Spectacular is Jodha Akbar

LOS ANGELES: The film directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar of (Lagaan fame) and released by UTV Motion Pictures is what the media says, an epic release worldwide. Twenty six countries including India, the US Europe, Asia and the Middle East are showing the film across 1,500 screens worldwide.

This is the biggest release ever for an Indian film. The much anticipated costume drama film starring the top stars Aishwarya Rai and Hritihik Roshan is the fabled love story between the Muslim Emperor Akbar and the Hindu Rajput Princess Jodhaa.

That is one side of the story. On the other side we have in India, the panning of the critics, the protests, the tearing down of posters, the vandalism of cinema theaters, and the banning of the film in Rajasthan. Meanwhile, NRI groups are calling for the banning of the film and asking for a boycott. There is even a website boycottjodhaaakbar. (we do not want to promote this stuff though).

What is going on? Amidst all this panic and anger about flouting history, I would like to start my review with a note of frivolity. My experience in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. We arrived well in time and stood outside the theater as the doors were not open, I kept hearing someone say, "Stand in line against the wall, Stand in line against the wall."

And every time the voice kept coming nearer and suddenly I found our group was being asked to stand in line against a wall. Strip search? It was merely one of the distributors of the film asking us, to line up against a wall cordoned by a velvet rope.

And then it struck me that the poor man must have been controlling unmanageable Indian crowds, shoving and pushing at other screenings of many a film and this was his way of maintaining unruly mobs. We dissolved into laughter.

Anyway, it was time for us to get inside and the film began. The story is 450 years old. Political intrigues, conspiracies, loyalty, betrayals, trust, faith, religious conflicts, all of it culminating into a landscape for the senses. Within the first few minutes I knew this was going to be a brilliant film and Aishwarya Rai had not even made an appearance.

The film dazzled from the first shot, as we were lured into the history of the Rajput kingdoms, and listened to the tale of a marriage of political alliance by the Muslim ruler with a beauteous Hindu princess, and how this union brought harmony and peace between two hostile religious communities.

Akbar had been conquering realm after realm and wanted to rule over the whole of Hindustan and wisely decided that by marrying a princess from a Hindu kingdom there would be unity. Apart from that, there is the untold love story which critics are disputing about.

They say that Akbar's wife was not Jodhaa, and Jodhaa was the wife of his son Jehangir, while others insist that Akbar made an alliance with Jodhpur much later in his reign A research team from New Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow and Agra worked on the film and, also according to the director had the blessings of the Royal Rajput family. Interestingly, in the historical documents, no mention is made of Akbar's wife but that was the custom of the time.

However the name Jodhaa first appears in the 18th and 19th historical writings. Three and a half hours long, the film could definitely have been edited. Technically, the editing was brilliant. The 10 million dollar film used 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels in the nail biting, spectacular, battle scenes.

A R Rahman's music was both a primal and spiritual experience with the thrilling Khwaja mere Khwaja, a musical encounter of a divine kind. Javed Akhtar's lyrics represented myriad musical traditions. Hrithik Roshan brought intuition, subtlety and a stirring intimacy into his role transforming the alliance into a tender and poignant. love story.

His mellifluous Urdu diction made one almost swoon with delight. The star has a commanding presence, a fiery elegance, remarkable physical agility and an astonishing athleticism, whether he is tackling a bellowing elephant with his superb, oiled, muscular body, or battling an army on the scorching desert sands.

Aishwarya Rai was a wonderful surprise. I can never get past the Miss World image and the Loreal or is it Revlon products, but in this film, she came into her own. The glamour quotient is ignored. Every time she made her presence felt, there was a poetic lyricism but beneath it she was a woman of great integrity, courage and unflinching honesty. Akbar and Jodhaa were both deep and powerful characters as they cast a bewitching spell on each other without falling prey to clichés.

The story becomes extraordinary with Akbar speaking Urdu and Jodhaa, Hindi. The other compelling characters were finely drawn. Sonu Sood as Surajmull turns in a singular performance and Ila Arun as Akbar's stepmother is quietly menacing. Photography by Kiran Deohans was a stunning illustrative example of a visionary.

Neeta Lulla's costumes, she designed for the entire cast, from royalty to the commoner was at the heart of the film. Billowing, fragile curtains, opulent carpets, splendid lamps, brilliant colored canopies, bejeweled turbans and exquisite jewelry, made from rubies, kundan, jade, and gold, celebrated he richness and vitality of the era.

The full and original article can be found at:

But what really touched our hearts - Salim Merchant

So what was the biggest compliment you received for your songs?
Well, the Chak De song becoming the sports anthem itself is a big compliment but what really touched our hearts is when music lovers like A.R. Rahman and Shankar Mahadevan praised our work. They complimented our song, 'Yeh Honsla' from Dor and 'Maula Mere' from Chak De India and said that it was a very different song. And when Zakir Husain, who is like my guru, praises our music, it's a different feeling altogether. There's no bigger compliment than that.

Read the full interview at


A R Rahman Wallpaper

Newly uploaded on February 24, 2008 just after the news of AR Rahman bagging Filmfare award 2008 for Best Music directory for the film GURU.

Right click on the image and choose Open in a new window and select Save Image as option...and save the wallpaper.

Ghajini remake updates

With over 50 per cent of the film having been completed and three songs shot, the director can't seem to hide his excitement about the manner in which the film is taking shape.

The director has, in a fairly short span, worked with top heroes in Tamil and Telugu such as Vijayakanth, Suriya, Chiranjeevi and now in Hindi with Aamir Khan. He is easily among the more accessible directors in the industry.

Music director A. R. Rahman's music for the Hindi version of 'Gajini' has come out really well, he says.

"I am truly amazed at Aamir Khan's dedication. His passion comes across evidently. You know he's thoroughly enjoying himself while at work," the director says.

Another news which is going around is that Aamir Khan may not be the only top star wooing the audience during the bountiful weekend. News is that Akshay 'Khiladi' Kumar, whose movies have become a constant feature during the 'Eid' period, is likely to give him company. The series of Akki films that released during the 'Eid' period goes something like this- AITRAAZ (2004), GARAM MASALA (2005), JAAN-E-MANN (2006) and BHOOL BHULAIYAA (2007). The current year is likely to see Akshay's action extravaganza CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA (with hot new sensation Deepika Padukone), release during the festive occasion.

