Indian music composer-singer AR Rahman turned 50 on Friday. (Jan 6).
Here are 11 lesser -known facts about the Mozart of Madras that you should know:
1. AR Rahman was born a Hindu. But when his dying sister was cured by praying at a particular mosque, his entire family converted to Islam. A firm believer that he is, Rahman still prays five times a day.
2. As a child, AR Rahman participated in children’s programme “Wonder Balloon” on Doordarshan where he was seen playing four keyboards at once.
3. So fascinated was he with electronic gadgets and the technology behind them that AR Rahman wanted to become a computer engineer as a kid.
4. He never really liked his original name – A. S. Dileep Kumar. The Oscar winner never found his birth name apt for the image he had for himself.
He was exploring Sufism when an astrologer suggested him to change his name either to ‘Abdul Rahman’ or ‘Abdul Rahim’. He picked the name Rahman.
His mother added “Allah-Rakha” [protected by God] and his got his new identity as AR Rahman.
5. AR Rahman had to leave school at the age of 15 due to his poor attendance.
6. It was not Mani Ratnam’s 1992 film “Roja” that saw him debut as a music director. His first film was Mohanlal starrer Malayalam film “Yodha” (1992).
7. Rahman still has his old keyboard that he played in his teens, displayed at his studio.
8. He loves songs composed on raga Sindhu Bhairavi.
9. Rahman does not like wearing a watch. At times, he wears a Platinum ring.
10. He adds lots of sugar to his coffee. The ratio is almost 1:4.
11. No matter how busy he is, AR Rahman makes sure to spend time with his wife Saira and three kids – Khatija, Rahima and Ameen.
He loves playing video games and watching 3D animation films with them. Though his wife and children are not allowed inside the studio when he is working, Rahman often sees his kids off to school before going to bed after working all night.
(Sources: Official website of A.R. Rahman, NewsroomPost.com, ScoopWhoop)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.