Tragedy with AR Rahman

27 06 2015

This goes back to the August or September of 1991. I was the lead singer one of India’s most respected and trend setting Rock Band of South India ‘ NEMESIS AVENUE ‘. Those were times of the Rock band Shiva in Calcutta and Rock Machine in Bombay. When MTV was just making a entry to India and Indian Rock was looking for International recognition. Although the favorite Rock band that I ever sang for will always remain ‘ OUR SOULS ‘ ( Rajat Sood, Vero Desa , Mitesh Asher and myself ) a band that was among India’s first Metal Bands. We covered Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osborne, AC/DC and the likes, days when I was studying in Elphinstone College Bombay, the most talented and gifted contemporary Indian Rock musicians that I ever played with will always be NEMESIS AVENUE.Original line up Paul Jacob, Calistus D’Costa,Suresh Peters, Sudhin Prabhakar, Donna Murray and myself on Vocals. The band in time played with all the leading musicians of Chennai. You name it, Jim Satya, Uday Balasundaram, Eugiene D’Costa and anybody else who was of any stature in the Rock N Roll circuit of the time.
The biggest name among the studio musician of the time in Madras ( now Chennai ) was a Dilip Kumar. Known through out the Industry and even making a mark in Bombay the Advertising capital of India. He was known as ‘The Jingle King’.Suresh Peters our drummer was than working with an Advertising Agency and had done some work with Dilip and told us he is the greatest Keyboard player he has heard and he was interested to perform with a Rock Band !!! Paul Jacob our Bass guitarist screamed ‘ bring him on lets hear this guy ‘. So Suresh set it up and in our small house in Sabhapaty Steer Aiynawaram Madras which Paul, Uday and myself had taken up as a Band pad we were as usual practicing and waiting for this ‘JINGLE KING ‘.
A.R. Rahman
A.R. Rahman

A small simple guy walked in with a small Keyboard in his hand in a Ambassador car. This was Dilip Kumar. We all smiled greeted each other and introduced ourselves and Dilip set up his Keyboards. Once he was all geared up Dilip asked ‘ Which song ?’ as we had given him a list of songs we perform. Suresh Peters said ‘ Tom Sawyer ‘RUSH. Everybody said Yea yea Tom Sawyer. Suresh gave the count with his drum sticks and we started….. ATOM BOMB ! That sound that day in the practice room was the hottest sound I have heard of a Rock band in practice and mind you I had sung with some of the biggest Rock Bands of the time including Rock Machine of Bombay but this was something else. My hair stood up. I looked at Sudhin. He had a big grin on his face and all the band members were smiling. We had never heard NEMESIS AVENUE like this before. Dilip was seriously playing oblivious of our excitement. The first show we played together was ‘JHIVE LIVE’ an Aids Awareness concert organised by ARFI ( Aids Research Foundation of India ) an organisation working on awareness of AIDS which was a super hit and the band was in the next few shows soon featured on MTV although that was the only show Dilip featured with us.
The music Industry in India was just opening up and we were keen to make our first album.We soon approached Shashi Menon and Nikhil Raghavan who had a label calld INTUNE music and were tied up with Crescendo music Bombay who had a tie up with International label BMG.
Shashi straight away felt this was a good package and offered to produce the album. We were all excited this was our big break. Dilip offered to be Executive Producer and we recorded one song together’ Boogie Man’ . Before we could record our next song Dilip told us that he had an offer to Direct music for a Tamil Film and we should wait till he finishes it before we get back to our album.
I was restless and after some debate in the band we decided forget Dilip lets do this album ourselves as we had the Producer and could hire any Sessions Keyboard player from the market. The Band broke down Sudhin, Suresh and Uday quit and our Bass player Paul and me were left with our songs so we went ahead and released the album as SIGN of 4. Critically acclaimed the album was doomed as everybody had a sour taste in their mouths about the whole thing. I left Rock music for good and moved to London and then joined a Hospital in Vellore as a Media Coordinator making Documentary Films.
The same year Dilips first Tamil Film ROJA was released and he had taken his new avatar which we learnt was a personal spiritual decision with guidance from a family sufi mentor and India heard for the first time the sensation A.R. RAHMAN . Over night he became a Super Star, sensation and personally ‘Chinna chinna Ahsai ‘ is one of my all time favorite top 10 commercials songs. His genius was just making its impact all over the country.
Years past and we all moved on with our lives and than one day I was visiting Chennai thought will go and pay him a visit and meet my friend The Super Star A.R. Rahman. When I reached his house I was shocked he was on Z level Security and was scrutinized of who I was ? After some discussion they realized that I am indeed an old friend and let me in. I walked in to the small office of Noel ( then Rahmans Manager a close friend ) and after some chit chat was taken in to meet Rahman . He was as usual sitting on his keyboard and met me with a big smile. This may sound unreal but I mean it I felt like I could see a glow around his head. It was unbelievable this was definitely not the Dilip Kumar that I knew. He said Hi How are you ? I replied Great and he got back engrossed in his work with me sitting in his studio quietly. Suddenly he was replaying a song he was working on and I said “Aye “. He got alert and said What What and went back to the piece. There was a sound which was flat he looked at me smiled and corrected it. We were still sitting in silence.Then he dropped the Bomb.
What happened to that Album we were supposed to work on ?
It pierced me like an arrow straight to my heart. I just put my head down and remained silent.We had no conversation what so ever and finally I said ‘ Chal, I’ll leave’ . He smiled looked up and walked me till the door when I looked back at him his only words were ‘If you ever do any work in Public check your name with a numerologist and believe in God all will be well’. I smiled and we said Bye and I left. The meeting has always had a deep impact on my life as he humbled me.
Today years later when I sit back and reflect on it and if I ever get to meet him again. The only thing I will tell him is ‘ Yes Rahman Bhai. I too now personally believe there is a God and he is a kind and loving God and we can see him everywhere it is for us to identify him as I see it he is in us and we are in him’.