The film has already raised expectations of movie buffs due to several reasons. For Aamir Khan, this film follows his mega hit — the critically-acclaimed 'Taare Zameen Par.' Fans would also be more than eager to listen to Rahman's music after listening to his compositions for 'Jodhaa Akbar.' For Murugadoss, too, this project follows Telugu film 'Stalin' starring Chiranjeevi.Some scenes are said to have been modified and visually enhanced in the remake, which is expected to hit the cinemas in October.

ARR Wins Filmfare award 2008

A R Rahman Wins the award for best music director for the film GURU

Mani is back

Mani Ratnam's newest film project returns to a territory he is master of: a simple, deep love story beautifully and impeccably told in the way only this maestro can. Think Alaipaiyuthey, except the couple is now negotiating married life amidst the frantic pace
of modern life. Will the story also perhaps deal with how contemporary couples balance careers with marriage and family? There is something doubly interesting about this project – the stars that will play this couple are Abishek and Ash. The glittering echo between the fictional and the real couple is obvious, adding to the buzz.

It's nice to have Mani Ratnam come back from larger than life stories like Guru to doing something more intimate, feel-good, lyrical and romantic. And where there's Mani there's always that other maestro, A.R.Rahman. Taking a cue from the story and theme of this yet untitled movie, the model for Rahman's songs could well be Alaipaiyuthey. Richly lyrical romantic ballads, intoxicatingly choreographed and shot. Which brings us to the cinematographer – rumour has it that Mani is most likely going to bring his veteran cameraman in - P.C. Sriram. If you recall, P.C. and Mani together revolutionized the use of lighting and camera work in Tamil cinema once. Rumour also has it that the Big B will make a cameo. But let's wait and see what develops – with this publicity shy director
nothing is confirmed until he confirms it.

News captured from the Blog round:
I owe this news to http://raghuism.blogspot.com/2008/02/mani-ratnam-is-back.html

I owe my career to AR Rahman

The words are from Sukwinder Sing(h) : as he likes to call. Read the interview with him which appeared in santabanta.com

How did Chaiyya Chaiyya happen?
After my number Mujhe Rang De clicked, Rahman asked me to write lyrics for Dil Se too, when I explained to him about Peer Baba Bhuleshah.

Immediately I reminded him that in the first place I had actually gone to him to sing for him and not write lyrics. Rahman asked me if I could sing too and I told him that I only wanted to sang since my name is Sukhwinder Sing (h) I told him that whenever I sang, I felt like I was also listening to my song.

Did he readily ask you to sing Chaiyya Chaiyya in Dil Se?
I had to narrate Chaiyya Chaiyya in English to him. While Rahman did not understand Hindi at all, I did not understand a word of English or Tamil.

In fact after I wrote the first draft, Mani Ratnam felt that the song did not work out the way he wanted and walked out. It was only after some one explained to him correctly that he okayed the song for the film.

Since I am not good in English, while explaining the lyrics I said I'd kill myself instead of saying I'd be dead, because I could not translate properly from Hindi to English to Mani sir.

What has been the contribution of Rahman to your career?
A.R. Rahman has contributed a lot to my career. I owe my career to him. It is he who had made me reach the nook and corner of the world with his songs. My career actually started in Chennai and hence I call myself Sukhwinder Singh Iyer and not just Sukhwinder Singh.

Despite being a pucca Punjabi, how do you manage to sing in Tamil?
It is always the performance that matters when you sing, not the language. In any case I thin k I can sing in any language other than English. Ricky Martin sings only in Spanish. I have sung in Tamil for music directors like Deva and Rajkumar too, besides Rahman.

AR Rahman nominated for playback singing

In an exclusive interview with Times Now, AR Rehman , the music maestro spoke about his first ever nomination as a Playback singer for the 53rd Filmfare awards. Filmfare awards may crowd AR Rahman's mantelpiece, but the 53rd Filmfare Awards will be extra special as he has been nominated in the Best Playback Singer category for the first time for Tere Bina from Mani Ratnam's Guru.

Rehman will compete with the best in the industry. The other nominees in the same category are:

K K - Aankhon Mein Teri (Om Shanti Om)
Shaan - Jab Se Tere Naina (Saawariya)
Sonu Nigam - Main Agar Kahoon (Om Shanti Om)
Sukhawinder Singh - Chak De (Chak De! India)

Times Now managed to find out the reticent musician's reaction on his nomination. AR Rehman said, "Guru is not an ordinary film for me. It is an extraordinary one. I feel good that people are acknowledging me as a good singer. I was not well when the song was recorded. So, it sounded shaky. Filmfare has become almost like a home for me now. "

So, the question remains whether Rehman will have yet another award to add to his collection. One will have to wait for February 24, 2008 to find out who bags the coveted Best Singer Award.

Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein - What ARR has to say?

The last song to appear in Jodhaa Akbar, Inn Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein, is one of the most haunting songs composed by A R Rahman.

But like many of his fabled compositions, this one will also take time to make a lasting impact. The song is used mostly in the background, as Jodhaa and Akbar make love for the first time.

The number is sung by Sonu Nigam, and Madhushree who, in recent years, has emerged as one of Rahman's favourites.

The composer says the song challenged him considerably.

"It comes in the climax of the film," he says. "It was very important to have the song right. If it is too slow, it will bring the whole energy down. If it is too fast, it won't do justice to the situation. The end of the film shows Jodhaa finally loving Akbar for the first time since their wedding."

He had to play 'a kind of dynamic composition where it starts on a soothing note, and then goes to the big chorus,' he says.

"It has a full journey in it," he adds. "I think it is very good."

Interview Courtesy: Rediff.com

Rahmans very personal number

The response to Jodhaa Akbar from critics may be mixed. But there is one extraordinary sequence in the film that has won the hearts of critics and audiences alike.

That sequence is when emperor Akbar ( Hrithik Roshan ) goes into a trance while listening to the qawwali "Khwaja Mere Khwaja". Quietly, the emperor rises from his seat, walks into the whirling dervishes and begins to whirl with one hand pointed to the sky and the other pointed to the earth.

Now, we all know how good a dancer Hrithik is. But before shooting this sequence, even he was clueless. Though the whirling doesn't require any complicated steps, Hrithik had to do it with genuine feeling so as not to make the dance look superficial.

And the conviction with which Hrithik conveyed the spiritual ecstasy of Akbar in that dance has won hearts.

None other than superstar Amitabh Bachchan had lavish praise for this particular sequence in the film.

In fact, Big B has reportedly stated that such an outstanding moment has not been captured in cinema since Stanley Kubrick's film 'A Space Odyssey'.

And almost every movie critic has complimented this very sequence.

