“Tubthumping” or “How FM Radio takes me back through time…”
There are few experiences as refreshing as skiing down the slopes of St. Moritz in the morning and relaxing over some caviar sandwiches, Chablis and a live Jazz band in the evening. The staccato of a crackling fireplace and the plush luxury of chamois leather armchairs. Pure heaven. And entirely beyond my means. So I had to make do with a drive down Marinedrive in Suddu’s Esteem. We had some Pav Bhaji and listened to FM radio. Not too bad really.
Mumbai is blessed with a number of well stocked FM stations. Theres always something playing to match your moods. Some of the RJs get on my nerves though. Forget supporting the excellent music, sometimes those guys just spoil the experience. Sort of like when you have Biriyani at some exotic restaurant. Spoon after spoon of rice and spicy chicken. And then you bite on a piece of well-meant but fatally toxic green chilli. If you are unlucky to bite a full bodied one head on, you can might as well have mirch masala for dessert. Your mouth won’t feel a bloody thing. I had a friend whose eyes would water and nose start running. Then he would walk around with his tongue out and his face flush crimson. He used to work for a decent company. Till they served chilli cheese toast at an annual board meeting.
Anyways, we merrily drove around, until the first strains of a song from “Rangeela” wafted in from the speakers. Suddenly I had images of St. Thomas College Thrissur and Ramdas Theatre looming in my mind. After some struggle they usurped the mental space devoted to yesterday’s page 3 babe. It all came back. I asked granddad for money to watch my first “official” movie. Told him I won’t be back late. It was a friday I think. After class I was off to Ramdas with a bunch of friends to see the movie everyone was talking about. I was of course was purely interested in the music. (Ladies, kindly note the dignified persona. And the extreme cultural bent of mind. First come first served.)
Now when I mean “official” it means the first movie I got money from home to see. 11th and 12th in Malluland was not too demanding. See it went like this. Monday the Congress Students wing went on strike because the food in the canteen got too expensive. Tuesday early morning one of the students got roughed up in a bus, so the Communist wing went on immediate strike. Wednesday the private bus operators went on strike state-wide over rising petrol prices. Which automatically meant that college stayed shut. Thursday we actually went to college, but by 11 in the morning the staff went on strike over alleged retirement age changes. Friday “Golden Eye” was released at Ragam Theatre, so noone turned up for class. In short what one would call a wholesome, undemanding two years of education. By the end we were politically aware, appreciated film and learnt to understand the needs of “The Opressed Common Man”. Where was the need to know things like Organic Physics or that Typhoid is cause by the Female DennisLillees Mosquito? Alas, not many of us made it to the IITs.
Some songs do that to me. Take me to a particular time and a place. If Rangeela reminded me of 11th, it was Tere Mere Sapne for 12th. I loved the movie. But more importantly, we had a tape player in college in which a Tere Mere Sapne tape got stuck for good. So we had no option but to play the same thing everyday. That song always reminds me of that paying guest place and that broken tape deck. And that one week when ants attacked my bed, I woke up everyday hoping and praying I was still in a position to secure my 10 lakhs and Maruti Car. (Ladies, especially gults, please note the extremely affordable dowry demand.)
Anything from “Pardes” rushed me back to first year engineering. Again one of the few tapes we had in our first year hostel. And our source of solace from the seniors. “oh blady dy dy, oh blada da da….” pansy lyrics but evokes memories of bulletproof chappatis, that first drink and finding shortcuts to town so that those seniors dont catch you. First year was also when many people learnt boy bands werent cool anymore. Floyd, GnR, Iron Maiden. “What!!!…” the seniors shouted..”YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF LED ZEP???”. No sir I had not. I was too busy fitting strikes, morchas and first day first shows into my schedule in 12th. Though I still think it was all double standards. This heavy metal junkie is suddenly listening to his walkman.
“Why da machaan? Let me hear too na…”
“No da, today I want to listen to my rock alone. I feel thoughtful.”
Bollocks. He’s listening to “Baby you make my heart go phut” by The Pheelgood Boys or something and too chicken to admit it. I have no qualms. I too listen to Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Blue once in a while. And don’t make fun of them people. If I got paid a million dollars to dye my hair blond, bleach my skin, trim my sideburns into a “W” and wear a yellow suit I would do it with pride. For two million I would lose weight too. For three I would wear an electric blue pair of briefs. Only.
Sultans of Swing and ofcourse Highway Star takes me right back to third year and final year. IIMA has to its credit has a melange of remix and punju numbers. And of course some excellent trance tracks. (Ladies please note the highly attractive taste in both native and foreign music. The balanced lifestyle every woman craves for. Its all there.)
But right the now the undisputed king of my personal airwaves is that remix spectacular. That song which is a classic response to the question: “Where do I dump my garbage darling?”. Yes indeed, “Bin Tere, Sanam”. Since I set my foot in the metropolis its been playing everywhere. In a disco it played 6 times in one hour. Like that stuck Tere Mere Sapne tape. I love the song. Perfect to drive to. Infectious and lively. I hope the DJ who made that gets tons of money in royalty. I can’t wait to get to campus and copy it off the LAN.
But for now I will have to listen to it in Suddu’s Esteem. Its a bad car, almost in pieces. But the radio works. You people keep mailing in and thanks for spreading the word. And remember Sensex up or sensex down, India Shining or not, whether you like Yuva or not, aap “Feel Good” rehne ka, tension nahi lena ka. (Ladies, what did you say? He knows Hindi too??!!, handsome, educated AND multilingual??!!!. All I can say is offer valid till stocks last.)