Composed by AR Rahman, Ruby Ruby, the third single from Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, echoes the classic Taal (1999) song Ramta Jogi in more ways than one – the heavy bass guitars, the languid but thumping beat, and the additional percussion reminiscent of Sivamani’s most energetic works with the composer.

Sanju stars Ranbir Kapoor as Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The film depicts Dutt’s early years since his debut with Rocky (1981), his struggles with drug addiction, dealing with multiple affairs, battles with terrorism charges, and ultimately picking himself up from the point of no return to achieve box-office success and respectability. Rahman is the guest composer on the soundtrack, which features songs by Marathi film composers Rohan-Rohan and Vikram Montrose. Sanju will be released on July 29.

Ruby Ruby does not come with a video, though the song’s official description by the makers hint at its placement within the film’s context: “Wouldn’t life be colourful if what you imagined became a reality?”

Irshad Kamil’s lyrics, such as“Ho jaoon main, dhuaan dhuaan / aaoon wahaan, tu ho jahaan / Chuke tujhe, badal banoo / Badla hoon main, sapne bunoon” (I become smoke / I come where you are / I become clouds on touching you / I have changed and I weave dreams) could well describe a mind intoxicated by substances or love, or a bit of both, as Sanju goes in search of a Ruby, real or imaginary.

Shashwat Singh, who had previously sung the wonderful Rahman composition Wat Wat Wat alongside Arijit Singh in Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha (2015), is the predominant voice in Ruby Ruby. He is briefly supported by Poorvi Koutish. Shashwat Singh channels anguish and desire but with playfulness. Ruby Ruby is far from an uninspired track, but it does not have the madness we have come to expect from Rahman.

Ruby Ruby, Sanju (2018).