For the song's composer, A R Rahman , "Khwaja Mere Khwaja" is a very personal and spiritual number. Rahman originally composed the song three years ago only for himself. It was much later when Ashutosh Gowarikar approached him to compose for 'Jodhaa Akbar' did Rahman decide to use the song in the film.

Dilse from Sukhwinder Singh

From Chaiyyan Chaiyyan in Dil Se to Dard-e-Disco in Om Shanti Om, Sukhwinder Singh has made a place for himself. Counted among the top most singers in the industry, Sukhwinder is happy scaling newer heights with each number he delivers.

Topping his list presently is Subhash Ghai’s Black & White where the singer is also composing music. In a heart-to-heart talk with KT, he tell us all.

How has your journey been from Karma (1986) to Dard-e-disco?
It’s been great. I’ve learnt a lot from the industry and I am still learning.

How’s the music of Black & White (B&W) different from your other songs?
The music of this film is totally sufiyana with a classical touch. Since the subject of the film is also quite different from the regular ones, Subhash Saab specially asked me to create different music for the film. In fact the song Mai chala in the film is purely a mix of folk and sufiyana style.

How’s it working with Subhash Ghai?
Subhash Ghai is like my Godfather. He was the one who gave me my break in the industry with Karma. Before B&W also, he gave me the chance to pen lyrics Iqbal. And this time I am composing music for the whole film.

From playback singing to writing lyrics to music direction. How has it been?
It’s not been that easy. I’ve worked day and night to take that leap from playback singing to writing lyrics. And once I gained confidence on that end, I took to composing music too. All the credit goes to God and the hard work I put in. To sustain the image I have in the industry, I have to labour.

Many films you composed music for didn’t do well at the BO. Does that bother you?
Films not doing well at the BO is not my problem and not my fault. That’s the audiences’ wish as to which movie they want to watch. I’m here to sing and compose music and as long as I’m doing that fine, I’m not bothered.

What kind of music pleases you personally?
It totally depends upon my mood. I may want to hear ghazals some day and then switch to Sufi and classical the next day.

Given your husky voice, which female singer do you think matches your voice the best while giving a duet?
My voice matches the best with Sunidhi Chauhan. Though it’s good with Shreya Ghoshal also.

There was news about AR Rahman declaring that he would not work with you after Dil Se?
(Laughs) Rahman saab aisa bol hi nahi sakte. In fact he has always told me “ Jab mai tere saath kaam karta hun toh alag hi mazaa aata hai kyunki tu dil se gaata hai.”

Your private album have been equally liked. Do we have any album coming up soon?
Nahi nahi abhi time lage ga. Abhi toh mai Black & White aur baaki films ke music mai busy hun, agar time mila too zaroor banaunga.

Among your own songs, which one’s closest to your heart?
Chal Chal mere sang sang from the film Astitva.

After making a presence onscreen in filmi songs, any plans to take up acting?
Why not agar woh offer Shah Rukh ne chor diya ho toh zaroor kaam karunga. (laughs)

Is it true you are working in Hollywood?
Yes I’m singing Chhaiya Chhaiya once more for Steven Spielberg’s Inside Man.

With new singers making a mark everyday, do you fear the rising competition?
Kis baat ka competition? I am what I am. The image that I have today, newcomers will take time to come close to that. I have already crossed my half way to touch the sky.

What’s next?
Currently, I am doing Yuvraaj with AR Rahman and Tashan with Vishal-Shekhar. I’m also doing Vishal Bhardwaj’s Julia.

Ash would have sung

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowarikar’s has a penchant for incorporating devotional songs in his films. This stems from the director’s love for classical and semi-classical music. After the soothing O paalan hare from Lagaan and the melodious Pal pal hai bhaari from Swades, Gowarikar has included a bhajan, Man Mohana in last weekend’s release, Jodhaa Akbar. Though the song has been rendered by Bela Shende, there is a twist in the tale.


A R Rahman, the music composer for the film, has revealed that Aishwarya Rai, who plays Jodha Bai in the film, was to make her singing debut with Jodhaa Akbar. Originally Gowariker wanted Rai to sing the song as he believed her voice suited the tune very well. Rahman confirms by saying, Ashutosh strongly felt that Aishwarya could record the song in her own voice, as a bonus.


However, Ash was extremely busy and did not find time to rehearse when Rahman was available. Eventually, when Ash was ready, Rahman was busy recording something else. The co-ordination for mutually suitable dates didn’t happen. So Bela Shende went ahead and recorded the song. Man Mohana is a devotional song picturised on Aishwarya’s character, Jodhaa. The lyrics and the composition are inspired by the bhajans and poetry of Meera, the renowned poetess from Akbar’s era, adds Rahman.


Ash, unlike many of her colleagues in the film industry, has not yet lent her voice as part of a song in any film.


The story of Jodhaa Akbar, based in the 16th century is not just a biopic of Akbar the Great, but narrates the story of what led him to become the greatest emperor of the Mughal era. Rai plays Jodhaa Bai and Hrithik Roshan in the lead character of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar in the movie.


Produced at a cost of more than Rs 40 crore, Jodhaa Akbar is perhaps the first big-budget film of this year. Apart from its cost, many factors have made expectations from the film sky high. Right from the many controversies surrounding it, to the fact that the film would directly be compared, to the earlier epic on the life of Akbar Mughal-e-Azam is the most important challenge that the film will face. Adding to the pressure is the fact this is Rai’s first film post her wedding into the Bachchan family and Roshan’s next after Dhoom 2.


News Courtesy: ExpressIndia

Chat about Jodha Akbar on MTV

View the five series of videos posted by AishRay to youtube here exclusively:

The first part

The second part

The third part

The fourth part

The final/fifth part

Courtesy and Thanks to AishRay for the videos.

Chat about Jodha Akbar - 5

The chat show has been organized by MTV on its 70mm programme. The hosts are Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Ashutosh Gowraiker.

This is the last part of five.

Click here to see the fourth part

Want more on Jodha Akbar??? Check out the lyrics of all songs by visiting the links below:
Azeem O Shaan
Jash E Baharaa
Khwaja mere khwaja
In Lamhon ke
Man Mohana Song

Chat about Jodha Akbar - 4

The chat show has been organized by MTV on its 70mm programme. The hosts are Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Ashutosh Gowraiker.

This is the fourth part of five.

Click here to see part three

Click here to see part five

Chat about Jodha Akbar - 3

The chat show has been organized by MTV on its 70mm programme. The hosts are Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Ashutosh Gowraiker.

