Art & Entertainment

When A. R. Rahman Had To Work On A Tight Deadline Despite His Sister’s Ill Health

Oscar and Grammy-winning music composer A. R. Rahman, whose recent album 'Amar Singh Chamkila' has received great acclaim, recollected an incident when he encountered a challenging situation professionally and personally.

A R Rahman
A R Rahman Photo: X
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Oscar and Grammy-winning music composer A. R. Rahman, whose recent album 'Amar Singh Chamkila' has received great acclaim, recollected an incident when he encountered a challenging situation professionally and personally.

Rahman spoke with IANS and shared that prior to becoming a composer, it was around 1986-1987 while he was arranging the music for a film, one of his sisters fell seriously ill, and Rahman had to work in the studio on a tight deadline. "It was 1986 or 1987 when I was arranging music for a movie for the first time, and one of my sisters fell seriously ill. My producer had a budget problem, and I had to finish the project by 5 p.m. and my mother called to tell me about my sister’s illness,” he told IANS.

When asked about the film’s title, Rahman said that he didn’t clearly remember, as it has been nearly 40 years. “I thought, my mom is really smart, she will handle the situation. It’s just a couple of hours more, let me finish the work,” he added. The composer said that he completed the work and went straight to the hospital to meet his sister. “Thank God, she was doing fine,” he said.

Reflecting on the experience, Rahman shared the broader lesson: "As an artiste, you always encounter situations when you’re not just not ready to go forward with work, but you have to. Sometimes you may be working on a happy song, but your state of mind could be very sad. Sometimes, you could be very happy, but you have to compose a song about sorrow. You need to compartmentalise your mind and work towards finishing the task at hand."

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