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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Book Review: A.R.Rahman, The Musical Storm

A.R.Rahman is a national icon whose chartbusting songs are popular throughout India & abroad. You don't get to see much of him on TV or read about him in the newspapers. Of course, now he is on Facebook and Twitter but his soulful songs will make his fans wonder how he churns out music that is always path-breaking and make them want to know about A.R.Rahman - the person.

In her book A.R.Rahman, The Musical Storm, Kamini Mathai has attempted to tell the story of India's most commercially successful musician. It is the author's first book and it shows. You have to be a committed ARR fan to oversee the flaws, monotonous and disorganized writing to gather bits & pieces about him that you haven't already read elsewhere. The author takes liberty with facts; some of the bloopers are so shocking you'll suspect if she knows much about Indian Cinema and if some of the details that she writes confidently about, are correct.

Writing about Ram Gopal Varma's Rangeela, the author says he was "at that point a videocassette-shop owner, newly turned director". RGV at that point of time already directed 8 movies by then and won a State & Filmfare Award for Best Direction. She writes off Shankar's Kadhalan as having "no story-line whatsoever".

This book published by Penguin Global in 2010 came out after he won 2 Oscars in 2009. It is very odd that this book doesn't have even a single review (at the time I'm writing this) on Amazon. This is worse than having a negative review.

Some facts and trivia about A.R.Rahman that I picked up from the book:
  • Was man of his house from the age of 9, after his father's untimely death. 
  • At Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Chennai, where he studied, he lagged so badly that he had to drop out. The school felicitated & took pride in him however after he became a celebrity
  • Composed 300 ad jingles in 5 years.
  • He likes to be called AR or ARR or AR Rahman or Allahrakka Rahman or Abdur Rahman (which means Servant of God) or Isai Puyal but not Rahman, Mozart of Madras, Beethoven of Bollywood or by his old name.
  • He prays a lot
  • He has two forms of recreation - meditation and the Internet
  • He puts his money into music and charity.
  • K.M. Conservatory, Rahman's music school, is named after Khalishah Mastan, a sixteenth century Sufi saint while AM Studios is named after Arifullah Mallik, his current Sufi guru.


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