Readers Write In #234: Sushant Singh Rajput and AR Rahman

Posted on July 29, 2020


(by Reane Taara)

On June 14th, 2020; Sushant Singh Rajput ‘allegedly’ took his own life. This created quite a stir. To the people of the South, he was reel life Dhoni,which meant he was as loved as MSD. The time he visited Chennai with MS is proof that he was accepted by the people here. Personally, I had a crush on SSR from his Shuddh Desi Romance days. Yes, I know he did Kai Po Che before that, but I did not know it at that time. His presence was so bright on screen, and I found his smile very attractive. His social media showed that he was a different person, he had a kind of intelligence that was unspoken of in the industry. His demise sparked up various debates.His passing was disturbing on many levels, from the uncertainty surrounding the cause of his death to people randomly accusing each other. It had turned into what I would call a ’10 minutes of fame’ race. There are enough people getting into that rabbit hole, so I would like to focus on something else.

Amidst all the noise, there was one person whose voice has intrigued me. AR Rahman, the Mozart of Madras, recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, winner of two Academy awards, two Grammys, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe and almost all the awards there was to be won in the industry level had paid tribute to Sushant, just like most other artists. I noticed how actively involved he was in the release of Sushant’s final film ‘Dil Bechara,’ and itappeared different from his other movies. I tried to understand the reason behind this.I came across a paper interview he had given where he states, “I don’t say no to good films, but I think there is a gang, which, due to misunderstandings, is spreading some false rumours.” Now you do not need to be Einstein to understand what he’s talking about, but the point where it all felt real was the fact that this was AR Rahman saying this. He is a legend and a maestro who nobody can replicate.

If someone who has seen success on a global level feels that he is not getting opportunities because of a certain ‘gang’ in Bollywood, what would happen to the budding musicians who aspire to grow in the industry? I do not have a reason to complain because this hiccup has been a blessing in disguise for the Tamil industry. ARR has done 5 movies since 2018 with 2 in progress which is a treat. Even though he makes at least one movie a year in Tamil, we always want more of ARR. In the 90’s he made 5 Tamil films a year. He is recognized and celebrated as an artist all around the globe. I can go on and on about him, but the topic I would like to highlight is recognition and respect for the craft.

Director Shekhar Kapur tweeted, “You know what your problem is @arrahaman? You went and got #Oscars. An Oscar is the kiss of death in Bollywood. It proves you have more talent than Bollywood can handle.” That statement says a lot about what is wrong with the industry. One cannot help but feel sorry for budding musicians and aspiring artists. We, collectively as a country should support and uplift the talented. They should be respected to the point where they feel welcome and confident. I hope that one day, production houses and directors to see talent as the criterion for selection and nothing else.

P.S: I also think that ResulPookutty is an absolute genius who deserves so much more than being side-lined.