His home in Chennai is a quiet hub — undisturbed behind its gates even though cars regularly drive past it in a narrow lane. The bungalow that houses both his residence and his workspace, in different wings, bears ample evidence of the personality of its owner, A. R. Rahman. On a glass door I spot a translucent design of music notes. In the rooms inside, a piano occupies pride of place — as do a variety of other musical equipments.
When I walk into his living room on the ground floor, my eye immediately takes in the innumerable awards lined up in a showcase on one wall, too many to count in that split second before we begin our conversation. We start with the recent 10-year anniversary celebration of Slumdog Millionaire’s release in India (2009). Danny Boyle’s cinematic offering had got Rahman his two Oscars, a feat that made him the first Asian to bag this twin honour in one year! Rewinding to that historic moment, the 52-year-old musician says, “When Slumdog Millionaire won, Andrew Lloyd Webber told me that we had deserved it much earlier. He had believed in me since the musical Bombay Dreams (2002). However, I feel that for everything there is a time! Even now, I do not think that the Oscars were my success. The achievement was the aspirations of all of India — the culmination of all our attempts to win an Oscar. I was lucky that there was a director doing a movie on India and the music could