With ARR-Ratnam combo celebrating their 25th year of partnership being the flavor of the season, thought will pitch in with my memories linked with their creative outputs.
Though Roja was their first and possibly the best ever wholesome album in their combination, it was Bombay that I could recollect more about. Most vivid of the lot being, the Friday edition of newspapers carrying the first poster/look of Bombay a month prior to its release. It was that of Manisha Koirala wearing a white veil/head scarf/duappatta(!!??) with her back posing for the pic, her head tilted to look at the camera, with only one half of her alabaster white face being visible from whatever precious little gap allowed by the cloth over her head. We used to buy HINDU paper and on that day it was Indian Express that carried this picture. The petty shop which was right at the door step of our house had kept the newspapers on our verandah to dry as it was pouring heavily that day. I had an insatiable appetite for reading then and had a dealing with that potti kadai uncle, that I would read the magazines and comics without messing the stapler or leave any dog ears, for free, with strong recommendation from my mom. I used to finish the books in half hour flat and the cost of managing my reading was eating into our budget. The newspaper had all been drenched in rain and the Friday supplements, barely managed to remain dry, having been secured inside the main paper. The movie was followed by so much hype and tension around the riots that were raging that time and made it all the more interesting to follow.
The other reason to remember the movie was that, it was the year we brought home our first two-in-one, a BPL-SANYO set of radio and recorder. There was an audio cassette offered free along with every set, the options were Baasha and Bombay. Prior to the day of purchase I heard the "Hulla-Gulla" song and mind was haunted with it playing non-stop. But sadly I wasn't aware it was from BOMBAY. I didn't knew ARR was the music director as well. The store guy tested Baasha cassette by playing it on the set and the song was "Thangamagan". We took Baasha with the set and came home to find Hulla-Gulla playing in our neighbour's house, much to my dismay. When the trailer was released, it was on a special show where they showed some beach with "Arabi kadaloram" song playing in background. Just one glimpse of a golden sand covered beach with dark violet sea brimming with tides. For a moment I thought Arabian sea was elsewhere in middle east as I couldn't believe such a beautiful beach existed in India. I got all the songs recorded in a local music shop and as my famous luck would have it, he screwed up my favorite hulla-gulla song for want of space and cut it right at the middle of last stanza. After hearing that tape till every single magnetic bit of it came off, mind automatically finishes the song even today at the exact place where it ended on tape, even while watching it on video.
Thank you for the music and the memories.
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