13 January 2009

Rahmaniac Moments!

And the Golden Globe for Best Original Music Score goes to AR Ruumen!

They might have bungled the name. They might have been as surprised as everyone else knowing Clint Eastwood was in the nomination ballot. In the end, it was hindi music that resonated in Beverly Hilton last evening. AR Rahman representing over billion people accepted the award for his individual genius! A Rahmaniac moment that is now part of another proud Indian moment!

No! It is not an approval from west that we seek. It is more of an acceptance of talent at global level!

For 16yrs, Rahman has engulfed us with his music and strangely each one of us has our very own life moments entwined with Rahman’s music. At the end of day, it is not the awards that one remembers but how his music intersperse our very own life moments. Nostalgia wouldn’t exist without them.

I remember my first “Rahmaniac” moment.

It was 1992. For the first time in the history of my hostel, Eighty kids ranging from 7 to 17, are completely silent and transfixed at the TV screen for four minutes and twenty seconds. The song that was playing on screen was “Chinna Chinna Aasai(yeh hain chota sa)” song from Roja. A new kind of sound. A new kind of rhythm. A unique interlude. At the end of it, we were all smiling at each other. We knew we were transported into a new realm that we had not experienced before.

Every fun moment from there on with friends involved his beats, rhythms and mesmerizing tunes. There was water bottle throws with “Humma Humma”(Bombay) during India losing their world cup matches.  The blaring “Urvashi…Take it Easy”(Kaadhalan,Hum Se Hain Muqabla) from the corner tea shop directed at girls walking into college. Mindless Dancing on top of the theatre seat to “Tanha Tanha” (Rangeela) feasting on Urmila Matondkar running on the beach (a la desi Baywatch moment)! Whistling non stop to jiving girls in "Usilampatti PenKutty" in college festival! And finally, our very own “slumdog” moment with “Pettai Rap” in dorm room! College wouldn’t have been so memorable without Rahman!

When you are in love, Rahman’s melodies have a way of exploring deep into your own emotions that seems to move with the waves of his keyboard. The stillness and depth in “Nahi Saamne” (Taal), the sereneness in “Swasame”(Thenali) , the high notes mixed with aching voice in “Khamoshi Raat”(Thakshak) forms a perfect background to your own love story.

The summer of 2006 was unusually hotter in Atlanta than the previous summers. Taking refuge in the mall theatre, we settled on a heist movie, "Inside Man". There was a bunch of desi college kids who sat on the side row and wouldn't shut up even after the trailers started. However, as the movie started, there was a surreal, out-of-body experience for both of us. The sound and image on screen did not match each other. The sound was "Chaiyya Chaiyya" song going full blast in Dolby surround sound but the images are that of a van moving in Brookyl bridge with Clive Owen in it! As we looked at each other, the common indian bond stood up with pride as we clapped together, as if to tell everyone, "THAT'S OUR SONG"! 

A quintessential memorable moment made possible by Rahman! 

Perhaps the most profound Rahmaniac moment is how Rahman leaves you with a lump in your throat every time you listen to “Maa Tujhe Salaam”(thai manne vanakkam-Tamil)! After 22 years, I was displaced from my India to US . Without Rahman soothing this displaced soul with "Yeh Jo Des Hain Mera"(Swades), "Tamizha Tamizha"(Bharath Humko-Roja) and many others,life outside India wouldn’t be same!  

There are few indians who transcend and transport you by their sheer skill, patriotism and above all, weaving art from "heart"!

Tendulkar, Manirathnam and Rahman are those individuals for me! 

Go Rahman! 

Grab the Oscar for us! 

And even if you don't, A BIG Thank You for being part of our very own moments!