AR Rahman turns 52 today. The Mozart of Madras has been recognised as an international talent with two Oscar awards under his belt. The singer-composer is a genius and we need no proof of this. As he continues to compose music, many of Rahman’s songs are being revisited and re-written. A man of few words, AR Rahman continues to be an introvert even after tasting such great success. While his popularity has soared ARR continues to remain the humble, grounded man that he was when he rose to fame as a film composer in 1992. While Rahman was in the music circuit creating soundtracks for documentaries and advertisement jingles, mainstream film music was his true calling.
One of the most memorable music albums composed by AR Rahman was for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film Rang De Basanti starring Aamir Khan. The music of RDB played an important part in not just the story-telling, but also the film’s popularity prior to its release and post it too. The album boasted of an eclectic mix of songs – from the fun party number like Pathshala to an emotional Luka Chuppi. There was also the new and revamped version of Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, a patriotic song that people had heard before, but Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics and Rahman’s music gave it an altogether new twist.
In fact, Prasoon Joshi once revealed how AR Rahman had used his complaint as the song’s lyrics. In an interview, the lyricist had narrated the episode of how Khalbali was composed and said, “There is a line in ‘Khalbali’ called ‘ziddi ziddi hai armaan’. Interestingly, ’ziddi’ word was not there initially and something else was there. I was humming and singing it.” Rahman was apparently not convinced and refused to go ahead with the composition. After much discussion, the composer still felt that the lyrics were not “sounding clear”.
Joshi continued, “When I had called him, he said ‘Prasoon it’s not sounding right.’ So, I jokingly said ‘ziddi ziddi Rahman’” Rahman had a eureka moment and responded by saying, “Arey! that’s what it is Rahman, nahi ziddi ‘armaan’.” And finally, both Prasoon and Rahman were happy with how the lyrics sounded on the beat of Khalbali music.
AR Rahman has some of the best sound of music to his credit along with the many National Awards, Grammy, BAFTA, Golden Globes and of course, the Academy. Like Rang De Basanti, AR had albums that were pure gold. One just forget Roja, Bombay, Kadhalan, Rockstar, Gentleman, Iruvar, Rangeela, Dil Se, Taal, Lagaan, Yuva, Swades, Delhi 6, Raanjhanaa, Highway while talking about the legend’s work.
Here’s wishing the Musical Magician AR Rahman a very happy birthday!