I still remember the day when I first heard Roja songs. Chinna Chinna Asai was an instant addiction. Refreshing melody , great picturisation added to the beauty of the song. I had been a big fan of Ilayaraaja , but Roja's sounds were new and fresh. It took a bit of time to figure out the music director for the movie. I have this habit of finding to all possible details about a music score , starting with Music director, singers etc .. so it didnt take long to get the people behind the music score. Added to that this was my favourite director's movie , so I had to know everything about it.
Anyways, with a great beginning came great expectations. People wanted to write him off. Rahman refused to be bogged down either by praise or criticism. Music scores that followed proved everyone wrong, be it for huge hits like Kaadalan , Kaadal Desam , Gentleman or lesser fortunate ones like Kizahkku Cheemayile or Pavithra. Rahman's music was just getting better and bigger and versatile with every movie. Songs like Urvashi or Chikku buku railey from Kaadalan or Mustafa Mustafa from Kaadal Desam were anthems during my Uni days. His romantic numbers were fodder for all the budding romances in College .. Ennavale or Anbe were just the right kind of songs to fall in love with.
And then Rangeela happened , that catapulted him to the larger audience. Who can forget Rangeela Re or Kya Kare kya na kare. There were also beautiful songs with not so beautiful lyrics from dubbed movies like Hum Se Hai Mukabla ( Kaadalan ) etc. Again people were wanting to write him off saying he will not make it big in Hindi and meet the same fate as other artists from down south like Ilayaraaja , SPB , Kamal Hassan.
Trust Rahman to prove all his detractors wrong. Soundtracks to come out were again melodious and long lasting with Dil Se , Pukar , Taal just to name a few. Then came a slew of patriotic movie scores with The Legend of Bhagat Singh , Swades , Mangal Pandey and Bose The Forgotten Hero topping the list. I personally feel Rahman is the best when it comes to rousing patriotic feelings to the level of turning one into a jingoistic person. I get goose bumps when I listen to Desh Mere , Swades or Desh ki mitti.
Chartbusting VandeMaataram , I believe is another milestone for the maestro. VandeMaataram, clarion call of our freedom fighters , got a re-birth because of Rahman.
I am sure maestro is far from finished. 2008 was a fantabulous year that showcased the true talent with unmatchable variety that only Rahman can compose. 2009 has started with a bang with Delhi 6.