When Every Note is a Prayer
Notes of a Dream
The Authorized Biography of A.R. Rahman
By Krishna Trilok
Published by Penguin Random House India Pvt Ltd
Published in 2018
Splashed with little nuggets of information about the spiritual life of A. R. Rahman, this biography is well worth reading, to know how his faith has helped this man lead a sober, balanced life in the heady world of glamour and showbiz.
It was many years ago that I had the opportunity to see music man A R Rahman live when he arrived at a college to receive a leadership award that had been conferred on him. The excitement of the students to just get a glimpse of him was understandable as he was their music icon. A huge crowd of youths waited outside the mosque in the campus, and as Rahman emerged after offering the evening prayers, the youngsters thronged to meet him. This was the charm that Rahman held over his fans years ago….that was roughly around 2000!
Almost two decades later, I was delighted to flip through Notes of a Dream, The Authorized Biography of A. R. Rahman by Krishna Trilok. The book traces the journey of Allahrakka Rahman’s fascinating life. We know much about his achievements in the music world but little about how a little boy from Kodambakkam, who didn’t start out with all that much money or education, could grow up to get on to some of the world’s biggest stages. This insightful book provides fascinating details about that process.
‘For A.R Rahman, the real struggle began when his father died when he was but a boy of nine. Nothing would ever be the same for Rahman. He had to be the man of the household, from then on, and that meant he had to generate an income and fast, if he, his mother and three sisters were to survive,’ writes Krishna Trilok.
Among the many things the book shares with readers about the life of one of India’s most famous musicians are some insights into his spirituality. It narrates how A. R. Rahman is particular about his prayers. In fact, he says he picked his Powai apartment because it was located close to a mosque and he could hear the calls to prayer every day. When he is disturbed by something, the first thing he does is pray. Prayer gives him the equanimity to deal with the situation, his mind unclouded by emotion. And he also believes that no matter what he does, without the leave of that Higher Power nothing is going to happen.
Splashed with little nuggets of information about the spiritual life of A. R. Rahman, this book is well worth reading, highlighting, among other things, how his faith has helped him lead a sober and balanced life in the heady world of glamour and showbiz. g