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i n t e r v i e w

my desire for peace - Interview appeared in Junior Vikatan issue dated 25.11.98 with questions asked by readers through letter

K.Murugan, Mappilaikuppam
What is the significance of the letters 'A.R.' in your initials?

'A.R.' stands for 'Allah Rakah'.(It shouldn't be said as alah but it is allah and that 'l' should be stressed.I emphasise a lot on this.)

R.Venugopal, Periyakulam.
You have worked with Ilaayraja. Tell something about that Experience.

I worked with him in the film 'Moondraam Pirai'.I think that released in '84.After that I worked for him when he bought a new computer and I was having the same computer.I did Joint Study there.We used this for the film 'Punnagai Mannan'.I worked nearly for one and a half years.I came out during the film 'Velaikaaran'.

T.Kamarasu, Kodaikanal.
When you composed and sang Vandemataram-1, why didn't you do Vandemataram-2?

Vandemataram-1 was sony's assignment. As per agreement I have to do only Sony's next assignment. Vandemataarm-2 is not sony's. It released through Bharatbala Productions as per desire of Lata Mangeshkar. Also,there was the idea of the participation of North Indian Music Directors. Vandemataram was fulfilled. It is a good thing, isn't it?

M.Sundarraj, Chennai-23.
When are you going to compose for English Films?

I have already done it...'Fire' which has come out now...and 'Earth' a new one...

M.Khatija Haneefa, Trichy-6
If you happen to meet Al-Umma Basha what would you ask him?

An incident in the days of Nabigal Nayagam.In those days the punishment for theft were, slaying of hand, whipping etc.At that time a man asked Nabigal Nayagam,"Nabi!, This man has stolen.Punish him."Nabi told the Man who brought the thief, "Instead of bringing him to me,if you had taken him alone and talked kindly to him to change him,I would have been more happier". If I see Basha I would narrate this and ask "Instead of punishing can't you develop the forgiving attitude of Rasullah?"

Sakila Rahmadullah, Berhampur.
What do you think is the beauty for Music?


R.Shanmugam, Kumbakonam.
While you were in Ilayaraja's troupe, what did you learn from him?

If its music,whoever it is,they might have some bad habit.When I see them with drinks and drugs I had the intention "Oh! they are music people.They should be like these.".The man who changed these altogether was only Ilayaraja.He proved that he can make good music without any bad habits!Even now he is an inspiration for me being so religious today.

N.Vandhiyakumaran, Chennai-41.
You had once given an interview for Madan in Ananda Vikatan.You had mentioned that your father was tamed with 'Black Magic'.If 'Black Magic' exists,then why should countries fight war?You can tame the rival with 'Black Magic'!Don't you feel that believing in 'Black Magic' in this computer age is so foolish?

That was one period.Many powers that cannot be seen with our eyes do exist.We had the fear that these might cause some harm.But,all these were surpassed by god's power.When I got tremendous faith on god all these became nothing!All our good deeds and god's power will block them.

James Valanathan, Kodaikanal.
Recently singer K.J.Yesudas had accused you of having spoilt a folk song like vandemataram.Your comment?

Its more than a year since the release of vandemataram.It got tremendous welcome.Many Music Directors and Singers praised it.Even then, I had a small worry...I am changing a traditional one!So I used the same style and included the song 'Revival' in that same album.My intention is to make everyone look at things which are not looked upon.Vandemataram had to be given to today's generation in their channels.Retaining that one thing leaving all is also a success. After Vandemataram so many people released it...including Lata Mangeshkar's Vandemataram-2!In this I think Yesudas has given a general comment without pointing out anybody.Even if he had pointed out at me, it is his personal opinion.I don't have anything to say in this...when rotten brinjals come to shop won't there be advertisements...everything should be taken out.My respect for him will not come down a bit because of all these. [Rahman's answers continue with a lot of masala!]

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