Soon after AR Rahman won himself two Grammys and two Academy Awards for his work in
, the music maestro saw his name appear in a lot of negative news reports. He received significant criticism for his Commonwealth Games song — ‘
Jiyo utho badho jeeto
…’. But none of that feedback came as a surprise to him.
“When you get fame, the opposite is always around the corner. It was predictable, but not as disastrous as I thought it could be. I could handle it better because I was prepared,” says Rahman.
A few months down the line, Imtiaz Ali was reported to be unhappy with what the musician had created for his next film
. Apparently, the director felt that the artiste’s international projects were taking priority over his work in Bollywood. But both, Ali and Rahman, laugh the news off.
“Rahman’s music is his own extension. He is much more open than I had expected him to be,” says Ali, clearing the air. And Rahman is quick to add, “Every director should have the freedom of liking or disliking something. Even when you are working on a musical, you reject your own tune sometimes as well, which is okay.”
Nonetheless, baseless rumours and news reports do tend to take their toll on Rahman. But the secret to his calm demeanour is simple. “I remind myself that life is a mix of positive and negative things. If everything goes well in someone’s life, they should feel lucky, but being ready for the bad aspects is equally important,” he says, adding that he prefers not to react to everything written about him. “I take experiencing happiness and negativity with a pinch of salt. Both are passing phases, but the lessons you have learnt remain forever,” says Rahman, who was in the city for the launch of his first official biography,
AR Rahman – The Spirit Of Music
published by Om Books International.
Reminiscing about the early days in his career when he was “ordered around, belittled and didn’t feel like living” he says, “When faced with such situations, one may feel that there is no solution. But it’s important to see the light at the end of the tunnel at that time.”
Now, Rahman is planning to launch his own film banner — YM Movies. But nothing is final yet. “It could take time to materialise and lead me to different things altogether. If I do, I will produce films that deal with Indian stories.”