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‘Public has right to express delight, discontentment’

He missed out on a second Golden Globe, doesn’t know if he will pick up a second BAFTA Award or a third Grammy for his Best Original score in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours.

music Updated: Jan 28, 2011 17:39 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

He missed out on a second Golden Globe, doesn’t know if he will pick up a second BAFTA Award or a third Grammy for his Best Original score in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. AR Rahman points out that may be his friends and fans are a little disappointed that he didn’t get another Globe. But he’s happy to be nominated alongside talents like Danny Elfman (Alice in Wonderland), John Powell (How To Train Your Dragon), Hans Zimmer (Inception) and Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech).

“These are prestigious awards. I’ve been nominated for an American movie and not slotted as an Indian composer,” he reasons. “I’ve won so many awards, including double Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire, that now it would be silly to be excited when there could be another movie next year,” he laughs, long-distance from Los Angeles. “What’s important is to make a difference in the world, through music and philanthropy.”

Rahman is in the Oscar Academy shortlist again in the Best Song category for If I rise… from the soundtrack of 127 Hours, for which he collaborated with Dido. He describes the British singer as an “inspiring voice” with whom he worked through a video conference.

“I’d sent Dido the crack pack. We recorded the song sitting in different continents with a group of kids in two hours flat. I guess, it was the idea of a father appearing in an inspiring vision that had us rising to the occasion too,” he reminisces.

For the Mozart of Madras, 2010 was a mixed year. His CWG anthem, Swagatham…, was panned while ‘I will rise…’ has won him accolades. Rahman takes both acceptance and rejection in his stride, philosophising that if you enjoy people clapping for you then you have to be prepared for criticism too.

“Everyday is about choices, and in my case, these choices involve the public. So they have the right to express their delight and their discontentment. I give every song my best but destiny… the vibration of fate… sometimes fails me. Still, I am a believer in the Almighty, I leave it to Him to carry me along,” he asserts.

Rahman will team up with Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chaddha and her husband, Paul Berges, along with Dreamworks Animation, for a Ramayan-inspired Bollywood-style animated musical set in Mumbai, revolving around two monkeys trying to stop an ancient demon from conquering the world. Broadway lyricist Stephen Schwartz has been roped in.

“It’s an exciting project but too premature to talk about it now. And Monkeys Of Bollywood is only the working title, I don’t like it much,” admits Rahman. “Dreamworks wanted the word Bollywood in the title, it’s big in the US. I’m sure they’ll be careful of not hurting anyone’s sensibilities.” Danny Boyle is keen on a Slumdog Millionaire musical. Rahman likes the idea: “May be in a couple of years when the memory of the film has faded.”

Boyle is helming the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics Games in London, and Rahman admits that he’s been approached. “But I’m really busy and can’t devote two years to the Olympics. May be if multiple people were involved… I haven’t met Danny in a while but I’d love to collaborate with him again on anything exciting.”