This is the third part of five.

Click here to see the second part

Click here to see the fourth part

Chat about Jodha Akbar - 2

The chat show has been organized by MTV on its 70mm programme. The hosts are Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Ashutosh Gowraiker.

This is the second part of five.

Click here to see the first part
Click here to see the third part

Chat about Jodha Akbar - 1

The chat show has been organized by MTV on its 70mm programme. The hosts are Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Ashutosh Gowraiker.

This is the first part of five.

Click here to see the second part.

A R Rahman plans big

Indo-Asian News Service

Wednesday, February 13, 2008: (London) : Music composer AR Rahman, making a self-confessed "U-turn" after his success with the Lord of the Rings musical on London's West End, is now planning to bring a mega Broadway-style musical to India.

"Yes, it will be very soon," Rahman said at the Jet Airways-sponsored gala launch of the Lord of the Rings compact disc in London Monday.

Rahman said his plan is to create an original musical play - of the kind seen in London and New York - to be put up on an Indian stage, most probably in Haryana, near Delhi.

The staging will hinge on plans by Indian events management and entertainment company Wizcraft to develop an entire town near Delhi, patterned after Las Vegas, Rahman told IANS in an interview.

"There will be a big theatre, that's all good news. It's good to see people opening up," he said.

Although Rahman is keeping his plans tightly wrapped, it is aimed at linking Indian tourism with a modern musical stage, just as London's West End attracts millions of international tourists.

"A lot of things are too early to say, let's hope for the best."

Whether the original musical will be on the scale of London's musicals remains to be seen - Rahman himself prefers something on the scale of Lion King, based on a popular Disney film.

Lord of the Rings, the most expensive West End production, is an eye-popping spectacular that cost 12 million pounds (about Rs.950 million) to put up. On any given night there are 226 people - from computer programmers to actors - involved in the show, which brings British author JRR Tolkien's fantasy epic to life.

But Rahman, who has breathed life into the cult classic with his music, said he has made a "u-turn" after his stint with West End and Hollywood - he scored the music for Elizabeth: the Golden Age - and is now looking at India.

"I've been given great respect in India. It's time for me to give back," he said in the interview.

His biggest projects at the moment are his music production company KM Music and a music school that he launched in Chennai on his birthday, Jan 6.

Looking at India again, he said, has had "a liberating effect" on him.

With American and British musician-friends ready to fly to India to help with his project, Rahman said his school is designed to teach "the minutiae" of music to young Indians, adding, "That's what every kid wants to do - learn music the right away.

"Some of this stuff is beyond money - it's about changing people's perspective on things. This can only be done if you have a musical vision. It might not give instant gratification, but in the long run it's going to help shape up a lot of things."

The launch of the CD Monday night was a gala affair led by Raja Segran, Jet Airways regional vice-president for Britain, Europe and Americas.

Drawing a parallel between the "Jet experience" and the show, Segran said both were known for their "quality, innovation and the fact they take people on a magical experience".

News Courtesy: NDTVMusic

A R Rahmans favourite track in Jodha Akbar

“I like everything,” AR Rahman stated when I asked him to identify his favourite track from this week’s release, Jodhaa Akbar. India’s biggest and best music composer provides the music for the Aishwarya Rai-Hrithik Roshan historical romance. The shy musical genius was unable to name a specific number as his favourite when I insisted. After a thoughtful pause, Rahman replied again: “I like everything.”

The ‘Mozart from Madras’ was in London this week to launch the original cast recording CD of his latest international project, the West End musical, The Lord of the Rings. This is his second London West End project after the successful Andrew Lloyd Webber production, Bombay Dreams. How does Rahman feel about his global success? “It’s nice to be recognised from brand Bollywood to international composer.”

Matthew Warchus, director of the Rings musical, is clearly pleased with the Elizabeth composer. He told me at the reception that he would “happily work with Rahman on anything” as he has “an extraordinary musical voice.” Varttina, the co-composer of the music, was less knowledgeable when I asked him if he liked any of Rahman’s Tamil music. “That question is too specific for me,” the Finn admitted.

Fans new to Rahmans’ work should seek out the classic Hindi soundtracks of Roja, Bombay, and Dil Se and, of course, the melodic Jodhaa Akbar, now!

It’s not a historical

The wait is over! The aforementioned Jodhaa Akbar, the year’s most anticipated film, is here. The period romance tells the love story between the Moghul emperor Akbar and his Rajasthani Hindu princess bride, Jodhaa. Oscar nominated director Ashutosh ‘Lagaan’ Gowarikar is keen to deny that his latest film is a historical film. “Let it be clear that it is not a historical film. It is a good story told in an interesting manner. I’d say eighty percent is my imagination.” Is Gowarikar being defensive because recent Bollywood historicals like The Rising and Taj Mahal crashed at the box-office?

The air-miles king

Does Shah Rukh Khan ever stop flying? The self-admitted hyperactive workaholic was in Berlin last weekend to attend a special sold out screening of his blockbuster, Om Shanti Om. He then nipped back to Mumbai in order to recite some poetry for the soundtrack of his director friend Samar Khan’s film, Shouriya. The King Khan is now zooming back to his favourite city London where he will be the star attraction at this weekend’s annual Zee TV Carnival. What a jetsetter!

Beauty queen angels

The latest Hollywood flick to get the Bollywood makeover will be Charlie’s Angels. It’s a possible casting coup as two former Miss Universes and a former Miss World, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra are rumoured to be playing the action angels. Produced by the DVD rip-off kings Abbas-Mustan, the film will be directed by flop director Rohit Jugraj. “Yes, it’s a Charlie’s Angels styled girls action flick,” the James director confirmed. This is not the first time Bollywood has adapted Charlie’s Angels. Remember the Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi and Shabana Azmi potboiler Ashanti, from the 1980s?

A holy makeover

Sex kitten Mallika Sherawat is back in the news with claims of a new international project. After her blink and you will miss it role in the Jackie Chan starrer The Myth, which flopped in India and failed to get a UK release, Sherawat will be seen in The Aquarian Gospel. The historical film is based on the early life of Jesus and Sherawat plays Saraswati, one of his loyal friends he meets in his travels in India. Fans of the scantily clad actress will be disappointed: she is fully clothed in the film.

Triple delight

Congratulations to Om Shanti Om director Farah Khan who gave birth to triplets at Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital on Monday. Two girls and boy were delivered by caesarean section. The proud parents, who look like twins, are in bliss. Hubby Shirish Kunder beamed: “I am feeling on top of the world now!” Suggested names for the two girls include Karen and Leela, whilst the boy will obviously be called Rahul.

