Outwardly, hours before the Times Of India Changing Notes concert for the launch of the Times Of India in Chennai, the musical maverick A R Rahman is calm. Being imperturbable is second nature to Rahman. But every concert even today is a challenge and an occasion for serious soul searching for the 41-year old maestro who has re-written every rule of film composition since Roja.
"My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s, I went through the most turbulent and hectic time of my life. Now I spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija, Rahimaand Amin. 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," Rahman says.
About the fabulous evening on Sunday when he regaled audiences with a roomy retrospective of his filmic repertoire Rahman said, "Basically, we chose to perform my film songs. That seemed to be the need of the hour. It was a rather special occasion since the Times Of India was launching its Chennai edition. Besides me, there was my full orchestra, plus singers like Chitra."
Some hours before the show Rahman said from Chennai, "There's of course the usual chaos before a concert over here. So I can't speak at length with you right now. I love performing in Chennai. That's where my roots are."