Indian music composer AR Rahman celebrates 25 years in film industry this year. His journey has been phenomenal and his feats are unmatched, and he continues to mesmerize us with his infectious melodies.
How it started
August 15, 1992 ushered in a new era in Indian film music. The release of Roja introduced a young talent by the name of AR Rahman.
The film created many records all over India and help Rahman bag the prestigious National Award in his debut.
He broke all traditional norms followed in music composition and created a new trend, which is followed even today. Rahman is known for freshness in each of his songs.
His achievements thus far are testimony to his commitment towards improving himself with every song he composes.
Sri Lanka has her own share of Rahmaniacs who continue to follow his works in India and Hollywood. In fact, the maestro was scheduled to perform in the country last year but had to cancel it indefinitely due to unavoidable circumstances.
But he had expressed his desire to perform in the country.
His fans do not belong to one particular community. His music has crossed all borders and has earned him millions of fans.
In Sri Lanka too, Rahman’s songs have united the Sinhalese and Tamils who have become his ardent fans.It doesn’t matter if it’s the Hindi ‘Chaiya chaiya’ or the Tamil ‘Thaiya thaiya’. Music has no language and Rahman has succeeded in proving that fact.
Rahman, in his 25 year long career has worked with numerous artistes from across the globe, including Sri Lankans.
He had worked with MIA aka Maya Arulpragasam, a UK based singer of Sri Lankan descent for Slumdog Millionaire.
He then worked with Sri Lankan rapper, Aryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam on numerous projects including Kadal, Linga, OK Kanmani, and Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyadaa.
It should be noted that Rahman was also part of a couple of films that involved Sri Lanka.
Thenali directed by KS Ravikumar had stalwarts such as Kamal Hassan and Jeyaram along with Devayani, Jyothika and a host of stars.The story revolves around Thenali (Kamal Hassan) a Tamil born in the Northern part of Jaffna who is afraid of anything and everything due to the hostile and violent environment he grew up in.
Despite the characterization of Kamal, the story was a comedy caper and was a huge success at the box office. Popular announcer BH Abdul Hameed assisted Kamal with the Jaffna dialect.
Rahman’s songs were different from his previous compositions. The song ‘injarungo’ sung by Chithra and Kamal Hassan was a hit especially in Sri Lanka.
The term ‘injarungo’ is generally used by wives in the North to address their husbands.
Kannaththil muththamittal (A peck on the cheek – 2002) It is a story about a child who finds out that she was adopted by Indian parents and goes in search of her biological parents who are Sri Lankans. The story has the Sri Lankan civil war as the backdrop. However, no scenes were filmed in Sri Lanka even though parts of the story are set in Colombo and the North.
The film’s soundtrack includes a song with Sinhala Tamil lyrics, penned by Sri Lankan announcer BH Abdul Hameed