’t escape Jai Ho!
That’s my date with my girl friend – I wonder at the end of it – who is my girl friend? – the city or the music?
You are the magic in the world I see
You are the prayer I sing
You are the spark of dawn
You are where I belong
You are the laughter from childhood games