desire for peace - Interview appeared in Junior Vikatan issue dated
25.11.98 with questions asked by readers through letter
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.)
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'.
When you composed and sang Vandemataram-1, why didn't you do
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?
When are you going to compose for English Films?
I have already done it...'Fire' which has come out now...and 'Earth' a
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?
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
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!]