April 13, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS):Ace musician AR Rahman has added one more feather to his hat, with filmmaker Mani Ratnam unveiling UK-based author Nasreen Munni Kabir’s biography on the music maestro titled AR Rahman – The Spirit of Music. The Oscar-winning composer in conversation with Sreya Basu. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.
What made you interested in getting your biography?
In 2004, I met my teacher, who said I don’t read. But then, there’s something called knowledge heart-to-heart, which I believe in, for which I did this (biography). (Smiles). The book is a process of my life. I thought it’s the right time to see certain things which might inspire other people when they know about the path I went along, the odds I faced and overcoming of them. I had a good writer Munni (Nasreen) who has made the book readable for people.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B001KQFAUS” display=”inlinepost”]How authentic is Nasreen’s biographic work- AR Rahman – The Spirit of Music?
The book is a combination of different meetings, video conferences. Most of the editing work happened a couple of months back. By the time, I would finish my work, it would be morning for her (Nasreen Munni Kabir). We would go for three-four hours transcribing. She would keep sharing photographs and other documents and ask if they are okay. That’s how we went about. But one thing, she was clear that she wanted me to check if all is okay. So, that’s why I can safely say that this book is more authorized one.
How much did you enjoy working on your biography (at times they turn very tiresome)?
I relived all the moments that was not possible otherwise. One of the biggest moments that I relived was the construction of my studio. I didn’t have money to buy any equipment. There was an AC (air conditioner), a carpet in the new-smelling studio…but no equipment. A couple of weeks later, my mom saw me sitting in that empty studio and she asked: ‘What do you want?’ I said I want to buy equipment that will cost Rs 4 lakhs, which was like Rs 400 crores at that time. And my mother immediately sold some of my sister’s jewellery and bought me the equipment to set up my studio. That was a huge, historic moment for me. Thanks to Nasreen that I could revisit the moment.
What is that one thing that has inspired you the most in life?
When you are a creative person, I think there are different things which inspire, it could be the lyrics, the script or the great persons’ team you are working with.
What took you so long to come up with your biography? Is it your reserved nature?
I am shy. Being shy is different from being reserved. Sometimes you want to hold your thoughts. Never reveal anything before it’s complete within yourself. So there are lots of things in process within me. And I want to let the process continue within me before I reveal it. It is very easy saying that ‘I will do this, I will do that’, but it has to be complete when it comes out.
What is the one thing that you want people to know about you through the book?
I dedicate the book to anybody who is suffering and wants to come up the situation. The whole idea is redemption; if I can, anybody can come out of darkness.
The idea of life is…there’s a wall and if you give up, that brings you to a dead end. If I would have given up hope, I would have missed all that are happening in my life now. Through the book, I want people to know that something extraordinary exists beyond the wall. So don’t do anything foolish like committing suicide. If I would have done that (suicide), then would have lost everything…may be, some people would have been saved from (my) bad music. (Smiles)
INDIA BLOOMS NEWS SERVICE