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“Magan thandhaikku aatrum udhavi-ivan thandhai
enn nOtraan kol enum sol”

To sire, what best requital can by grateful child be done?
To make men say, 'What merit gained the father such a son?'

These are the words that ring in my head (though I’d like to change it to: 'What merit gained the parents such a son?) after I spent 2 1/2hours in the company of Anirudh who shot to instant fame through kolaveri that shook the country / world in a frenzy!

This youngster, elusive if I may call him, is an extremely well brought-up child, credits to be shared by Padma Seshadhri Bal Bhavan and his mother 50-50! We played phone-tag for almost a week which made my single minded purposefulness flutter zealously to meet him, however hectic both our schedules were!

Proof of my steadfastness is the fact we finally met at Park Sheraton at 12 midnight and spoke…shared anecdotes…laughed…bonded over coffee…till 2:30 A.M! Time just flew. I swear age and gender have no barrier when 2 people click, sharing the same wave length, in perfect sync, and that’s what happened! And to think in this same column of mine ‘talkie with rekhs’ I had laughed away kolaveri so dismissively!


Well, I still think Anirudh will make us all proud with a soul stirring melody (ies) that will make the world sit up and hum! He can surpass ‘kolaveri’ with a kolaveri! Though I’d like to add here my exact grouse against this ‘soup’ song.

Bad enough we are the object of ridicule by this veiled thread that runs finely across the south of Vindhyas thanks to some ‘Indian’ film makers who in their movies ensure we have no   refinement whatsoever! According to them our English is the bane of this language bestowed to us by the British that would make Shakespeare shudder! Well illustrated time and time again in their flicks…well why are we now telling the whole wide world this is the English we are capable of? In fact I told Dhanush, ‘just to erase this stigma, you and Anirudh should croon a song with impeccable English that Henry Higgins would applaud!’

Anirudh made up his mind when he was 12 that his calling in life is to compose music. It was no big surprise to his family, considering his great grandmother Meenakshi Subramaniam was the 1st lady music director in our Thamizh film industry. She composed songs for ‘Naveena Sarangadhara’. Besides learning to play the piano, Anirudh also imbibed a solid foundation in Carnatic and Hindustani music.

From grade 6, Anirudh started his ‘winning spree’ journey of representing his school for culturals and bagging the 1st prize with ease while the stack of certificates in his shelf piled up higher and higher. It was here that his skills were honed through a band Zinx. With Anirudh (keyboard), Leon (pianist, singer and rapper), Kishor (Mridangam), Vivek  (Mandolin), Ananth (violinist), Ravishankar (percussionist), Sandhya (singer) they carved a special niche for themselves in Carfusion.

His dearest dream and foremost on his wish list of saying hello to renowned Isai Puyal A.R.Rahman came true sooner than he ever expected. Zinx was adjudged the winners by ARR of the music reality show Ooh la la la hosted by Sun TV. Anirudh was presented a key board by ARR which was much much more than his dream come true…this was the 1st turning point in his sky rocketing career. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLYlJ6j2hZg&feature=related

In Loyola Anirudh’s winning trail of trophies continued. So does his friendship with Vinay, sound engineer H Sridhar’s son, from Loyola days who ‘Googles’ and is not even remotely connected with movies and music for a living…but the affinity and affection still link and live!

His next turning point was when his cousin Aishwarya and Dhanush got married and together the 3 musketeers made a dozen short films. This bonded them with a common thread…to make meaningful cinema and their ties strengthened. Little did they know what God had in store for them then…this trio would make the film ‘3’ the ‘talk of the town’! When Dhanush suggested Anirudh as the music director, Anirudh was totally horrified! He felt he wasn’t ready at all. Making music for short films and trying one’s hand on a full length commercial feature film (especially with none other than the Super star’s daughter as captain of the ship, which the world would watch with bated breath)…was as far apart as A and Z!

