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AR Rahman: From Roja to Grammy Awards

By: By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
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“This is insane, God is great again"" is what AR Rahman said after getting his second Grammy Award at Los Angeles. For any Indian music fan who has followed Rahman's career this award is anything but insane. The Mozart of Madras who started his career with Roja almost two decades ago has surely come a long way. The last 18 months have been remarkable for this man who has pocketed every possible award for scoring the tunes of Slumdog Millionaire.

The last decade in Indian music has belonged to the 44-year-old musician who has won the National Film Awards as many as four times. Add to this 13 Filmfare Awards, 12 Filmfare Awards South, 10 IIFA Awards, 8 Star Screen Awards and 6 Zee Cine Awards and the list just continues. Rahman who went professional with the keyboard at the age of 11 made it to Time magazine's list of 100 'World's Most Influential People. The renowned magazine also listed his theme music for Bombay was as 'One of the 100 albums to listen before you die."

Although he had written the music of The Lord of the Rings, Slumdog Millionaire marked a change in his international stature.The last 18 months has been dream for the Rahman who won the Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, Best Original Score at the Golden Globe Awards, Anthony Asquith Award for Best Film Music at BAFTA and the latest two in the crown Best Compilation Soundtrack and Best Motion Picture Song at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Rahman who has won all major awards in the last one year feels Padma Bhushan is surely the best. Rahman had said “"There're so many deserving candidates for National Awards, still unsung. On the other hand, I believe people with dubious records get recognized. That isn't fair. Personally speaking I'm very happy to get the Padma Bhushan. Ever since the announcement my phone hasn't stopped ringing. I think I've received more congratulations for the Padma than for the Oscars."

In the last two decades Rahman has appealed to the Indian and the international audience breaking linguistic barriers. Rahman had won hearts during last year's Academy Awards when he had said “"All my life I've had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I'm here." This perhaps sums up man who was a born Hindu and then converted into Islam but has certainly made music his religion. It's truly a 'Jai Ho' to Rahman.

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