Interview Courtesy: Times Online UK

Jodha Akbar just an okay film, says Rediff

In Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar, there is a particularly outstanding song sequence that must be praised. The titular couple's wedding banns have just taken place, and a group of singers sit cross-legged to offer the lord tribute. Each of them sounding suspiciously like AR Rahman, the minstrels break into the touching Khwaja Mere Khwaja and take the track to an almost trance-like happiness, the two backup singers even looking nearly identical.

Hrithik Roshan, playing the Emperor of Hindustan, watches this with first bemusement and then, curiousity. Wordlessly, he leaves his throne and joins the dervishes as they whirl, gracefully entering into the trance with feckless fervour. It is a strong, well-performed scene, telling a tale and insightfully revealing a character by a mere gesture, a showing of mood.

If only... if only the entire film was made with such restraint.

Don't get me wrong, Jodhaa Akbar is not a bad film at all. It's just not great and -- despite the daunting three and a half hour length -- it could well have been. Heck, Spartacus was longer and Mughal-E-Azam only a trifle shorter, and both 1960 releases hit immortality. Historicals, it can almost be said, deserve an extra hour of running time.

That doesn't mean, however, that we thus go overboard the tragic way Ashutosh does. He is a fine director, no question, and while there is no scene in this film that makes you cringe, there is much waste. This film works when treated as a simple, compelling romance between an unlikely wedded couple, but outside of it, Gowariker falls prey to all the big-budget trappings.

'These are my sets, see how they glisten,' the director seems to croon as he shows off big rooms and elaborate costumes. Again, there is no fundamental problem with this, provided the action within has some substance, or at least style. But the royal intrigue is predictable, the characters obvious and underwritten.

In contrast to the well-handled moments between Jodhaa and Akbar, the rest of the film seems contrived and weighed down -- both by a pressing need to live up to scale as well as the director's undeniable soap-opera sensibilities. (The latter is exhibited best in the close-ups and the abruptly cacophonic background score.) Hence the romance works, but the history, well, seems to be getting laboriously in the way.

I'm not even going to touch on fact and fiction. The best historicals have little to do with the truth, and let's just give a filmmaker benefit of doubt and the license to have his own interpretation of a period with varied chronicles. But palace intrigue and dramatic conspiracy can be cinematic and entertaining without having to be simplistic and even banal. There is no air of urgency, and no surprise as the antagonists -- from rivals to elephants -- obediently fall over, on cue.

And the falling is, unfortunately, sloppy. The director can handle romance and emotional conversations well, as we are well aware, and war is just not his forte. Soldiers charge at each other visibly trying to hold back, and while I'm sure hundreds or thousands of extras are impossible to control, the battle sequences are amateurish to an embarrassing extreme. They might have worked if shown in fits and spurts, swords thrust strongly in rapidly edited montages set to a peaking score, but here we are shown long and tiresome battle sequences -- scenes where we see extras twirling weapons and jabbing the air pointlessly. Tsk.

Still, the romance. The film has a good and solid heart, and the story, of a conquering, defiant young king -- this one really was meant to be princeling for a while longer -- taking a bride for strategic reasons and then falling helplessly in love with her unbridled spirit, is a winner. The movie is a treat in the inventive scenes where Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) stands up to Akbar, the Rajput princess in no way ready to yield without a fight. Literally.

Their chemistry is palpable, and the two undoubtedly pretty protagonists do well to keep the heat alive through their every on-screen interaction. Jodhaa makes Akbar wait an exasperatingly long time, and Gowariker makes this gradual evolution of their relationship work, their love building only alongside their increasing respect for one another.

Roshan proves to be a very good Akbar. There are times when his inflection seems too modern, but the actor gives the performance his all, slipping into the skin of the character and staying there. He has the right air of cocksure arrogance and bearing, also managing to convey the Emperor's sharpness. Gowariker tosses him a topless sword-practice scene graphic enough to be labeled gratuitous, and not just does the actor take it in his stride impressively well, but even makes it charming in the way he smirks for his queen. Hrithik is an increasingly remarkable blend of tremendous screen presence and acting conviction, and seems to be getting better with each film.

Aishwarya, pretty as ever, is not given much dialogue, a directing masterstroke. The actress looks stunning -- and is photographed very well indeed -- and while her sentimental scenes and tear-filled speeches are often flinch-worthy (inspiring sympathy for the Emperor persistently trying to woo her), she does rather well when she's feisty and combative. Her parries, accompanied by near Seles-ic grunts, are practiced hard and look more real than the king's, as if she'd gleefully cut through chainmail vests if she could. Her eyes are a mega asset here, and the director uses them perfectly, taking them from subdued pain to injured pride, all the way to roaring warrior-girl killer eyes, flashing in glorious isolation while the rest of her startling face is covered.

To nobody's surprise, Gowariker populates his film with a great supporting cast. Nikitin Dheer, Pramod Moutho and Visshwa Badola deserve to be singled out, as does the one and only Raza Murad -- if only for that magnificent voice. Sonu Sood, as the queen's brother, is given a powerful role, but he plays it with such old-school grandeur that it almost seems spoofy. Punam Sinha and Manava Naik do very strongly, while Ila Arun hams it up bigtime.

All in all, it's an okay film. There is a very nice love story somewhere under all the blockbustery bluster, and its characters work brilliantly together. The rest of the film is naive and simplistic, but Gowariker's enough of a craftsman to get his detailing right, his performances restrained and make sure even the melodrama has panache. There is skill here, but it is killed by a devastating lack of economy.

To paraphrase screenwriting guru Syd Field, a scene should be entered as late as possible and exited as early. Gowariker does the complete opposite, lingering on inexplicably as he eavesdrops on his characters in attempts to brood to build mood.

While his intent is great, this movie -- coming after his last film, the well-intentioned but drastically overlong Swades -- shows that perhaps Gowariker -- a fine handler of actors and emotions -- isn't best suited toward cinema as an art form. A killer six or 12 episode big-budget television miniseries perhaps? Like a Tamas, maybe? I have a feeling he'd be super there.

Review Courtesy: Rediff.com

Jodha Akbar - Film Review

Jodhaa Akbar movie review by Taran Adarsh

Let's get one thing straight: You haven't watched anything so opulent, so magnificent like this in a long, long time on the Hindi screen. It's not just body beautiful, but there's soul as well.
It requires courage, prowess, patience, aptitude, knowledge, passion and of course, loads of currency to attempt a movie like JODHAA AKBAR. But more than anything else, it requires your firm belief in the subject, the belief to attempt a historical when historicals are considered an absolute no-no in the industry, the belief to spend almost Rs. 40 crores in a film that could go either ways.

