Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan says that the new “Hawa Hawaii” song in "Tumhari Sulu" is not an attempt to recreate the original. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—Vidya Balan’s new film “Tumhari Sulu” pays tribute to Sridevi’s iconic song “Hawa Hawai” from “Mr. India.” The film has an office party scene wherein the characters played by Balan (as Sulu), Neha Dhupia (as Maria) and RJ Malishka (as Albeli Anjali) are dancing to the tunes of the Kavita Krishnamurthi-Subramaniam track. The gratifying part is that the original vocals have not been altered.

Balan, a well-known Sridevi fan in real life, is quick to point out that the new “Hawa Hawaii” is not an attempt to recreate the original. It is a fun, up-tempo moment in the film where the trio gets to dance on a song that they all have enjoyed listening to while growing up. She asserted, “You cannot do a Sridevi song. Only Sridevi can do a Sridevi track. I just danced through ‘Hawa Hawaii’ in the film because it was so much fun.”

What is interesting is that Balan was barely five years old when the original was released in 1987. Her memories of the song are that of being a little girl awestruck by its melody and quirkiness.

When Balan came on set to shoot the song, she couldn’t help but go back in time and revisit her memory of “Hawa Hawai” when she was a little girl. “As a child, I absolutely loved the song. I can’t believe that so many years later I am actually featuring in it. When I was informed about it during pre-production, I was both excited and anxious. It made me very nostalgic. Ours is a happy interpretation. We had fun doing it!” smiled Balan.

The magic of the song lies in the fact that even 30 years later, the tune and melody are etched in the minds of every music buff. The original track was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, written by Javed Akhtar and the choreography was by Saroj Khan. It was marketed by T-Series, who is also co-producing this film.

“Tumhari Sulu” is a fun, aspiration-based story of a homemaker who believes that she can have a life outside the walls of her home.

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