He is one of the few Indians to have won two Grammy awards and two Academy Awards, yet he retains the humility of a common man. Celebrated Indian singer-composer AR Rahman, also known by the sobriquet 'Mozart of Madras', says he can never let stardom consume him.
"I was a common man and I will always remain a common man. No amount of stardom will ever consume my soul. Money comes, money goes. Fame comes, fame goes. I believe every human being is a celebrity in their own right," the 46-year-old told IANS in an email interview.
The music maestro made history when he became the first Indian to win two Oscars in a year, 2009, for Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, the rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai slum-dweller. Rahman had also bagged two awards at the 52nd Annual Grammy for his song 'Jai ho' from the same film.
The success has not gone to his head. "To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head. Ego is 'Edging God Out'. Success is important, but it doesn't always drive creativity. The integrity and passion of music is what ultimately drives me, with the unconditional blessing from the Almighty of course," he said.