To the Mozart of Asia - A.R. Rahman

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Before coming here, I was excited and terrified. The last time I felt like that was during my marriage.
     - A. R. Rahman during his Oscars acceptance speech.
 A. R. Rahman got an Oscar for what surely isn't the best work of his life. But, I'm not complaining. He desrved an Oscar or something even better than the silly curvaceous charcoal statuette for many of his previous works. And since the world has it's queer ways of going about acknowledging things, it'd be only now, that Rahman, and some of new school Bollywood, is officially brought under the limelight...

I don't write much about music on THE iNFINITY - being the music freak that I am, I had thought I'd dedicate a whole blog to music, but time constraints never quite let it materialise. And so, when I do need to write about something Music that is great as well... I come back here.

A. R. Rahman surely may have got the Oscar now, but we always knew back home, that he was big and unique and for most part of it, in a league of his own. They call him the man who really brought in fusion - in music and cultures too - the North and the South of India first, and the East and the West now, and for me the fusion between generations - me and my dad could agree on a few things to play in our newly installed car Kenwood, back in the 90s, when Rahman had arrived.

I have tried my hand at composing music, and for the short while that the fad stayed, it was an experience in itself. I don't really know how Rahman does it actually (recent interviews say it's more of a spiritual journey for him - each song that he does), but it's like playing rapid chess with infinite opponents, while in a trance. The catch? You need to play the opponent(s) too. For those who fear chess though, it's not that taxing a job, you enjoy it more... err.. just a bit.

And since Rahman does his job the best (this time the Hollywood agreed too), it says volumes about the man's talent, dedication and well luck (if you are one of those who think (Himesh)Reshmiya could have done a better job, given the chance). At this time, when the nation, is going gaga over his contribution to Indian music - I decided to come out with 25 of his all time best compositions. Actually, each and every song of his, from any movie that he does is listenable, hummable and more... but it's about the ones that I thought are the best, according to me.

And, it's a countdown, like they do it on radio on the weekends! I'd love to host countdowns... for now I don't mind writing one! So, A.R. Rahman's 25 best compositions for Bollywood, according to me are...

25. Mujhe Rang De - Thakshak, 1999

24. Chaiyyan Chaiyyan - Dil Se, 1998

23. Rutt Aa Gayee Re - 1947 Earth, 1998

22. Tu Hi Re - Bombay, 1994

21. Khwaja Mere Khwaja - Jodha Akbar, 2008

20. Saathiya - Saathiyaa, 2000

19. Khuda Hafiz - Yuva, 2004

18. Aye Hairathe - Guru, 2007

17. Aye Bachchu - Ghajini, 2008

16. Paathshala - Rang De Basanti, 2006

15. Dil Gira Dafatan - Delhi 6

14. Khoon Chala - Rang De Basanti, 2006

13. Yeh Jo Des Hai - Swades, 2004

12. Yun Hi Chala Chal - Swades, 2004

11. Jiya Jale - Dil Se, 1998

10. Rishta - Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities, 2003

9. Roobaroo - Rang De Basanti, 2006

8. Maa Tujhe Salaam - Vande Mataram, 1997

7. O Paalanhare - Lagaan, 2000

6. Masakali - Delhi 6, 2009

5. Dil Se - Dil Se, 1998

4. Nahin Saamne - Taal, 1999

3. Luka Chuppi - Rang De Basanti, 2006

2. Kehna Hi Kya - Bombay, 1994

1. Dil hai Chhota Sa - Roja, 1992

Some other favourites that I had to skip because it's a Top 25 or because it's all about Bollywood or any other reason(s) are - 
Kahin To... - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Latika's Theme - Slumdog Millionaire
The Airtel Jingle - I just love it!
O Rey Chhori - Lagaan (actually all the songs that I couldn't mention)
Delhi 6 - the Title Track
Yeh Tara Woh Tara - Swades
...and many more.

OK. I know, you don't quite agree with me... some change to the rankings and some additions and subtractions here and there. but, it's a moment to be celebrated, and we could do that later. For now, let Rahman, his music and my mp3 stick [?] bask in the glory of his twin strike at The Oscars. Jai Ho!!!

Listening to: Latika's Theme - Slumdog Millionaire
Dedicated to: A.R. Rahman - the Mozart of Asia.
P.S.: Do reflect back with your favourite Rahman number... or better still a whole Top 25? :)

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10 reflected back...:

Saathiya - Saathiyaa, 2000

is my favourite

A R Rahman is the god of music!! :)

@ Ashish:
hmm... dazz a nice song.

@ the pink orchid:
he surely is... and your favourite Rahman number?

Hey nice post dude...
Besides your chart busters, I really liked the Mangal Pandey title track- Mangal Mangal...

@ Buddy:
Thank you... hmmm.. I almost forgot that... but it would not have found a place in my top 25 anyways...

I like the way u have ritten this post. esp the lines which talk abt ARR creating a fusion bwn east / west, north/ south. I suggest you to listen to some tamil numbers too. You wud just b floored

@ ss:
thank you... I have listened to the tamil version of Roja, but that is just about it... I'll surely try and catch hold of some of ARR's Tamil Work... Your favourite ARR number?

He is just superb, and thanks for posting the list, i wanna go back and listen to all those soundtracks


@ workhard:
he really is... and you are welcome!

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