Written by Chandran Tattvaraj also known as Chandran Christian.





19 01 2010

And after two long years of RAHMANING, we now have been migrated to our self hosted blog at www.rahmaniac.com

All new updates will be now available in our new web, and with this post it is THE END for this WordPress site.

Now please stop reading this sad end note and take a U Turn to our new website by
Clicking here >>

Thank you Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress for the amazing support. You guys are the best !

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Happy Birthday Allah Rakha Rahman !

9 01 2010

Some 18 years ago, singer Unni Menon was given a call way past midnight, awoken in his slumber, and was told that accomplished director Mani Ratnam is recording songs for his new film and Menon’s voice was required for one of those numbers. Who works at this hour, Menon asked himself.

Happy Birthday ARR

But due to the fact that the name involved was called Mani Ratnam, Menon freshened himself up and rushed up to the mentioned recording studio, where he saw a young composer calling the shots.

Mani Ratnam, who so often works with Maestro Ilayaraja, has discovered a new talent to associate with in the music department. Menon wondered continuously if this young guy- whose name is AR Rahman, could really live up to the humongous expectations of having to compose for a Mani Ratnam film. He was given the song lyrics, the tunes were discussed, and on the wee hours of that one day back in 1992, Menon recorded a song called ‘Pudhu Vellai Mazhai’ (A new white rain), and went back home, back to his slumber.

The doubts that he had before recording the song existed even after that- he didn’t think he had sung the catchiest of tunes. Little did he know, that when he went to sleep that day, just like lyrics of the song proclaims, he has witnessed a new white rain, that will reign the Indian music arena over the following two decades.

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The Twenty 5 facts of A R Rahman

18 12 2009

1. Rahman has no nick names. All the family members including sisters and his mom call him “Rahman” with full fleged love and affection.

2. Due to the family situation Rahman discontinued his studies in Padma Sheshadree Higher Secondary School during his 9th.

A R Rahman Grammy

3. Rahman doesnt celebrate his birthday in a grandeur way. Early morning prayers, orphanage visits are the activities he do on that day peacefully.

4. Rahman eats just for his hunger. Takes on any food he gets in his house. His stomach gets filled for even “Rasam Sadaam”.

5. Rahman has 0% affinity towards gold jewellery. Slim Platinum ring is what he wears at times. He doesnt wear a watch in his hand.

6. Loves to listen M.G.R and Shivaji’s songs. At times he also sings those songs in his house which closely related people only are aware.

7. During the composition of a film or an add when Rahman sings “Pudhiya vaanam Phudhiya bhoomi engum pani mazhai pozhigiradhu” loudy that indicates all the work related with him is done.

