It was Kodak Theatre re-enacted in Kollywood. This time, it was not raining Oscars, but accolades. Eulogies echoed everywhere as the Tamil Nadu Cine Union felicitated music maestro and double Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman in Chennai yesterday.
Music, love and camaraderie marked the event as Kollywood’s music fraternity got together in praise of the musician who has made India proud on the international scene. Tamil cinema’s greatest music maestros, right from grand patriach M.S. Viswanathan to musical genius Ilayaraja to the youngest band of musicians like Yuvanshankar Raja teamed up to shower praises on ARR.
The icing on the cake was maestro Ilayaraja’s touching address to Rahman. Drawing parallels between Rahman and John Williams, the American composer with highest number of Oscar nominations, Ilayaraja said, “Even John Williams had to wait for four years between one Oscar and the next. But Rahman went there with three nominations in one year and returned with two Oscars!” Presenting a gold chain to ARR, the composer said that there was no bigger felicitation than being honoured by one’s own family, the music family. The maestro did not stop there. He called Rahman “the man chosen to receive the honour for India”.
M.S. Viswanathan, cheerful and sagacious, poured fulsome compliments on Rahman and asked him to achieve more, not stop with these awards.
The doyens of three musical eras of Tamil cinema, M.S. Viswanathan, Ilayaraja and A.R. Rahman shared great camaraderie on stage. An elated Rahman thanked everyone for the love and honour showered on him and pointed out that he would be more pleased if fans extended the same love to other composers also. “Please don’t abuse the work of other music composers and insult them,” Rahman requested his fans to stop the meaningless debates belittling music composers, especially the discussions on cyber space.
Almost every music director in Kollywood, including Devi Sri Prasad, Harris Jayaraj, Yuvanshankar Raja, Ganesh, Karthik Raja, Deva, Srikanth Deva, Vijay Antony and singers Karthik, Chitra, S. Janaki, Swarnalatha, Chinmayi, Swetha Mohan, Mano and Haricharan were present at the occasion. Chevalier Balamuralikrishna graced the dais as Chief Guest where director K. Balachander and filmmaker A.V.M. Saravanan participated as honorary guests. Kudos to Rahman and Kollywood!