Indian of the Year 2009 - A R Rahman!
The verdict is out. Indian of the Year 2009 poll I conducted in my blog ended today. To my disbelief, over 600 people cast their votes. The winner with 203 votes is none other than Oscar award winning music director from our country AR Rahman. He polled 33% of the total votes. Sachin Tendulkar came second with 121 votes (20%). The former chairman of ISRO Dr G Madhavan Nair came third with 82 votes (13%). The three politicians in the list Sonia Gandhi (12%), Dr Manmohan Singh (11%) and Dr Shashi Tharoor (11%) came fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Here are the final results.
I asked few of the ardent fans of AR Rahman to write about him and here is a compilation of their thoughts…
The album '
Now...about Rahman. I would say its pure innovation and an ability to reinvent himself that puts him way above any other music composers. That is one reason why he is still at the top and still able to compose something new. If you listen starting from Roja in a chronological order to the latest 'Blue' , you will find that his style has evolved a lot. One example would be the melodies he compose, he started of with very simple yet catchy melodies in Roja, Pudhiya Mugham etc. and now his melodies have evolved into way more complex compositions that actually takes few listening to grow on you. The fact the many of his compositions take time to grow on you is another interesting aspect. Some of his albums, there will be couple of numbers which will be catchy and in my case, I like them from the very beginning and there will be few others which I find interesting or new but not very likeable in the first few listening. But eventually, those tend to grow on me and become my favorites in that album for a long time to come. Example would be Boys. I liked the song 'Girlfriend' and 'Boom Boom' in the very first listening as they were catchy on the other hand 'Secret of Success' didn't really strike me at first. But over time, 'Secret of Success' became my favorite and I rate it has one his best compositions. I think it’s because if something is really new your mind takes some time to comprehend the melodies and nuances of it, whereas something more predictable will be instantly catchy. Same reason why the instantly catchy ones doesn't stay in your mind for a long time. It holds true for all those formula type item numbers many composers churn out !
Comparisons to other composers won't do justice to someone like Rahman because I believe there can be only one such composer in a particular period of time and he is just beyond comparison. I do consider Ilaiyaraja, Raveendran etc as great composers too but just that they belong to a different era 'before' Rahman, so its unfair to them and to Rahman to do any comparison. People like Rahman don't follow any particular current trend, but instead they make their style the trend and other just follow that trend.
It was the year 1997, a very special year for every Indian on the planet.
What surprised me the most in the album was the singer hidden in him. Since then, I have followed his music with great respect and admiration. One of my most favorite Rahman songs is the one Lukka Chuppi. Notice the ease with which Rahman scores level with Lataji, one of the all time greats of Indian Cinema, and then does one better when he veers off into a solo at about 5 minutes into the song. Another one is Yeh Jo Des from Swades, speaking of which it is one of the movies with a great background score, one which really tugs at your heart.
Speaking of his international fame Slumdog .. received many a accolade for the song Jai Ho. No disrespect to Rahman but I wouldn’t certainly rate that as his best composure. Saying that the Oscar can be presumed to be a recognition of his work in the 15 years of music. And to make things better it did bring the nation the most awaited recognition, one which we were never able to achieve even with the works of the famous Satyajit Ray, For m no doubt he is the Indian of the Year for 2009.
I remember watching Roja when I was five or six, and amidst all the terrorism, and violence in the movie, all I could really comprehend and take out, was the heavenly music! The music, even appealed to a young me, and I kept humming 'chinna chinna aasai' for days to come. I think that is the power of Rahman's music. That it can solicit both, young and old, men and women, alike. The youth usually think of Rahman as their favorite party music, dance music, the upbeat tunes are very catchy. His other melodious works are appreciated by the older crowd, although I think, Rahman is majorly a youth icon. But still, I can say that his music is universal, proved by his recent Oscar win. His tunes are very uplifting...I always go back to some Rahman, when I am down, and I am instantly elated. Time and again he has proved his brilliance, and I think he really is a musical genius, as he really knows to touch people's hearts with his work.
“All my life I had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I'm here. God bless”. These were the exact words used by the great musician, in his Oscar acceptance speech which shows how humble he is. Every song composed by him carries unconditional love and some magic in it - People call him Mozart of Chennai. I listen to Mozart compositions too; some times I feel Rahman is a better composer.
I listen to wide range of music and all kinds of genre of music but while I listen to Rahman’s composition it makes me feel very special. I even thanked God many occasions for giving me gift of listening to Rahman’s compositions, all he knows is music and nothing else, for a person whose life is music and nothing else matters Oscars are just a milestones. Above all he stays in Peoples heart forever and ever and Expressing in word why I like him is just impossible for me..
An Avid blogger, music buff, film student, dramatist, writer and an activist - this is what his twitter profile says about him. He works as a software engineer in India for a living. He dreams of becoming a world renowned director one day.
There can be no Man or Women
Who might try to abjure Rahman
There is not even a single layman
Who misses the breeze produced by the Shenoy from the Shaman (More of Raghu on AR Rahman)