Awards are nothing new to A.R. Rahman. It did not come as a surprise when the double Oscar winner bagged two National Awards in the 65th edition for the Best Original Scoring for Kaattru Veliyidai and Best Background Score for Sridevi’s Mom. These awards come in the 25th year of collaboration among the Mozart of Madras and the two stalwarts of Tamil cinema — Mani Ratnam and Vairamuthu, who are themselves multiple National Award winners. 

In an exclusive, Rahman opens up as to how awards still matter for him, the magic he shares with Mani and moments with Sridevi. 
 
It’s not a routine love story, rather it was tagged as a ‘wild romantic’ story. So what were the challenges in terms of composing music for the film? 
When I work with Mani Ratnamji, it’s always a pleasure. There’s no pressure also, you do it this way or that way. We just do it with lot of love. Because of the whole team — Vairamuthu sir, Mani, it gives us lot of energy and verve.  I keep giving him tunes, suddenly he will come up with something I did earlier for him, which we would not have used.

He would say, ‘This tune you gave for Kannathil Mutthamittal, can we take something from this? Or can we do something fresh? He still preserves tunes, which I gave for Roja. He is an amazing reservoir of great ideas and receptive to wild ones and makes the music organic (laughs). We have completed all the five songs for Mani’s new film Chekka Chivandha Vaanam. I, Vairamuthu and Mani listened to it and we were happy. I do only the music, all the magic is from Mani sir.
 
Coming to Mom, again the genre is an emotional thriller. How was it working with Sridevi?
Sridevi came all the way from Mumbai and told me she was waiting to work with me for a long time. So, I could not say no. I knew Mom’s director Ravi Udayawar for many years as we worked in commercials. So, we gelled well. 

Share your moments spent with Sridevi, as she has also won the Best Actress Award. 
It was a real tragedy and her untimely demise was a shock.  She took this bold subject and did extremely well. Had she been alive, she would have been really happy. 

What do awards mean to you?
To the people who believe in my music, my team who are working with me so hard, supporting, for family, friends when something happens like this, they feel good. The most important thing is to be relevant in times. Music is the reflection of society, what you want to give and accepting changes.  I think it is important.  There’s a sense of joy. When people appreciate you in social media and other means, it gives contentment.

Do you think your responsibility has grown more when awards are given? 
Music and poetry influence the society. We get angry and provoked by a single piece of news sometimes. A song or poetry can influence a person to be calm, to be more constructive in their energy and I feel not only for me — to all the composers and poets to inspire people to be calm.
 

Finally, with several actors plunging into politics, what’s your take?
(Laughs) Never! There’s so much of beauty in this (music). Doing my job correctly is my duty.  And if everybody does his or her job rightly, the country will progress.

Article Credits: The Asian Age