Call him what you may, Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal (musical storm) or Allah Rakha Rahman, he rules over millions of hearts.
He surfaced in Indian musicverse decades ago, 1992 to be exact with Mani Ratnam's Roja, and he hasn't left our hearts since.
As AR Rahman turns 52 today, we celebrate the man, his music and his enduring mojo.
Everlasting partnerships with iconic filmmakers
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's tales of modern India (Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6), Rahman's heartfelt melodies have given each story its soul and poignancy.
A philanthropist, a vocal social change campaigner
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 also said that Rajinikanth was a refreshing change for Tamil Nadu politics.
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Rahman can create magic, but finds framing sentences difficult
The maestro may have captured expressions of millions but doesn't talk much.
When asked why he chooses to remain a 'man of few words', Rahman said he didn't know how to frame sentences.
He finds music easier. "You can do it (music) with your fingers and heart. Talking is not, so I thought of speaking less and working more is better," he said.
Technology is the next step, Rahman knows it
One of the biggest reasons why Rahman remains relevant is because he embraces changes, doesn't battle it.
He will learn everything about a gadget in a short time, he has crashed drones and he loves photography.
"I can learn the most complex synthesizers with algorithms and FM synthesis and resynthesis," he told HT while adding that operating iPhone wasn't a cakewalk for him.
Loving Rahman takes time. But once done, it only grows
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.
Allah Rakha Rahman
Jiya Se Jiya
Rakesh Omprakash Mehra
Rang De Basanti