Ever since my first meeting with him at Panchathan studios, to every single song I have ever done with A R Rahman, he has been the man behind the sound. He taught me, ‘ how to hold a mic – correctly.’ yes – he taught me how to monitor myself. He taught me how not to get caught up in this hustle of an industry, and he has patiently made sure that everytime my voice is on a song, it would sound ‘just right’ because he made sure it did.
When we toured the US, he was so amazing ! He was a man who would do so much work, and still be smiling. His smile was infectious, and i long to see that smile again. A longing which is not allowing me to think or write in clear ways. ..
During one of the tours in the US, we were at a huge basketball stadium, and he was engineering the sound for our concert from the centre on his console… on the walls around were jerseys of famous basketball stars, and as I shot that on my video cam, he mentioned that I should give him a copy… it still is with me… I need to give it to his sons, though my guilt is killing me for my laziness to act then.
In Atlanta, during our last tour, he came with me to the music store and he told me to buy my current ‘in-ear monitors.’ He was very busy, but took the time out to get me that set and taught me how to use it too. I joked that one day, I would use it a concert where only he would do my sound.
Recently when the credit lists for Yuvvraaj were out and my name was missing, I had been told that he wrote the credits and yet they printed wrongly. Due to all the mess, it finally came through that he had Indeed written it correctly, yet they messed up.. he was truthful, sincere and a gem of a human being. I miss him a lot.
About 2 weeks earlier, on the last few days of Slumdog Millionaire mixing, I spent some nice nights with him in studio. He was smiling, working and puffing along. He reminded me not to smoke! He spoke about so many things that nobody else knew about RAP. Who will I talk to now?
He then mentioned how he had made my voice sound so smooth on the Dating song, for its Hindi release and he had enjoyed it. He was there to make sure we sounded good, always.
He spoke to me about the Thirukural song, ‘Respect,’ which I dedicate to him, as he loved the way he had mixed the voices so precisely. When you guys out there hear the song, you will know what i mean.
Respect to you, Sir. Respect for your life’s dedication to music. Respect to your loved ones. Respect to Sound. For your sound lingers in my heart always and forever. In all I do and all I hear with Love… and prayers though I may never have told you straight up – I love you man.