It is well known that maestro A.R.Rahman had inspired music lovers and critics with his debut Tamil film Roja. The songs were chartbuster and the re-recording for the film based on Kashmiri terrorism is being appreciated even by the current generation.
The film released in 1992 and Rahman got the National award for Best Music director for his debut film itself. While this is a well known news, there is an interesting fact associated to the selection of the Mozart of Madras was selected for the award.
The National awards Jury included veteran director Balu Mahendra who passed away last week. A.R.Rahman for Roja and Ilayaraja for one of his films released in 1992 were close contenders for the award and Balu Mahendra's vote was crucial for the decision. Balu Mahendra apparently said that he finds it very tough to select between a legend like his good friend Ilayaraja and A.R.Rahhman who is promising and sure to receive many awards including the Oscars in future. However he decided to cast his vote in favor of Rahman since he felt that such recognition for debut film is extra special than any other award. It is also said that Balu Mahendra conveyed his decision and reasoning to Raja, and Raja had appreciated his friend for taking the right decision.
It is to be noted that Balu Mahendra worked with Ilayaraja until his last film and has never worked with Rahman in any film. Apart from the generosity of the Maestro and the Master craftsman, the latter's sense of judgement is also to be appreciated here. What he had predicted in 1992 has come true in 2009 when the Isaipuyal received not one but two Oscar awards for his work in the film Slumdog Millionaire.