Only when you're convinced yourself can you convince millions of moviegoers. And convinced you are after watching JODHAA AKBAR, a film of epic proportions.
Now let's clear a few misconceptions pertaining to the film…

  • It's blasphemous to compare MUGHAL-E-AZAM and JODHAA AKBAR. While MUGHAL-E-AZAM was primarily about the legendary romance between Salim and Anarkali, a subject that has been attempted quite a few times on the Hindi screen before, JODHAA AKBAR is about the relationship that the young Akbar shared with Jodhaa.
  • A lot has been said and written about its length [3.20 hours]. Does the viewer of today have the patience to watch a really lengthy film in today's times? But once into JODHAA AKBAR, the sequence of events, the drama, the romance, the war… every aspect keeps you mesmerized. Oh yes, the length does pinch you at one crucial point [second hour, which is relatively shorter], when a song breaks out. Otherwise, the 3 + hours are very well spent.
  • When you watch historicals like MUGHAL-E-AZAM and RAZIA SULTAN, the usage of chaste Urdu is difficult to comprehend at times. Not here! The language is simplified - Akbar speaks in Urdu, Jodhaa in Hindi - and it's easy to decipher.

As a cinematic experience, it would be wrong to compare JODHAA AKBAR to any of Ashutosh Gowariker's previous endeavors. Why, it would be erroneous to compare the film with any film ever made before in this genre. This one stands out and stands out the tallest.
To sum up, JODHAA AKBAR leaves you spellbound, enthralled, entranced and awestruck. Ashutosh Gowariker makes the legendary characters come alive on screen. Take a bow, Ashu!
Set in the sixteenth century, JODHAA AKBAR is a love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa. Little did Akbar [Hrithik Roshan] know that when he married Jodhaa [Aishwarya Rai Bachchan], he would be embarking upon a new journey -- the journey of true love.

 The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer [Kulbhushan Kharbanda], Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar's biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of this defiant princess.
One of the prime reasons why JODHAA AKBAR works is because the present-day viewer is unaware of the romance between Akbar and Jodhaa. Sure, we all know of Akbar as a great emperor, but the love story makes for a refreshing subject. And the execution of a number of sequences makes JODHAA AKBAR extremely special.

Some instances:
* The war sequence at the very outset. You realize the scale and magnitude of the film at the very beginning.
* Hrithik taming an out-of-control elephant. It's hair-raising.
* The two pre-conditions set by Jodhaa, before her marriage to Akbar. Very interesting.
* The confrontation between Ila Arun and Ash at the kitchen, when Ash decides to make the meal herself.
* The immediate sequence, when Ash is asked to taste the food herself by Ila before she's about to serve the food to the Emperor and his associates. Once done, Hrithik demanding that he be served the meal from the same platter that Jodhaa had used.
* The intermission point, which sows the seeds of a misunderstanding between Hrithik and Ash.
* Post-interval, Hrithik returning to Amer to get Ash back to Agra and the welcome ceremony by his mother-in-law [Suhasini Mulay].
* The sword fight the very next morning, between Hrithik and Ash.
* The 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' track, when the entire kingdom hails Hrithik.
* The fight in the climax [reminds you of the fight between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in TROY].

Amazing moments indeed…
Ashutosh Gowariker knows that historicals have to be simplified while narrating on celluloid so that the moviegoer is able to grasp and comprehend the plotline and the sequence of events. Thankfully, JODHAA AKBAR is not in the least difficult to decipher. Gowariker's handling of the subject deserves the highest praise, for it's not everyday that you come across a film like JODHAA AKBAR.

A.R. Rahman's music is not the type that you take to instantly, but yes, it gels beautifully with the mood of the film. 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' and 'Jashn-e-Bahara' are the best tracks in terms of tune. In terms of choreography, 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' is awe-inspiring, while the execution of 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is outstanding. Rahman's background score is simply extra-ordinary.

There's no room for dullness in Haider Ali and Gowariker's screenplay. The writing is tight, the drama keeps you hooked and the romantic track is wonderful. The film also talks of secularism, an issue so vital in today's times. K.P. Saxena's dialogues are amazing. At places, soaked in acid. The writer comes up with several gems, yet again. Kiran Deohans' cinematography matches international standards. The movement of camera at various places, especially in the battlefield, is breath-taking. Also, the D.O.P. captures the grandeur to the fullest. The production design [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] is, again, awesome. Recreating the bygone era requires not just money, but also the vision and Desai proves his supremacy yet again.

Be it the war sequences or the sword fights or general action, Ravi Dewan's contribution to the film is incredible. Especially noteworthy is the fight between Hrithik and Nikitin Dheer in the climax. It's simply outstanding! Editing [Ballu Saluja] is perfect, although the romantic song between Hrithik and Ash can be shortened in the second hour. The costumes [Neeta Lulla] as also the jewelry also deserve special mention.

JODHAA AKBAR also works because of the right casting. It's difficult to imagine anyone else in the role of Emperor Akbar. Hrithik seems born to play this role and he enacts it with such precision, such flourish, such confidence that it leaves you asking for more. A mind-boggling performance without doubt!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is superb. Oh yes, she looks ethereal -- a compliment she has heard a trillion times before. What's new in that? But watch her emote in this film. You realize the amazing talent that has hitherto not been tapped by any movie maker. A flawless performance indeed!

JODHAA AKBAR has a host of characters, but the ones whom you carry home, besides Hrithik and Ash, are Sonu Sood [excellent], Nikitin Dheer [fantastic], Ila Arun [electrifying; her finest work so far], Punam S. Sinha [graceful], Kulbhushan Kharbanda [perfect], Raza Murad [effective] and Rajesh Vivek [good]. Amitabh Bachchan's rich barritone voice adds lustre to the magnum opus.
On the whole, JODHAA AKBAR is, without a shred of doubt, a brilliant film in all respects. This historical has all it takes to prove the first blockbuster of 2008. Very strongly recommended!

Courtesy: http://www.rahmanism.com/2008/02/jodhaa-akbar-movie-released-today.html


A R Rahman on rediff.com

He had just done a concert in Chennai, the time was midnight and you would think AR Rahman was ready to wind up a hard-driving day. But no -- he was upbeat, obviously in a great frame of mind, when he appeared on Rediff chat.

