Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rahman's Oscar khalbali!

With three of his songs making it to the Oscars'shortlist, AR Rahman will turn a year older on a good note.

Although the Oscars eluded Lagaan's music director in 2001, this year AR Rahman has enough and more reasons to celebrate. To begin with, three of his songs have made it to the Oscars short list of 56 songs.

Rahman says, "They've short-listed 56 songs, of which three, 'Khalbali'and 'Lukka chuppi'from Rang De Basanti and 'Chan-chan'from Water, are mine. I was expecting a list of 500-600 songs, I'm quite surprised. I think the way they look at our films and music abroad has completely changed now. There's a lot more respect for what we do. They don't think of us as dancing around trees anymore."

Rahman chose the three songs for the Oscars on his own. He says, "I chose 'Luka chuppi'because of Lataji. She's the pride of the nation.

...I don't know what the outcome would be. I think it's a big honour to be there. But to get to the last 56 songs is quite an honour. My agent in LA was sweet enough to take care of all the nitty-gritties."

Come January 6, and the Mozart of Madras, Rahman will turn 41.

Rahman agrees that he's entering the most important decade of his life. "So far, I've just been busy living life. From my childhood I was surrounded by grown-ups, I never got a chance to enjoy being a child.

It took me a while to realise how young I was. By the time I realised that I was missing out on youthful activities I was no longer young. Now I'm re-living my childhood with three children. If I'm able to give them everything that I couldn't afford, they too are giving me back something vital,"he says.

The composer shares his birthday with his son. "My son is going to turn four on the same day. Yeah, he and I share the same birthday. ...I don't know how that happened,"he smiles.

And what sense has he made of the 40 years of his life? "My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s I went through the most turbulent time of my life.

Now I spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija (11), Rahima (8) and Amin (4). My studio in Chennai is bang opposite my house, so they spend a lot of time with me. All they've to do is cross the road and they're with me,"he says.


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