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AR Rahman - The music and the noise

Thursday, July 30, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Empty vessels make a lot of noise, and 2020 has been a year of cacophony, courtesy the emptiness offered by worldwide shutdown of erstwhile practices called life. Some have learnt a new skill, some others are building towards a better future, while a certain section has been banking heavily on the sensational effect of clickbait content, to keep them afloat and relevant.

And when innovation is the key, why not cook up controversies on a stove that doesn't heat? The brilliant grey matter of the faction in question has tapped into the potential of the golden globe laying goose, because....interesting? Cheesy? Never happened before? We don't know for sure how such M.A. Philosophy work (Gounder reference), but we do know that the eagle has always remained on the sky, flying above the storms, irrespective of petty opinions and rumours.

Redefining a generation

Any change makes a difference, but only a good difference creates a lasting impact. Was it in the stars or his strings (or both?), that come 90s, a new wave of music swept the industry to a dichotomy of melodic preferences. Before you knew it, AR Rahman rose from being just a chart buster to the man who put Indian national song on the rest of the world's playlist. With world fame at his doorstep, he kept his head straight and remained loyal to his passion, which was rewarded in the next decade hence, with one of the rarest - 2 Oscars.

Now is the point of ongoing white noise. Post Academy Awards and the humbling "Yella pugazhum iraivanuke", we aren't getting to see the man's talent a lot around. Now that a lot of hands are kneading empty, two arguments have been put forth.

Argument 1 - Bye-bye Bollywood

A recent stir has been poking sticks into the silent mouth on why he has turned down Bollywood. Some have been pointing their compass Westward, while others down South. All said, why haven't we seen ARR in Bolly credits in a long time now? The issue has particularly risen up the hashtag ladder, once Rahman took haters down with his trademark inner peace, in his response to Shekhar Kapur's tweet.

Love has been pouring in from all quarters, with the same theory - a good opportunity has good artisan at work. Give the man a chance, make it golden. But, each to their own.

Argument 2 - Lock horns

It is no news that politics thrive on religion. The latest kid on the block is accusing AR Rahman of religious favouritism - anti-hinduism in specific, giving ample finger excercise to all the warriors.

To begin with, AR Rahman has seldom banked on his religious preference to influence any opportunity that came his way. Any sensible person can make this out from ARR's demeanor and interactions, but here is a list of references for the uninitiated, to introduce the concept of secularism and patriotism:

• Christianity - Anbendra Mazhaiyile - Minsara Kanavu

• Islam - Khwaja Mere Khwaja - Jodhaa Akbar

• Hinduism - O Paalanhare - Lagaan

• Patriotism - Vande Mataram - Maa Tujhe Salaam

• Hinduism - Manmohana - Jodhaa Akbar

• Islam - Maula Wa Sallim - OK Kanmani

• Christianity - Anbin Vasale - Kadal

• Hinduism - Sakthi Kodu - Baba

• Hinduism - Margazhi Thingal Allava - Sangamam

• Patriotism - Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera - Swades

• Patriotism - Thamizha Thamizha - Roja

• Patriotism/Secularism - Semmozhiyana Tamizh Mozhi

• Patriotism - Jagao Mere Des Ko - Coke Studio

• Patriotism - Des Mere Des - The Legend of Bhagat Singh

• Hinduism/Polytheism - Sai Shirdi Sai - 99 Songs

• Hinduism - The Land of Shiva - Raanjhanaa

• Hinduism - Alai Payuthey - Alai Payuthey

• Hinduism - Namakame - Komaram Puli

• Hinduism - Thiruppugazh - Kaaviya Thalaivan

We would go on, but you get the idea. And yet somehow, some people baselessly claim that ARR pushes his religious belief down others' throat.

Social responsibility

Something is better than nothing, but nothing is better than nonsense. Today's greatest trouble lies among the uninformed, who choose to believe nonsense over nothing. We put this list together for proof that claims and hatred are baseless. All said, throwing small wicks in the sky is not going to hurt the sun, that is AR Rahman to the world of music. But for the love of moral sense and social harmony, would you spread peace and the good word, please - pretty please?

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