Musician A.R. Rahman’s poise is unbelievable. As stalwarts such as directors K. Balachander and Mani Rathnam, lyricists Vaali and Vairamuthu, playback singers S.P. Balasubramaniam, Hariharan and Chithra, and actors Kamal Haasan and Prabhu showered accolades, he sat on stage wearing his trade mark, child-like smile.
The renowned artistes were featured in a video production of the Rotary Club of Madras, screened here on Tuesday, when the Club honoured him with the ‘Lifetime achievement award’.
While commending Mr. Rahman’s musical genius, almost all of them spoke of his humility. “He is undoubtedly a great revolutionary in Indian film music. But what strikes me is his humility,” said Mr. Balachander, who has worked with him in films such as ‘Duet’ and ‘Parthalae Paravasam’. “Rahman’s success follows years of intense hard work with focus,” said Mr. Vaali. Mr. Mani Rathnam deemed him one of the most director-friendly music composers, and Mr. Haasan said he was looking forward to working with the music wizard in his next project ‘Marmayogi’, in the nearly 25-minute video production.
“I am really moved. This is a great honour. There is a lot more to do … I feel like a slate waiting to be written on,” Mr. Rahman said.
An impromptu question and answer session which followed evoked some candid and funny responses from the musician. Queried on the research he did for films such as ‘Jodha Akbar’, he said: “Oh yes, we did a lot of research and did not use any.”
On the music that he liked listening to, he said ‘Carpenters’, the music of composers K.V. Mahadevan, Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy and particularly those of P. Susheela, were his all-time favourites.
President of the Rotary Club of Madras Indra Subramanyam, director of vocational service Hemant Chordia and honorary secretary Shibu Isaac were among those present.