Monday, February 23, 2009

Ulaga Naayaganae!

As a rule, I generally avoid writing on stuff that everyone talks about. There are eleventy-eleven thousand blogs around the world, and all bloggers have views on everything contemporary. These days, owning a blog is equivalent to having views.

But am giving myself a concession this one time. This post is all about A R Rahman.

Earlier I used to think it was my own idiosyncrasy, but learnt sometime back that almost everyone feels this - A R Rahman is like someone you know so closely well. It's like he is a personal friend. And most people from my peer group feel this way. It's like everyone feels a sense of 'ownership' over him. It could be cos' of his Herculean modesty.

Or may also be cos he 'grew' with us.

I remember the day he won the National Award for Roja. Rather, the day the awards function was held and telecast on Doordarshan. I had spent just more than half-a-dozen years on earth then. But the diminutive kid who scored the music for Roja caught my fancy right then. Notwithstanding the high fever I was running then, I rushed to my cousin's house in Tirupattur to watch the show.

Just a couple of more years in Kollywood.. and he rose to stardom in Tamil Nadu.

And that was when Rangeela happened. I remember the trailers that were aired on DD Metro. They bore the words "A R Rahman's first original score in Hindi". And thus began Rahman's foray into the national scene. A few years hence 1997 happened. Vande Mataram happened. And Rahman became a son of India.

That was a problem of sorts for Tams. Cos he had to start sharing his time between Tamil and Hindi movies :( Anyway, that brought about a wave of awareness about Bollywood in the south. People in TN started singing Hindi songs to an unprecedented level (after Aradhana). And vice versa too - all my peers at IIMB from the north love Boys songs ("Woh girlfriend waali gaana..").

A few years went on like that, and Andrew Lloyd Webber (& Bombay Dreams) happened, signalling Rahman's entry into the global scene. Pride on one side, and jealousy on the other side, pulled me apart then. While happy that Rahman was making us all proud, I was upset that we would be hearing even lesser of him in Kollywood.

Anyway, I put up with that too. Kid can be given some freedom to move around on his own.

And now, Slumdog has happened. Sigh :(

Well yeah.. It's great that he (among others) is getting the world to look at us.

But I would have been much happier had this happened for one of his actually good movies. I found the music of Slumdog pretty average-ish, considering that it was from Rahman. (The O Saya bit is definitely haunting. But howmuch ever I listen to Jai Ho, I always end up finding it inadequate.)

Anyway, this is no time to crib. Namma paya gelichurukaan.. takkar matteru baa!

(Again going tangential, don't you think Rahman and Sachin have some uncanny resemblance? Behaviour, Stature - physical and otherwise, et al?)

19 comments:

vjramk said...

I couldn't agree more. Slumdog is far from Rahman's Best. And sachin.. ooh yeah!!

Pranav said...

That's very true da... Slumdog is not his masterpiece.. That too for 'jai ho'...
But he deserves the award... And yes... I also feel some similarity b/w sachin and ARR...

Anonymous said...

I really think Rahman has inhuman Modesty.Spot on with Tendulkar Comparison.some how the sense of ownership part is very true.Rahman is like "namma Payal"

Couldnt Agree more with your views!!

PS::UlagaNayagan is one and only Talaivar Kamal Hassan,I will still cry Sour Grapes,if some one else(even Rahman) uses it !!!!

-Gireesh Subramaniam

Karthick Prabu said...

I *always* *always* *always* had thought this in mind - "Similarity between Sachin and Rahman".

For the first time I see somebody after from me do have the same thought.

Karthick Prabu said...

@ Gireesh
I agree with Gireesh on the 'Ulaga Nayagan' title. Its one and only KAMAL, one and only KAMAL.

R.Balamurugan said...

btw..have u hrd "Baazi Laga" frm Guru??

R Srikkant said...

I couldn't stop myself from typing this out, even though my view is very similar to the ones before me.

'Ulaga Nayagan' is only Kamal Haasan. I wouldn't want anyone, even ARR, to use that.

Spot on with the Sachin thing. Anyone who follows both, just could not refrain from identifying the striking similarities in terms of achievements/humility et al.

Rathna Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rathna Kumar said...

thalai,
Am a big time fan of all three. Kamal ARR n Sachin.
Yes, Slumdog is not his best. But, Slumdog as movie in its worlwide banner and the scope of Academy awards did this for ARR. I am sure it is not a one time feat and I expect ARR to compose for more and 'better' worldwide movies.
I liked 'Mausam n Escape' in Slumdog. Awesome one.

And reg Sachin and ARR, yes very true. But i feel it is a virtue of any such champion. (Fedex is an exception) :)

Ulaganayagan can go with ARR too. We need to consider ARR's outreach and time taken to achieve those too.
When it is music and acting,i feel music is much closer to heart and ARR is definitely a Ulaga Nayagan too :)

Balaji said...

That 'growing with us' was well spotted. I too feel the same with respect to lots of others including Sachin, Federer...

And of course theres some striking similarity between them too.. that modesty, that magical smile...

Jai Ho surely is not Rahman's best. There are a hell lot of his compositions better than this.

Anyways, Congrats thalaiva...

Hariharasudhan Viswanathan said...

One thing that strikes me most, even more than the similarity in physical appearance is their humility...and ofcourse an unparalleled passion for their respective vocations :)

Girl of Destiny said...

"But I would have been much happier had this happened for one of his actually good movies."

Doesn't this make us look at the westerners indulgently and say 'you have yet to go a long way in appreciating our boy' with a knowing smile?


I'm back btw! Blame my office network which blocks blogger and housewifely chores that await me once I'm back home!
But one of your posts spurred me into action... Thanks for that! :-)

Muthu said...

Although there are many similarities between ARR and Sachin,Airtel brought them too close :)

Ramya said...

this is the problem when you blog on such a happening thing...

u were on dot as to how everyone is so possessive about arr, how Tam ppl felt weird to share him with the north [but we are proud hes one amongst us :) ], how Jai Ho is definitely not anywhere close to his best, how we still are floating on air...

gud one... felt like reading what goes into every Tam, every Indian's mind :)

Bhargavi Krishnan said...

Vishy:

I agree with you... there have been 'n' numbers of movies where he has done wonders. Unfortunately what happens is that is does not get so popular amidst the "vellai" kaaranga. Slumdog being his "Ok-Ok" sort of music got more popularity cos his "Hollywood" kinda set up

Anonymous said...

Hi vishy,
i cant find any similarities b/w Sachii and Rahman, but can say that there is a good similarity b/w my "thala" Ajith and "dhadha"
Ganguly!
ARR rocks even!
------> sakky

Karthik said...

Machi...

Lot of people agree with you....I am not going to do that :).....Slumdog is undoubtedly one of ARR's best....its just the BGM machi....just too good...I saw it in a theater here and it was just too good...The BGM impersonates aggression, and it suits the director's needs. We should not compare SDM with roja or bombay coz the demands and needs are different. Hear mausam and escape and liquid dance for proof.

Ananthasubramanian said...

Oscar is purely an international honor for Rahman's effort in Indian cinema.

There are lot better albums that could take away Oscars every single year. But, that's the way life goes. :) :)

ரமணன்... said...

"Ella pugazhum iraivanukke " nu ipodhum solra ARR ku kandippa herculean modesty thaan :)

SRT flew bak n smashed dat 140* for india..i fear anyone else will do dat...

Had there been oscars for cricket SRT woudld ve got quite a few :)