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Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya ~ January 12

15 11 2009

After the stupendous success of the film Vaaranam Aayiram starring Surya, Sameera Reddy and others, Gautham Vasudev Menon is currently directing a breezy entertainer titled “Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa” starring Silambarasan and Trisha in the lead.

The film which has been under production has been shot vtvextensively at Chennai, Kerala and Malta. With an urban look to it, the story is set between two young people who fall in love. The film is almost complete with some portions and the climax to be shot. The authenticity and mood of the film is maintained by shooting at some realistic ambience in and around Chennai and some picturesque locations at Allepey, Kerala.

A much awaited musical from the Oscar Award Winning Composer A R Rahman, the film is sure to churn out some magic in its own special way, rendering some unforgettable and soulful numbers in the composer’s style, shot to the creative visuals of Director Gautham. The musical got a shot in the arm when Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaayaa’s music director A R Rahman was nominated for 3 Oscars and bagged two.

With five song situations in the film, three songs have been composed already, out of which two songs have been shot extensively in Malta at some virgin locations.

The song “Hosanaa”, sung by Vijay Prakash of “Jai Ho” fame, penned to the lyrics of Thamarai and a rap by Blaze is a sure hit among the young crowd for its peppy beats and stunning visuals shot by Manoj Paramahamsa at Malta corresponding to the stylized choreography by Flexy Stu of Adiye Kolluthey fame.“Omana Penne” written by Thamarai too and sung by A R Rahman himself, holds a style of its own in the way it has been sung and programmed.

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Rahman’s Jai Ho wows Kolkata !

15 11 2009

The venue was the same; so was the man. What was different was the music he played.Six years after his debut in India,  The  Unity of  Light concert — A.R. Rahman returned to Salt Lake Stadium this evening with hip-hop, funk, jazz and praise for the city that “best appreciates”his music.

“In Los Angeles, when somebody asked meJaiho Calcutta which audience appreciates your music the best’, I could only think of you. The same place, six years back… the love that you gave me is unbelievable and it is still fresh in my memory,” Rahman said. “If I have to hug each one of you,it would take me two years but I would still love to do that,” hesmiled.

Local flavour was not found wanting in the three-hour show, Jai Ho — A.R. Rahman Live in Concert, presented by the Liver Foundation of West Bengal. Javed Ali sang lines from Jodi Tor Daak Shuney Keu Na Aashey which Rahman had used in Shyam Benegal’s Bose: The Forgotten Hero.

Usha Uthup, Rahman’s “best singer from this city”, took the stage to sing two duets with the composer — Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and then
Mustafa Mustafa. Rahman emerged from under the stage with the anthemic chants of Jaage Hain from Guru on his lips.

His concert outfits were sober as always — a white full-sleeve shirt and a black T-shirt. His most glamorous attire was a red sherwani. But there was less restraint. Rahman broke into an impromptu jig on stage. Gone was the shy man behind the keyboard.

Moments earlier, Rahman had said: “As I get older, I see other points of view…. Things I wouldn’t have noticed before. If music wakes you up, makes you think, heals you, the music is working. And then, a thought put in action in a positive way is a blessed thought.”
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Kolkata all set to rock to Rahman beats.

14 11 2009

Come Saturday,November 14 2009 and music lovers are in for a star-studded treat. A R Rahman will be in town with an entourage that reads like the who’s-who of Bollywood playback music.

Kolkata A R Rahman Jai Ho

The winner of two Oscars has some great plans up his sleeves, and helping him conjure a magical evening at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan will be some of the country’s best singers Sadhana Sargam, Hariharan, Javed Ali, Rashid Ali, Shweta Pandit and Neeti Mohan, not to mention renowned percussionist Sivamani.

The thousands of Rahman fans who will turn up for the evening are certain to be mesmerized at the concert organised by the Liver Foundation, West Bengal, which will build a liver hospital in the city from the proceeds of the ticket sales. During a trip to Kolkata on October 13, his first to the city since winning the Oscars, the music genius signed guitars which will be auctioned off within a few days.

The revenue so raised, too, will be spent on building the hospital. Most paintings and portraits creations of Liver Foundation vice-president Kalyan Bose that Rahman signed during that visit have been auctioned at a gala dinner.

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