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Mentor’s magic words and AR Rahman’s hit songs
April 05, 2006
AR Rahman

There is a story that before AR Rahman composed a hit song, he would visit his late guru Karimulla Kadri Khan in Ponneri and wait on him. His guru would go into meditation and then give him a word. If Rahman used the word in his song, it would become a big hit. That is how Rahman got words like Mustafaa Mustafaa, Muquabula Muquabula and Chaiya Chaiya. Well, the words still ring in his fans’ minds and now it has started ringing in Hollywood.
Filmmaker Spike Lee’s Inside Man, a Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen starrer, features Rahman’s Chaiya, Chaiya song both in the opening and closing scenes.

The song, of course, has drawn critical notice. Digvijay Singh, a Los Angeles based Indian filmmaker feels it doesn’t gel with the movie. However, the song written by veteran Gulzar and the music composed by Rahman have touched a vibrant chord with mainstream American moviegoers.
One executive from a production company in Hollywood had asked his Indian assistant to get him a CD of the song right away. A senior journalist on the Wall Street has said that the influence of Indian movies on Hollywood is greatly increasing. It ought to for India, today, is the largest producer of films in the world and it has some of the finest filmmakers, directors and music directors. Is Rahman the vanguard?
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