Music and Lyrics

An Ode to a Beautiful Soul

Men of very few words are either geniuses that let their work do the talking or mavericks upto some crime or the other. Fortunately, we in India, have seen the former ones more often than not. There are only two names that spell inspiration and joy to India in the last two decades. One is Sachin Tendulkar. The other is A.R Rahman.

While in the movie theater watching Delhi 6, I remarked to my aunt who was enjoying the beautiful way Arziyan was sung and incorporated in the movie, that this piece of music is something much better than what he might just end up winning an Academy award for the next day. It was true. The music of Delhi 6 reminds you of Rahman of Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Duet and other such prodigious territories. Not that he ever went out of form. Still, tonight, we witnessed the boy from Madras receive not one but two Oscars for music, that despite being far from his best, brought him that recognition, he truly deserved.

It rightly celebrates the man for his big heart and even bigger talent for constantly churning out remarkable notes. A friend once remarked how Rahman uses classical raagas in their most pristine form. An example being Hai Rama from Rangeela, which is supposed to be PanthuvarAli without even one swaram added or subtracted. Such is his devotion and passion towards music.

It has been an exhilarating journey since 1991-92 and it promises so much more after tonight. From the song that went “Tamizha Tamizha, Naalai Nam Naale” to an Oscar acceptance speech ending with “Ellan Pugazhum Iraivanukkey” and a dance number that spells out Jai Ho on the stage of Kodak Theater, he has done it all. Clearly, this was not a requirement. He doesn’t need this to be called the best composer of recent times from India, but he did it anyway. And for that, every soul that is moved by the flute piece in the middle of Kadhal Rojave, will be thankful. That is everyone.

If they ever told my story, let them tell that I listened to giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them tell, that I lived in the time of A.R.Rahman, the Mozart from Madras.(Slightly abridged from original source)

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31 thoughts on “An Ode to a Beautiful Soul

  1. Beautifully written! I might want to add V. Anand with S. Tendulkar and A.R.R. but otherwise you have spoken for me! This is what makes sharing the country with the likes of Amar Singh bearable

    Adi: Thanks! Yes, V.Anand definitely. Lol @ Amar Singh!

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  2. I concur. Completely. He’s come a long way. We’ve come a long way w/ him. It’s an unforgettable journey and it’ll stay that way. :)

    The man. THE man. W00t!

    Adi: W00T!

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  3. You’ve expressed what most of us only feel but cannot expresss it so well, Adi.

    :) When I couldn’t find you online last night, I told A last night that if nothing, you will write a post about this. Of course he didn’t care much. But then, I did :P My predictive abilities are only getting better everyday! Yayyyy!

    Adi: Thankoo! Hehe, yeah was offline till it ended, and then thought of writing it!

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  4. I was listening to Chinna Chinna Aasai late last night, after he won the Oscars, and at that moment I was happier than I had been in a long time. He deserved that recognition on a world stage.

    Adi: Saw your tweet. I was listening to Tamizha Tamizha!

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  5. I was so overjoyed to see Slumdog Millionaire get so many awards last night. I was more excited that there were 4 awards to 3 Indians, and that Rehman actually performed at the Oscars. Rehman truly deserved it – not so much for Slumdog Millionaire but for the 100s of he has churned out in the past so many years and delighted us with.

    Adi: Seriously. The movie Academy Award nomination worthy but best picture am not sure. Definitely deserved the cinematography and editing. Can’t comment much coz I haven’t seen other nominated movies!

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  6. yep veerapandi from thiruda thiruda and anjali anjali from duet are sublime!

    me n vampy we doing full commentary on gtalk, wonder where buddy was…

    hmm so I see you’re making a profession out of modifying stolen quotes! naaanice naaanice…

    Adi: Haha, happy realization, this blog is full of those!

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  7. Absolutely !
    This may not be the best of his compositions but he deserves this more than any other!
    nice comparison between Sachin and ARR…both are short,geniuses and a billion people love them for what they do!

    Truly ending that speech in Tamil is very special!
    Ellam pulgalum iravanugkey!!

    As the movie talks abt destiny,hope …its written ARR has to get Oscars for this movie!

    Adi: Hehe, well said!

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  8. Fantastic piece! Thank god for Rahman!

    Adi: I thought the same! Rahman thanks the Almighty for giving him everything and we need to thank the Almighty for giving us Rahman!

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  9. Pullarichadhu, when he said ‘Ella pugazhum iraivanukke’ He was totally awesome.
    Its true Slumdog is not even the best of his works. He totally rocks!

    Adi: Same here, swelled with pride!

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  10. Yayyyyyy!!!! I had the greatest evening screaming each time slumdog won, more so waiting in excitement for ARR’s perfomance and contantly chatting with max :)
    When ARR got the award my roomie and I jumped, high fived, screamed and all…only to hear the other unenthu roomie say ‘wat happened? oh!’
    Lovely post…one of ur best posts to date…and fyi- I’ve read ur entire blog!

    Adi: Thank You! Yeah, I loved the performance and ending collaboration with John Legend!

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  11. Lovely peice. And Hai Rama is sublime. I urge everyone to turn on the speakers to full volume for the first 10 or so seconds till the percussion bits begin. Or better, listen to Hariharan play with the same bit on stage.

    Adi: Thanks! Yep, it is lovely.

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  12. Adi: Eloquently written. Thank you for this piece not just for what it is, but I almost closed my reader in disgust and disappointment after reading one piece and I clicked yours. Thank the Lord I did.

    It is indeed some serious historical times we live in eh?

    ARR, Obama and then there’s recession. :|

    Adi: Yeah, Great Depression Part II, Obama and Rahman. Well put! Thanks

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  13. As much as I feel that we don’t need the Oscar to recognise the greatness of this composer, I’m extremely happy that he’s made his mark.

    The humility and the excitement in his voice was just so refreshingly honest.

    Ella pugazhum iraivanukke! :)

    Adi: Iraivanukke!

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  14. arr rocks… But just for argument sake, Can u write an article comparing the music and the method of ilayaraja and ar rahman? I simply am not able to find differences in the two eyes of mine. ERR one is an i , the other is an arr, not an I

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  15. How on earth u were able to link Troy and AR Rahman ill never know .. Good Going tho .. And as u rightly said this was not even his best work ..Pity that the Western World hasnt heard the rest of his genius

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  16. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  17. Good linking of Troy. I got a post few min back on troy (was watching it on demand) and rahman on reading Ilaiyaraja and Rahman talking …. But Guess the way you modified it was fantastic !!

    Good one again !

    PS: Cross posted your text !

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  18. Though he is known as the Mozart of Chennai, the truth is, he has cast a spell over the entire world and has become the pride of our nation by winning not one but two Oscars in one go. He is none other than A R Rahman, the shy and smiling genius of music.

    Now, there is good news for all Rahman fans. A biography of sorts has been written by one of the noted journalists of Chennai, Kamini has come up with a story of Rahman. This also covers his pursuit for music, his father’s life and also Rahman’s journey from here to the Oscars.

    The biography is slated to hit the stands soon and many book lovers and fans of Rahman are said to be looking forward to get their hands on this one. Rahman has been a low key and private person but many say that this biography might give an insight to his silent life.

    The first authorized biography of Indian music genius A R Rahman is going to be published on June 10.

    Titled -A R Rahman: The Musical Storm’, the biography, written by Chennai-based Kamini Mathai, will be published by Penguin India. The title is apparently inspired from the nickname -Isai Puyal’ (Music Storm) given to Rahman by several Tamil commentators and critics.

    Jai Ho!

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