Warning: The longest-ever post in this blog follows! Read it if you have the time and patience.
Initially when I thought about what to write to mark the 15 years of completion of A R Rahman in the world of films, I couldn’t think of any specific aspect to focus on. Besides, I was thinking what’s so special on completing 15 years? After all, Rahman has been associated with/composing music for a period more than that. But, did I listen to his music before 15 years, knowing that the music that I was listening to was composed by him (Am referring to the jingles etc. here)? Hasn’t these 15 years made a difference to my life in a way it can’t be imagined? Besides, I thought I had said everything I wanted to say about his music in my earlier post. But, can proper justice be done to the magic produced by Rahman’s music in just a single post?! So, here’s my journey of how I transformed from just another fan of A R Rahman into a Rahmaniac.
The years 1992-1999:
As I had written in one of my earlier posts, I still remember the day when my dad got the cassette of Roja and how I loved all the songs. Then many more excellent albums of Rahman released. Pudhiya Mugam, Gentleman, May Madham, Bombay, Indian, Rangeela…. In all the movies, there were a few songs that became my all-time favourites. But, it was just that. I liked the songs and kept listening to those again and again. Nothing else special happened. It wasn’t until 1997 when Minsara Kanavu released that I slowly started realizing how much I like his music. Suddenly, I found most of the songs by other music directors at that time to be not quite as great as Rahman’s. I started telling everyone that Rahman is the best. 🙂 But, even at that time, I neither bought the CD/cassette of Rahman’s movies on the day of the release itself nor did I start discussing Rahman’s music with anyone who would be willing to lend an ear nor did I completely realize the effect his music has on me but, my passion for Rahman’s music seemed to be ever-growing. 😉
The year 2000 – Alaipayuthey and ARR Fan Club:
2000 is the year that was something like a turning point in my life. I had always been known as the most silent girl of the class though I had a few close friends with whom I did talk a lot. I had given my Class 10 Board Exams. That was the time when Alaipayuthey released and as you all know, I became crazy about the movie. 🙂
Thanks to the admission system in Tamil Nadu, I had to switch over to a State Board school and in the new school, I was not the most silent girl in the class anymore (Of course, I have not changed completely. Some part of the old-me is still left even now). The reason being, Alaipayuthey (the music and the movie) became a rage and everywhere, people were discussing about it. And I found it irresistible not to take part in those conversations. 🙂 When I heard someone rave about Pachchai Nirame (can any song ever come close to it? 🙂 ) or some other song from the movie, I too started joining in and before I knew it, I had made a lot of good friends thanks to Alaipayuthey and Rahman!
It was at that time that I slowly started using the Internet and thanks to my craziness for Alaipayuthey, I got introduced to the Yahoo Groups. I first came to know about Madhavan fan club. Then, I searched through the groups and stumbled upon Mani Ratnam and A R Rahman fan club. Seeing so many of them sharing the same excitement about Rahman’s music and discuss about it left me amazed, and before I realized what was happening, I became a Rahmaniac! 🙂 It felt great to know that there were so many others sharing the same passion (some even more!) for the man’s music. I realized that his music had always had the same effect on me ever since the beginning.
Following the messages in the group started as an activity which I pursued once a week or so. But, very soon it became everyday activity! (Since the group didn’t require a membership to read the messages, I didn’t become a member of the group till 2004 and till I started blogging, I never posted even a single message in the group!)
The year 2000 was a defining one since that’s when I realized that if I wanted to celebrate my happiness, if I wanted to cheer up, if I wanted to get motivated to do something or even if I was feeling very sad and didn’t feel like getting back to normal soon or when I was curled up with a book in my hand on a lazy weekend, I had a set of Rahman’s songs that would give me company!
I joined college and that’s where I got fully exposed to the Dappankutthu and Gaana songs (read sub-standard stuff according to me) since I was forced to listen to those in bus during industrial visits or even while traveling to college everyday. After listening to such crap, my passion for Rahman’s music grew even more. When anyone asked me what my hobby is, I would say listening to Rahman’s and Carnatic music! Wherever informal introduction was required, I started introducing myself as a fan of A R Rahman. When any of my friends came across anything related to Rahman, I became the first person they told that to. And, I became what I am today some 5 years back – a complete Rahmaniac! 🙂
Chinna Chinna Aasai, Telephone Manipol, Thee Thee, Aathangara Marame, Kadhalikkum, Tanha Tanha, Leo Coffee Ad, Thendrale, Kanava, O Rey Chori, O Bawre, Poo Pookkum Osai, Uyirum Neeye, Nenjinile, Kaatre En Vaasal, Do Kadam, Ishq Bina, Kabhi Meeti Lagti Hai/Tu Accha Lagta Hai, Des Ki Mitti, Yeh Tara, Vanessa Mae’s Raaga’s Dance, New York Nagaram,….. I started enjoying every bit of music composed by Rahman.
2007 – Dream comes true!
The thing that I never ever thought would happen even in my wildest dreams, happened – Meeting A R Rahman himself! Standing in front of him, I wanted to tell him so much, how much his music meant to me and all such stuff. But, as expected, I got tongue-tied. 🙂 All I wanted was to catch a glimpse of the man whose music has made a very big difference to my life and I got that. That was more than more than enough. Writing these lines has made me relive every moment of that day! It all still seems like a dream.
Never wishing to wake up from that dream and ever a Rahmaniac,