A.R.Rahman, A music maestro
Music maestro A.R.Rahman has millions of faithful fans not only in India, but also in the rest of the world who swear by him and his kind of music. He took on the baton from his talented predecessors to reinvent the Bollywood music scene. He mixed different genres of music to come out with compositions that were not only soul warming, but also foot tapping.
Dil Hai Chhota Sa – Roja
In the year 1992, a shy and reticent whizkid from the South entered the national consciousness and Bollywood with a bang, with his musical compositions in the film ‘Roja’. The song Dil Hai Chhota Sa was picturised on actress Madhoo amidst a beautiful village landscape, somewhere in South India and was sung by SP Balasubramanyam and Chitra. The film and songs were originally in the Tamil language, but were dubbed over for a wider audience.
Yeh Haseen Wadiya – Roja
Another melodious song from the same film ‘Roja’ was Yeh Haseen Wadiya, that was sung by Minmini. This time director Mani Ratnam used the misty landscape of Jammu and Kashmir to portray the blossoming love of the lead pair. The song was shot on Anand Swamy and Madhoo.
Kehna Hai Kya – Bombay
The film ‘Bombay’ was released in 1995 and was based on the 1992 communal riots in Mumbai. The movie had some unforgettable Rahman numbers, which include the song Kehna Hai Kya sung by Chitra. This song was shot on a beautifully glowing Manisha Koirala dressed in white, with a suitably besotted Anand Swamy in the background.
Humma Humma – Bombay
Humma Humma was another compelling number from the movie ‘Bombay’. The gorgeous Sonali Bendre performed this number with choreographer Nagendra Prasad. The song was sung by Remo Fernandes and the song featured the wedding night of the lead pair.
Rangeela Re – Rangeela
The movie ‘Rangeela’ in 1995, saw the reinvention of many; Urmila Matondkar got a much talked about make-over from designer Manish Malhotra, which had everyone sit up and notice her and this film also saw redoubtable Asha Bhonsle remind youngsters of the many reasons she was one of the top Bollywood singers in the country through the song Rangeela Re. Interestingly, this was also Rahman’s first Hindi film with original Hindi soundtracks, for the previous Hindi films he had composed for were actually Tamil films and songs that were late dubbed in Hindi.
Dil Se Re – Dil Se
The movie ‘Dil Se’ in 1998 was another Mani Ratnam directed film that had Rahman’s musical inputs. Even though the movie didn’t do well at the box office, the songs were bonafide hits, including the song Dil Se Re sung by A.R.Rahman. The song was evocatively shot on Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala in between shots of conflict and fire.
Chaiyyan Chaiyyan – Dil Se
The folksy Chaiyyan Chaiyyan was another chart topper from the movie “Dil Se’ and was unusually choreographed by Farah Khan. The song had Shahrukh Khan and the bootilicious Malaika Arora dancing atop an open goods train that was chugging through a beautiful hilly landscape. The song was sung brilliantly by Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasti. Gulzar, the lyricist was inspired by Sufi poet Bullel Shah’s song ‘Thaiyya Thaiyya’ for this song.
Kay Sera Sera – Pukaar
The movie ‘Pukaar’ in 2000 was better known for its songs, especially the song Kay Sera Sera, which was sung by Shankar, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Swarnalatha.The song picturisation was of special interest too, because everyone wanted to see the dance pairing between one of Bollywood’s best dancers, Madhuri Dixit and ace dancer Prabhu Deva. The song was choreographed by Prabhu Deva and the result was a treat for the eyes.
O Mitwa – Lagaan
Rahman’s hold over his compositions and his stupendous talent and range can be clearly seen in his songs whether they are more western music based, classical or folk. ‘Lagaan’ in 2001, showcased Rahman’s take on rural northern India, beautifully. All the songs in this super hit film were chart busters including the melodious song O Mitwa that was sung by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sukhwinder Singh and Srinivas. The song was picturised on Aamir Khan along with a host of characters.
O Re Chori – Lagaan
Another rustic song from the film ‘Lagaan’ was the romantic O Re Chori that was sung by Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Vasundhara Das. This song was picturised on Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh.
Rubaroo – Rang De Basanti
The youthful song Rubaroo was one of the many great songs in the 2005 film ‘Rang De Basanti’ which got the nation’s youth moving to its beat. This song was sung by A.R.Rahman and Naresh Iyer whose voice was noticed by the public. The song had emotional overtones and was picturised on the angst ridden characters of Aamir Khan, Sidharth, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Atul Kulkarni.
Barso Re – Guru
Rahman got to explore rural India once again in the 2007 film ‘Guru’. Sheya Ghoshal beautifully sang Barso Re. The song had the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai singing in the rain.
Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodha Akbar
Rahman is particularly good in his sufi compositions and we can clearly see it in the song Khwaja Mere Khwaja from the 2008 film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’. This sufi prayer song was sung with feeling by Rahman.
Jai Ho – Slumdog Millionaire
The film ‘Slumdog Millionaire ‘ in 2008 created a sensation worldwide and gave Rahman many international recognition which he so deserved and made people notice the song and dance culture of Bollywood industry.
The song Jai Ho turned into a big hit and had some international singers even remixing it. This song fetched him prestigious awards like the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and two Oscars for Best Original Music. The robust song was sung by Sukhwinder Singh.
Masakkali – Delhi 6
In 2009, the film ‘Delhi-6’ was released and the songs became huge hits, unlike the movie. One of its songs, Masakkali, sung by Mohit Chauhan was unusually picturised on a dove and Sonam Kapoor.
Saadda Haq - Rockstar
The film ‘Rockstar’ in 2011, saw rockstar like performances from the hero Ranbir Kapoor and Rahman. The song Saadda Haq was sung by Mohit Chauhan and picturised on Ranbir Kapoor. This song soon became the anthem of the youth who loved the rock song.