'No matter how good you are you can always be replaced' is a famous quote. But if there are two musicians who can never be replaced, it has to be Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman, well, at least for Tamil music lovers.
These two gentlemen cannot be replaced simply because they were a part of music evolution that took place many years ago.
If Ilaiyaraaja made us revert to Tamil music at a time when music lovers were heading towards Hindi cinema in search of decent music, AR Rahman, on the other hand redefined Tamil music, by taking it to the next level.
Like any other fan of high quality music, I have spent hours thinking who the better musician is among these two geniuses.
Ilaiyaraaja, without using any form of electronic arrangements, has treated us to complex music that stays simple at its heart. Perhaps, this is why I had once concluded that Ilaiyaraaja scores over Rahman.
But then the Mozart of Madras, comes up with something that makes me withdraw my decision. His song 'Anjali' for example, thrives on a simple composition and yet pierces your soul.
Though I'm a big fan of pure music, AR Rahman's usage of technology has only improved the status of Indian music throughout the world.
So does that award AR Rahman a brownie point over Ilaiyaraaja? Not at all. Ilaiyaraaja is called 'Isaignani' for a reason. His abstract music is as good as any other form of music that is enjoyed all over our planet.
So who is the better musician? Well, it's absolutely fine if we cannot seek answers for all the questions that pop up in our head.