Randomly on Rahman’s 20

So everyone gets to write about what Rahman and his 20 years of hard work means to him or her. It is as if we worked hard and achieved something arriving at an end of a journey or a turn in the long road ahead that we think we ought to document our thoughts. What an arrogance. I always think, how would Rahman feel about his 20 years, for that’s the one that needs documentation.

Surreal? Just a milestone that he looks and smiles at? Insignificant or as good as 19 was?

Most of us who write these articles are mostly of the age equaling his experience, yet all we do is what we do best when we go in front of the Srirangam Gopuram or The Taj Mahal or say a Golden Gate bridge – stare, gasp and wonder – how is this humanely possible?

Rahman in many ways is an epitome of the rise of middle class, the power of one, the wonder kid who went on to become famous – all those stories our parents fed us while growing up but never had an impact. He is almost like the one among us who did what we probably could do in some other life somewhere else.

A whole new generation got inspired by his music, his ways, his attitude, His passion and his hard work, his insane calmness despite being named the Musical Storm – Isai Puyal. Possibly this generation learnt a lot more than what they would have otherwise learnt from mainstream education and media.

To talk about his music is to just say what he taught us. Most of us wouldn’t even dare to over analyze his music. A whole part of my life – a music collection on a Hard disk, Bose Speakers, Sennheisser headphones, iTunes store, iPods, Music World, Ilaiyaraja and in fact Patriotism if it is quantifiable – wouldn’t have happened if it was not for him. I just wonder what would that life be.

My mom’s intention was to get to inspire me with the fact that a kid became famous and that I have to “study hard” to succeed that way. I just became a fanatic, someone who loved the “new” music and would make a deal to get every single A R Rahman cassette alone. Everything else can be missed.

Enough has been said about his music whatever it may center around – Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Duet or Uyire, his blast into Bollywood ,  the 2 oscars, globes and such that completed every tangible and intangible desire of every musician. Yet, this man goes back to his roots and works hard to bring us back that music we drench our sorrow and happiness in. The music that we never heard, the thing that we would take time to come out and patiently wait to grow on us, the music that would redefine what can be done in film music and the music that would make every other musician wonder if something of that is possible in ones life time.. Nothing is more overwritten.

Infact, a critic might argue him being overrated primarily because so much has been said about his music, which is primarily a benchmark of number of lives it has touched. Writing is not easy yet we want to.

One wonders if  he would have survived the non cassette (and MP3) era – when it was all Radio. Many examples (such as Iruvar) prove he would have held himself no matter when. True musicians do – nothing can be disputed there.

Our Journey goes on and so does his – affecting our lives every other way. We stop to look back and gasp at the travel that he has dragged us with. He doesn’t stop, for all those things we call achievement – according to him- is just an act of god to make us all happy. Every credit goes back to him and we just live, listen and die happy.


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