Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

Theres a lot we can say about AR Rahman. Most of the comments are usually about his wonderful talent of making excellent soulful and melodious music or about how simple and unassuming he appears to be. Yesterday was the first of the 'Jai Ho' world tour, which was in my hometown of Pune which I did attend, but I'll get to that later. I first want to recap what I did this weekend in regard to the maestro, so I can read about the hectic-ism and feel happy.

Working for a radio can be very rewarding and eventful, and when I received news that my colleague Surya and I would be interviewing AR, I couldn't believe it for a second. It was Friday and we were both shaking with delight considering the fact we would be meeting a legend with the awesomeness level of 10^kickass. In the end it was too good to be true, because he cancelled on us and pretty much everyone, but someone did say he would be holding a 'press conference' the next day. In all this excitement, we also kind of swindled the accounts guys into paying for our tickets to the show; that was really sweet. The programming heads also decided to have an AR Rahman Weekend Special which meant playing only his songs for the next two days. So recording, producing and editing the promos seem to take most of the time after that with numerous distractions in the middle. We finished the 'day' at 4:30 in the morning with the radio going live again at 6. Some people would say "Wow, you did it with two hours to spare!" I say "Balls to that."

Tired, sleepy, hungry and altogether mentally screwed, I had to set the alarm for 11 to get to the Rahman conference. Suddenly I found myself on Surya's bike on my way to Baner, which is damn bloody far from home. It was held in a cafe in the lobby of the hotel he was staying at, the Courtyard Marriot, and the place was packed with countless journos all waiting for snaps and soundbytes.

The tension was building. One of the world's greats would soon be in our presence. Suddenly, news arrives that he has entered the lift! He is slowly descending to the level of us poor mortals...and then! He arrives! He is really short! Oh. Everyone is insane. Some suits are introducing him and talking about his exploits and accolades. And thats all. He cuts a piano shaped cake, says precisely "Thank you, thank you very much" and leaves. So much for the 'press conference'.

I was so thoroughly under-whelmed. Then we had free food.

Cut to the next day. The concert itself started on time-ish, with 'Mausam & Escape' kicking off the show in most bad-ass style. The shitty part was that the concert wasn't arranged like a rock show, with the standing tickets in front and seated at the back; in fact it was quite the opposite. As a result when the most jhatak songs were going on Surya kept having the urge to stand and dance much to the frustration of the people seated behind us. The deal was that ARR is not really a performer; he's an amazing musician to say the least but most of the times he was on stage and not playing an instrument, it seemed like he felt of out place. Apart from that the show was really good, with amazing visual backdrops bringing back fond memories of Redial Entertainment. The highlights were the sufi songs (Khwaja and Arziyan), ARR playing grand piano-acoustic versions accompanying the vocals of Hariharan and Roop Kumar Rathod, and finally 'Rehna Tu' from Delhi-6 which was the song I was waiting to hear personally. Lowlights were just the missing numbers from Swades, Lagaan and Taal. Also the song 'Jai Ho' was quite insipid.

However, it was overall a really good standard of performances from a man you can't help but admire. He is one of the few seemingly incorruptible figures of India, whom people can look up to and feel proud of. I realized how versatile he was, creating beautiful music in such a variety of genres, that I felt satisfied. I felt that the whole weekend seemed worth it.

P.S. Sorry about the lame photo, I was compelled! Its me buying the tickets to show. For those who care.

1 response to "An AR Rahman Weekend"

  1. wowiee!!!


The All of us.

The All of us.