Honestly, don’t know where to start. Each time I replay the moment in my mind, it feels like it was a dream. I keep asking myself, ‘Did it actually happen? Did I actually see Rahman Sir? Did I actually shake his hand? Did i really talk to him?’..YES!…and it was totally unbelievable and still gives me goosebumps even as i type this.
The day was August 7th, 2009; a day that will be special and close to my heart in this life and more. Actually come to think of it, this day would not have even happened as it did. My flight tickets were all booked and I was supposed leave to Mumbai from Chennai on 7th morning. Special thanks to my friend for talking some sense into me, saying that i should postpone my ticket, as 7th evening was KMMC’s one year completion celebration, and ARR Sir might be coming to the function. So I ended up cancelling my flight and re-booking it for the 8th.
So there I was on the 7th at KMMC’s first annual day function. Actually I felt blessed just being there in that music academy hall in Mylapore, just watching Rahman Sir’s students practicing and doing final rehearsals for the big night. All these years I have been following Rahman Sir, watching interviews, reading articles, and I knew how much this school meant to him, and for that school to be completing one whole year successfully was an amazing accomplishment in itself. Thus i was truly happy just to be present there and be part of it.
The show was scheduled to start at 6 pm, and the time was nearing. I went to sit closer (row 6) so i could get a better view of the stage. The stage was set up so beautifully and very ‘classy’, just as Rahman Sir would have wanted it. So i was just sitting there quietly observing all the people (mostly friends and family of KMMC students) getting seated.
Then saw all of Rahman Sir’s family including his sisters and family, wife and children, and his mother taking a seat in the front row. One note to add is that Rahman Sir’s wife looks even more ravishing and gorgeous in person than she does in the pictures I have seen of her. The time was almost nearing 7 and still no sign of Rahman Sir. However, there was an empty seat next to his mother so I was positive that Rahman Sir would show up.
And YES, he finally entered through the side door, wearing his simple white kurtha and radiating goodness all over. The whole auditorium stood to give a welcome ovation. YES! Finally, I had seen the great man himself.
What a feeling of pure joy and happiness!! And what was even more amazing was that I was sitting just 5 rows directly behind him and there was nobody sitting in the seats directly in front, so had a clear view throughout the show. Could see when Sir was watching the show in pure focus or when he was bopping his head for some of the songs, or when he was whispering something to his mother on his left or to the dean of Middlesex University on his right.
The best moment was when his cute little son sat on sir’s lap, and Rahman Sir was happily talking to him. These were truly unforgettable moments that I feel soo fortunate to have witnessed. And of course with brilliant performances from KM students and breathtaking performances from the KM faculty, I was just in heaven. This was really a magical way to end my trip, with this blissful thing called music.
After the concert ended, Rahman Sir was called on stage to say a few words, and then presented each of the students with certificate of completion. Then he soon went backstage, and the lights of the auditorium came on and everybody started to leave. At this moment I really had mixed feelings. I was extremely ecstatic that I got to see Rahman Sir just 5 rows away. But i was slightly sad that I could not capture this moment on camera, as no photography was allowed.
But I was definitely not disappointed. I mean all these years I have only seen him on TV, internet or through binoculars, but now i just saw him in flesh and blood through my own eyes. So that itself made my spirit rise. But I never expected what was to come next. Never in my life I would have imagined the following would happen:
As I was talking to one of the most humble Rahmaniacs, I saw a crowd gathering on stage. Then my friend came and I asked him if Rahman Sir was on stage. And he was like YES…you can go up on stage and see if you can catch a closer glimpse of Rahman Sir. So he lead me up stage and there I was among everyone else and ARR Sir. At first I could not see him, but i saw many people taking pics, so I too pulled out my small Cannon Powershot to see if I can get a quick shot of ARR sir, to preserve this moment. The first attempt, I missed, as there were too many people in front.
Then ARR Sir started to move, along with him the crowd moved, and along with the crowd i moved…
Then suddenly within seconds, i just found myself right in front of this great man in white! It was just me opposite A R RAHMAN. Oh man…I had imagined this moment only in my dreams. Used to always think about what I would say to Rahman Sir if I got the opportunity to meet him. And here I was right in front of him, only at this moment my mind just went totally blank and everything just froze.
I mean I was standing in front of the human being who i have been following, admiring and looking up to from a far distance for years. And now he was right in front of me. At that instance I literally didn’t know what was going through my mind and body, just full excitement, joy, thrill, happiness, all thrown together. Then I just shook ARR Sir’s hand and said “Congratulations Sir, for all your work and accomplishments, you are really great.” and Rahman Sir said “Thank you”. Then I just said “I’ve come from Canada I think to just be here and watch this amazing show.” And Rahman Sir smiled and said “Oh is it! Good Good!”.
Then it struck me…’OMG what am I doing, I’m just here casually talking to ARR, when he probably has tons of things to do and places to go, and of course so many others who probably waiting for a chance. WOW! Then I immediately remembered and gave my friend my camera and asked ARR…”Sir, just one pic”. And Rahman Sir happily posed and this picture manifested….
Each time I think back to this magical moment, I totally run out of words to describe the experience. I mean I’m not a singer, a musician, or a journalist. I’m just a random girl who is a great believer and admirer of his work and the persona he emulates. And just for Rahman Sir to stand there and listen and respond to me for that moment when there were soo many people around him, and so many things going on, just proves what a magnificent being he is, and what kindness, simplicity and humility he embodies.
At that moment of meeting him even between all those people, I felt like it was just me and Sir who were there. A moment that I will everlastingly cherish. A moment of sheer bliss, happiness, and excitement. I always felt like I am somehow connected to this great artist and human being. And after this incident I feel as though that connection actually materialized and proved that it existed.
I remember writing this in my journal when I first came to India on June 27th: “Some things I want to do in Chennai is visit an orphanage at least for one day, see the KM Music Conservatory, and hopefully get to meet some Rahmaniacs. Well seeing ARR Sir would be like a miracle, I was told that he will not be in India @ that time, so i’m not really keeping my hopes high up, but still not completely loosing my hope. We’ll see sometimes miracles do happen…”
And of course it did!!
They say life always throws you with surprises when you least expect it, and this is another example of just that. Also i truly believe that if all else fails, one should never lose hope. I believe that no matter what, you should always give everything your best efforts, and hope for the best for you and others. And in the end leave it to Almighty. If your wish gets fulfilled then its awesome, if it does not, then at least you have the satisfaction that you gave it your best.
Also I want to add that I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know some Rahmaniacs in Chennai. Who are very genuine and the sweetest human beings. Who made my visit to Chennai more memorable than ever. Its amazing to meet these gold-hearted people, who’s common paths all lead up to one destination. And that is music. And its through ARR and his music that has brought us all together. He truly is a musical messiah who will connect this world and break all boundaries. And you can say that a new revolution has already begun…a musical revolution.
I’m so sorry for this lengthy note. Just wanted to try to put this whole experience into words, if not for others, mainly for myself, so I don’t forget the details, which i’m sure I won’t. Also, just returned from India, so having some major withdrawal symptoms. I just really feel blessed and sometimes question if I truly deserve all this….