A.R.Rahman’s Biography Unveiled

A.R.Rahman’s Biography Unveiled

A.R.Rahman’s unveiling of his book in a Juhu hotel was an affair that comprised of family members and close friends. Rahman’s mother Kareema, wife Saira, sister Raihanah and bro-in-law flew down for the occasion. The book is a biography written by Nasreen Munni Kabir and published by Om Publishing House.

The others who came to grace the occasion were Rahman’s mentor director Mani Ratnam, who unveiled the book, showman Subash Ghai, directors Ashutosh Gowariker, Ram Gopal Varma, Imtiaz Ali, Shivamani, Javed Akhtar and Shyam Benegal. Mani Ratnam said that his association with this ‘shy young child’ began when he invited him to his so-called studio which was a small shed with a swing outside. . “The music he made me hear that day is as good as his music is today. I am his big fan, but I am a greater admirer of him as a humble human being”, said Mani Ratham. Post the interview, Rahman was open to a round of interview where we note that the shyness has been replaced by a suave, positive personality.

How long did it take to complete the book, considering your hectic schedule?

Guess Munni got down to writing, like she says, about four years ago. But I don’t keep an account of time. But yes, I had to give her a deadline. And only deadline makes you stop procrastinating.

The most special part of the book that you wish to mention?

Everything related to my life is special to me. But yes, the most memorable part in my life was 1989, a turning point in life. I finally got my own studio, but the only problem was that it was empty. There was no equipment in it. I would be sad and often go and sit there wondering how I would fill it up. I needed Rs. 4 lakhs which is equivalent to Rs. 4 crore today. My mother came to my rescue. She sold of all the gold jewellery that she’d kept for my sisters wedding. And with that money I bought my first Fostex 16-track mixer/recorder. Life changed for me.

You returned that money?

Of course! So much more than that…

How comfortable are you with the Hollywood market?

I am comfortable in both the environment. When I was scoring `Couples Retreat’ there, it was little difficult as I was trying to coordinate from India with the production team in LA. But now I have a home there, thank God! I have met some wonderful people in the West. And I am glad that I have experienced the best of both the worlds.

How do you deal with work pressures and hectic schedule?

I visit a Sufi dargaah, located near Mahabalipuram which is next to the sea. I derive my sanity from there. Just stepping inside is therapeutic for me. It removes all my stress.

What do you like apart from music?

Music is the only passion I shamelessly indulge in. However, for recreation I enjoy watching movies. “Wizard of Oz” was the first film I ever saw, followed by the “Bond” movies. I also watch a lot of World cinema through DVDs mostly brought by one of my best friend who’s now based in Toronto. I also like catching up with my old friends, walking all by myself and being with the family.

What about your plans to start a film company?

Yes. And my vision through the production house is to provide a platform for new ideas and change the perception of music implementations in films in such a way that it can bring back the old charm. Beautiful film music can be made relevant to any period. I am keen that we produce family entertainment that enriches our lives. I am also hoping that my vision will change the status of musicians in India. A musician is a professional, whether he or she is successful or not. The profession itself must be regarded as a stable job.

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