During his interaction with fans worldwide, there was no sign of impatience, no indication that his mind was on other things -- though he had, after the chat, to complete work on some remixes and catch a flight to London for the music release of Lord Of The Rings.

Rahman put all those preoccupations out of mind, and answered questions with patience and eloquence. For those who missed the event, here is the transcript:

Mahesh Londhe: I feel 1947 Earth is your all time best music. I am not against synthesizer or latest techniques but have a strong opinion that music is nothing but 'feelings' and therefore a song should be recorded in one go without a break as it was done previously. What is your opinion?

A R Rahman says: Thank you very much. I definitely have a lot of freedom when I work with Deepa Mehta, since she doesn't nitpick into every little thing. She just gives the general idea and disappears till we make beautiful music for her and she responds later. Freedom is very important in the process of creating music and songs. There are a lot of issues when we record music together, because even if one person is not right, then the whole recording becomes unusable. Hence, by the use of multi-tracks, we definitely try to simulate the seamlessness in a song. But the practice is still on. The music of Lord of the Rings, the musical, and Golden Age, which I recorded recently were all with a live orchestra in one of the most prestigious studios in London.

Aravind AM: Sir, in most of your songs, there are very minute and very fine sounds, which may hardly be noticeable to a normal listener, but if we actually notice them, we appreciate the sheer brilliance. What motivates you to make all those fine nuances in your songs, though the efforts that you put in for beautifying the song may not reach the audience?

A R Rahman says: There is a story of Michelangelo -- if I am not wrong -- which I heard recently. It seems that he was painting beautiful pictures at the back of the church. People told him you are a fool because you are not painting in the front where people can appreciate your work. The answer was: I do my work for God. I think he can watch it anywhere. I thought it was a brilliant answer because everything doesn't need to have instant appreciation. Even if one of you have appreciated those fine nuances, that is enough for me.

Armstrong S A: I feel that quality and sounds of Roja songs are far better than your recent ones. What is the main reason for that? Are you missing Sridar and other sound engineers?

A R Rahman says: At the time of Roja, the consumer music systems used were of lower qualities and we had to cater to a mono-magnetic tape. Hence we had to exaggerate the high frequencies and use a lot of specialisers. Things have changed in the course of time and we have now taken a universal approach in the sound quality to make our recordings sound warm and friendly to every system. That covers the recording part. The sounds which you say were inspired from the film of Roja, definitely another film soundtrack will come where you will feel the same or maybe better vibe again.

Vineet: Hi Rahman sir. I am a fan of you. I hear that you are coming to Dubai for a concert. Is it true? If yes, is it a public or a private concert? We are very eager to see u here in Dubai.

A R Rahman says: You'll know very soon.

Shani George: Guruji, what is that one special thing you would like to tell your millions of fans?

A R Rahman says: Love makes the heart lighter and makes you see things objectively. Hate darkens you and makes you heavy at heart and uneasy. Make a choice. God bless.

Sathya: Hi Rahman, I am a die hard fan of you and have been listening to your music since Roja. I have read in your interviews that you pray five times a day. Also, it's because you love your job you can avoid burnout. But amid such high pressures, how are you able to do that? Do you get pressurised any time by producers to finish fast, which can cause you lose your coolness and creativity?

A R Rahman says: Like how we find time to eat food and sleep, we need to find time for 'spiritual food' too. If we have our mind balanced and light, all other things are easier to handle.

Chekka Prakash: Why are you not giving music to Telugu movies?

A R Rahman says: I am in the process of doing a Telugu movie directed by S J Suriya, and starring Pavan Kalyan. The music of Jodhaa Akbar will also release in Telugu.

S Somu: Sir, don't neglect my request. Give me some work to do... anything... I will travel my life with you, sir. I don't know more about music but I can do any kind of work. Don't neglect this.

A R Rahman says: I never intentionally neglect people, but due to overwhelming queue in my work, it might seem so. I have all of you in my prayers and love you all.

Amit Iyer: Good Evening Rahmanji. I'm your die hard fan from Mumbai. I love each and every track you have composed, right from Roja to Jodhaa Akbar and have collected CD's and cassettes of each of your compositions. I heard you are going to compose some devotional album soon with your Guru Shri Dakshinamoorthy. When is it about to be released? I just want to meet you at least once. You have come to Mumbai several times but I always missed the opportunity of meeting you. Hope we will meet soon. All the best for your future projects. Warm regards to you and your family.

A R Rahman says: You are right. Mr Dakshinamurthy has composed a beautiful album from the Tamil Sufi text of Gunangudi Mastan based on Carnatic ragas. Though we have done around six songs, we are still finding it difficult to find the time to complete the other songs. But it's a very passionate project. Do wait for it.

Arshitha V: Hi Rahman Sir. How are you? As we all know that technology is having a great impact in the world of music, how are you able to keep yourself abreast with the current technology? Also, do you feel that you need more contributions from the world of science to music? I value your opinion a lot on this.

A R Rahman says: I've not seen any great innovation in instruments recently except for a few, which is the continium fingerboard and a very unique instrument in North India where a person has combined a violin and a Sarangi. Indian music could have a great scientific instrument emulating all the gamakas and ragas with a polyphonic touch. I might have missed something which is already there.

A R Rahman says: I read most of your questions... thought I will just pick and choose the ones I felt like answering due to lack of time. I thank you for taking your time for writing all those beautiful kind words.

Interviewed by Rediff.com

Naresh Iyer interviewed

News courtesy: NewIndiapress


TWENTY-five-year-old Naresh was just another free-spirited youngster who enjoyed music, did a bit of singing for himself and longed for a career in chartered accountancy.

Although he had won a few inter- collegiate music competitions, Naresh believed it was nothing more than good luck.

But when the winning became consistent he wondered whether he actually had a flair for music.

In 2005, Naresh found himself amongst the last 25 contestants of Channel V’s music talent hunt show V Supersinger.

The show turned out a dream run for the young man who met musicians of the likes of A R Rahman and Adnan on the sets. But the honeymoon was not to last long and Naresh was soon out of the show.

Not empty-handed, though, he had a singing offer from Rahman, which again he thought was too good to be true. But in a few months Roobaroo happened and life changed forever for Naresh Iyer.

Three years later, Naresh is a national award-winning playback singer. This website’s newspaper caught up with the velvet-voiced pick of Rahman who rendered many of his recent cult hits, including Roobaroo, Patshala and Munbe Va.

