Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not as calm as the cover

Almost two months back, I was @ Odyssey to purchase complements for a birthday bash at office. As I was inquiring, something caught my eye, rather it was a pleasant and lovely surprise. I wanted to buy it immediately, but it was month end and since it is in print, I thought it will be there for sometime and it can wait till next week. Next week became next month and finally last week, my cousin got it for me on my birthday.

This is all about Kamini Mathai's book on A.R.Rahman - A.R.Rahman, The Musical Storm. Though she claims it to be, Rahman has denied that it is his official biography. However, Rahman, who is very particular about going through articles about him before they are published, would have definitely given an approval before the book release. Hence, I choose to believe what I read. Being a Rahmaniac, I just see this as getting to know more about the spiritual genius.

A.R.Rahman - The Musical Storm

NB: This is a review about the book and not about Rahman. As usual I'm starting with the positives.

1) Hats-off to have made this happen. When meeting him rather getting a glimpse of him is impossible, she has made the incredible, unbelievable and impossible happen.
2) To portray truth (interesting but unexpected) about such a personality in a country like India (where anything in print can get the masses against you) one needs guts and way to go.
3) She has maintained a low profile in her organization of he content. I found it very easy to read. It was simple and straight forward.
4) How many people has she met? Whether she used the web/phone/in-person-interviews or whatever, lots of effort has been put into it.
5) Starting with the Oscar night and leading us to Dileep as a boy attracted my attention as a reader.

1) There are many repetitions, a few of them being so prominent. For instance, the fact that Rahman and his family have closed the door to their past has been stressed at least thrice in each chapter. Another example is singer SPB's quotation of the divine feeling when he is in Rahman's studio; the same quotation appears twice. After a while, we tend to go, "Ya ok! So what's the big deal?"
2) Why does she say the music of Tenali (Kamal's movie) is awful? She could have restrained from those commenting on his music.
3) Generally, comparisons are good. In fact I liked the way she has compared how Ilayaraja and Rahman compose music (the process). But, she has given a picture of Rahman wanting to overthrow Ilayaraja and contradicted the same, later. I believe each and every genius have their way of working and they are great in their own way.
4) I bet anyone who reads the book would be able to make out the fact that A.R.Rahman, The musical storm is an attempt to cash in on his success. It is so evident from the controversial touches it carries. No wonder Rahman claimed that this is not completely official. She has miserably failed though (not sure about the cash, but definitely with the controversy).

Hillarious ones
1) It is funny when she quotes Rahman's punctuality stating he'd not have lasted even for while in the industry had he started working with his father, who fired people for not being punctual.
2) Mr. TR (Mr. T.Rajendar) has a paragraph about him. She says how Dileep (Rahman, back then) used to get irritated working for him. It tickled me to laughter only when I read how TR used to compose.

About the Content
My respect for this genius only grew. The child prodigy in him impressed me. The responsibility he took up on his shoulders at the age of 11 is wonderful. The way he moved on when he was ill treated by his teachers shows the amount of patience he had, even as a kid. From his days as a sessions player, his ad jingles days, his band days, from Roja to Delhi-6 and specifically from Dileep to A.R.Rahman, he did not fail to awe me. He just bowls you out and you sit there with your mouth wide open.

Like the book finishes, the Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTA awards are locked in his cupboard; the spot-lights are down and he is back to work. He is Rahman.

Another review I read

1 Expressions:

Swathi Vaidyanathan said...

When it comes to music related stuff, u have influenced me so much with ur views and be it with this book as well ....until I read it.

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