Celebrating AR Rahman: The man, his music and his magic
Call him what you may, Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal (music storm) or Allah Rakha Rahman, he rules over millions of hearts like he did when his soulful, haunting music first surfaced on the Indian musicverse 25 years ago. The year was 1992, the movie, Mani Ratnam's Roja. As AR Rahman turns 51 today, we celebrate the man, his music and his enduring mojo.
Much of Rahman's Hindi film music is the result of legendary partnerships with iconic directors. Be it Mani Ratam's terror dramas (Roja, Bombay, Dil Se), Imtiaz Ali's stories of escape (Rockstar, Highway, Tamasha), Ashutosh Gowariker's historical epics (Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar) or Rakesh Omprakash Mehra tales of modern India (Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6), Rahman's heartfelt melodies have given each story its soul and poignancy.
The Oscar-winning musician is also a philanthropist and vocal social change campaigner, constantly working with new talents and technologies. Remember the song Jiya Se Jiya, from his 2008 album 'Connections'? One among his several initiatives, it was Rahman's way of promoting the free hugs movement. He recently said that Rajinikanth was a refreshing change for Tamil Nadu politics.
Rahman's music is personal, yet universal, pushing boundaries, challenging conventions. His work is so prolific that we have a Rahman song for every mood. Distinguishing his music even in a language incomprehensible is easy. However, loving it takes time, but once done, it only grows. There is nothing like a bad Rahman song. Either you understand it or you don't. Such is his magic.