In the past couple of weeks, a considerable amount of newsprint and television airtime has been wasted on the fall of AR Rahman and his mediocre song that took six months to create, much to the disappointment of many fans and fellow musicians alike. Most of Rahman’s fellow musicians and collaborators have cowardly denied to comment, stating various laughable reasons (they don’t want to rock the boat lest they not work with Rahman again, shudder!). It is as if they are more afraid to be judged on their opinion than on the quality of the song that they deny commenting on.
But while the people have rejected the song whole-heartedly, I would like to point out that no Rahman music has ever been accepted upfront. It is only when they have seen the juxtaposed cinematic picturisations to the various songs that they have accepted his music.
Had Malaika Arora Khan not jumped onto the train, Chaiyya Chaiyya would not have made it on its own. Had Urmila Matonodkar not done that sultry number with Jackie Shroff in the desert, Hai Rama would have been Hey Ram! And would Masakali be what it is without Sonam Kapoor playing with pigeons on the rooftop?
Most music these days suffers from a lack of aural intelligence, which means that most of it needs to be heard a few times to find out if it’s acceptable or not. And while the AR Rahman CWG song is not his best, but it’s not the worst either. A creative person is a human being and all creation happens with a particular emotional response. It is just that Rahman’s response was probably not as focused as we would have liked it to be. But then who are we to dictate creativity anyway… if I may say so.