“I never thought that Rahman sir was serious when he made the offer that day. I thought he was only trying to console me as I was out of the show. But within four days, his engineer called me and I was flabbergasted,” says the 27-year-old singer with his trade-mark smile intact on his boyish face.

Ever since that classy Rang De Basanti number hit the charts there has been no looking back for this youngster from Mumbai. The song won him the National Award for best play back singer for 2006.

Today, Naresh juggles his time between stage shows and recordings. Something he never dreamt of three years ago.

“I was just a guy who dreamt of becoming a CA and was happy with my studies. Although I was training in music under Susheela Mani and Chintamani Gore, I was not really serious about a career in music,” Naresh swears.

Interestingly, it was his parents who coerced this studious boy into music. Naresh’s mother actually wanted him to participate in Indian Idol.

“I was kind of bored with reality shows and wanted to pursue studies rather than music. But when V Supersinger happened, my family almost pushed me out of the house to participate in it,” he says.

Little did he know then that he was about to be hand-picked by Rahman for an enviable musical career.

Rahman not only gave Naresh his first playback song (Mayilerege for Anbe Aaruyire) and his first Bollywood break (Roobaroo) but also made him part of his team for world tours.

Naresh has by now shared many stages with the legendary composer. “It is tough when you are sharing the stage with artists’ of this stature because the expectations are always very high. Being part of that team itself is a challenge,” says Naresh.

However, unlike stage shows recording with AR is an entirely different experience, he says.

“He is a treasure house of knowledge, and you always come out having learnt something after each session. He always keeps his sessions relaxed and when you are done with a song you feel like starting it all over again.”

Naresh has also worked with other leading Tamil composers, including Harris Jayaraj and Deva. He is now looking forward to singing for Ilayaraja and Vidyasagar.

Naresh, who is a native of Palakkad, has only sung one Malayalam song for the film Heart Beats. He is now looking forward to his next Hindi project with Anu Malik, which is set to begin soon.

“I still feel like I am living a dream. I just don’t want it to end.” That's very unlikely, going by his run in tinsel town so far. Nevertheless, touch wood !

Mission Ustad

The musical genius A.R. Rahman has been roped in for a mega musical show titled ‘Mission Ustaad’. The show is being aired on the Channel 9X, the newly-launched Hindi entertainment channel of Peter Mukerjea.

The bi-weekly show is titled ‘Mission Ustad’. Ten singers will participate to provide engrossing musical entertainment for a cause. ‘Mission Ustaad’ has been put together by the United Nations, Endemol and 9X. Mission Ustaad is expected to communicate the essence of UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) across the length and breadth of the country.

Rahman will be one of the judges in the show, which showcases many talents across the country. The singing sensations - Roop Kumar Rathod and Sunali Rathod, Kailash Kher and Mahalakshmi Iyer, Vasundhara Das and Mohit Chauhan, Naresh Iyer and Shweta Pandit get together and battle it out for the title of Ustaad Jodi. This noble-cause-oriented reality show will be hosted by the gorgeous actress with a million-dollar smile, Simone Singh.

Bollywood beauty Lara Dutta joins A.R. Rahman to judge the singers who participate in the show. IndiaGlitz brings you a sneak peek of what's in store for you.

News courtesy: Indiaglitz

A R Rahman TV

Enjoy all your favourite A R Rahman numbers in this TV.

One and only A R Rahman TV

A R Rahman Wallpaper

Newly uploaded on February 6, 2008.

Right click on the image and choose Open in a new window and select Save Image as option...and save the wallpaper.

AR Rahman acquires land for his dream project

Reported by: Sify.com

Music maestro A.R. Rahman is ready to build a music conservatory in Chennai for young talents who want to learn Western classical music. He has already acquired land for it.

"It's near the Chennai airport. And we plan to start work on it very soon," Rahman told IANS. He says starting a music conservatory is a dream he has nurtured for years.

"I feel young talented musicians in our country, especially those who want to learn Western classical music, have nowhere seriously creative to go. We need to cultivate a taste for Western symphonic music so that an average musically-inclined young musician would be as enthused about learning the violin as the star," said Rahman.

The land purchase puts Rahman's dream plan into third gear.

"We'll soon be working round-the-clock. I want it to be one of the best music schools in our country."

Speaking on his latest music soundtrack in Hindi, Rahman said: "I wouldn't even want to compare my output in Jodhaa Akbar with what Ashutosh Gowariker and I did in Lagaan or Swades.

"Or, for that matter, what Rakeysh (Omprakash Mehra) and I did in Rang De Basanti, (RDB). We've done what we liked without thinking of the outcome. You've to go by your instincts in every form of art. I've never intentionally tried to break the mould. I've tried to do what's right."

Two of his old scores are also ready for release.

"Two years back Abbas Tyrewallah's Jaane Tu Jaane Na and Adaa by Tanvir Ahmed were recorded. These will come in the next two months."

And, of course, there's Subhash Ghai's magnum opus Yuvraj. "It's got Western classical vibes, but the sound is very Indian, very mellow."

He says his music in Ghai's Taal helped him earn Punjabi fans.

"I think Taal took me to the Hindi-belt masses. I ceased to be different. Before that I was seen as this oddity from Chennai. Of course, Rangeela got its own glory. But Taal is the one that created a hardcore Punjabi audience for me."

He also has Mehra's Dilli 6 coming up. "It's turned out very well. Who can say how it will be accepted? Did anyone expect RDB to become so big? Even a small idea can change the world.

"When I came into Hindi cinema with Roja, the whole road was empty. A lot of people are still doing good work, but not consistently. Good work can be done even on YouTube on the net. So let's not blame the lack of opportunities for the inconsistent musical output.

"Some of the stuff is undoubtedly good. You can't just write everything off. But I feel the whole idea of pop art has to change.

"Malayalam director Adoor Gopalakrishnan says TV has corrupted popular tastes. I'd have to agree with that. I feel the film medium deserves much better. Even I get pulled into projects which are not right."

Ask Rahman whom he considers a path-breaker after himself and he quips: "Why do we need a path-breaker? One never intends to be a path-breaker. If it happened I'm fortunate.

"Right now we need more experimental melodies in film music. The problem is that the minute you start composing a soundtrack, you're thinking you'll do what sells in the charts. Your intention becomes diluted. It's more about marketing than creativity.

"Which songs should go on the shelf, which should go into the pubs - these questions should come after you create the music. And there's a diminishing respect for creative people. Stars get all the respect because they bring in the audience. But what about other creative people?"

But Rahman is hopeful. "It will all taper off. We'll have more talent coming in."


The article can be found at this link.