However God has been very kind to Anirudh. After Kolaveri life changed for Anirudh overnight. The boy who could nonchalantly walk in and order a sub was ushered out in a car, on November 16th 2011 as Kolaveri became a rage true to its name! To Anirudh goes the credit (which he does not wish to claim or brag) of introducing Mohit Chauhan to Thamizh musicality and his first Non-Hindi song ‘po nee po’

On another note, pun intended, Anirudh shares my sentiments on remix. He thinks it is disrespectful to the original composer. A new composition can be remixed to different versions but not the ‘(G)oldies’.

We got carried away on other topics ranging from numerology to palmistry. So I told him being a # 07, whose intuitions and instincts will always work in his favor and that he should follow his heart. He laughed and said, ‘Bingo! Rekhs! I would like to share this personal slice of my friend’s life’.  His classmate Arvind’s father passed away while they were in the 12th grade. So he was not able to take the exam. Anirudh told him, “Most probably I’ll become a music director one day, so you study sound engineering and we will work together professionally” No guesses needed for who Anirudh’s sound engineer today is! But that I think was an endearing act of foresight and friendship for a mere 16 year old!

He was walking down Khader Nawaz Khan road one night to Casa Picola when an old bearded man came up to him and asked if he believed in God. Taken aback but still not wanting to make a dash in fright, Anirudh nodded and said, “yes, I believe in God” This seer immediately gave him a Shirdi Baba pendent and insisted he should wear it. Very soon after, Kolaveri happened and Anirudh thinks maybe this was to ward off all the ‘dhrishti’, evil, envious eyes that roam around in plenty! True indeed! I find more people wish you ill than well, most often sitting right next to you and digging a deep hole to bury you alive! That’s the flip side of success, I guess. But Kolaveri he says has intensified his faith in God.

An advocate of vegetarianism, he is epitome of simplicity and spontaneity…no airs and graces, no ego trips and definitely no star tantrums. That’s why Valluvar’s kural on father-son bond came to my mind.

Anirudh has handled success well and is so grounded. He heaps praise on his parents, especially his mother. His sister Vaishnavi (lawyer) and he share a special rapport and they are a very close knit family. He feels sad, his profession having fashioned him to be more nocturnal than his family and he following his idol’s footsteps, he misses out on family time. His age he feels has worked in his favor. He makes music, plays it to his friends and if it clicks in their heads and hearts he knows he has a winner in his hands. This is the audience at large he is catering to. His passion for composing is so intense he gets to know the director first, even to the extent of playing cricket with him…to know what makes him tick!  He gives 4 to 5 options even if his 1st tune is approved and ticked.

Unlike a patient who comes out of jaundice craving to eat a gourmet 5 course meal nonstop (fed up of bland idlis and insipid curd rice) Anirudh has chosen his next films with sense and sensibility. David, a bilingual, Tamil and Hindi, directed by Bejoy Nambiar,  produced by Reliance Entertainment with Vikram and Jiiva in the lead is his next followed by ‘edhir neechal’ produced by Dhanush and directed by Vetri Maaran’s assistant Senthil.

He was delighted to hear that ‘Kaun banega crorepati’ even had a question recently “who is the music director of the film 3”! His all time favorite hero, not because blood is thicker than water, is our dear superstar Rajinikanth, the ‘apple of the eye’ of zillion fans all over the world and he has a special corner for Ajith.

When asked where his sky rocketing musical journey is taking him next, he says, “none of this can be planned, we can only be blessed” Wow! Lakshmi and Ravi, special pats on your back as parents to this lovely soul, musically inclined or otherwise. All the ‘woods’ in the world, make way, a youngster is amidst us to make waves!

I hope my ardent avid followers of ‘talkie with rekhs’ along with all my FB friends read this and be inspired in their respective ‘dreams coming true’. It is always a matter of time, that’s all and the right alignment of stars!

Until my next, may Lord Ganesha remove the hurdles in each and every one of (y)our lives…and pave the way for smiles and sunshine


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