Good news came early for India today. At 8.15 am,A R Rahman was announced winner of the Golden Globe for Best Original Music Score for Slumdog Millionnaire. Director Danny Boyles story of a Mumbai slum boy landed four Globes at the presentation at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles,Rahmans being the first for an Indian.
Fittingly,the Chennai-based composer dedicated the Globe to the billion people of India.
Later,the 42-year-old told The Indian Express over the phone,I am so happy to have won this award not because I needed it but for the millions of music lovers in India who wanted me to bring home the Golden Globe.
It reminds me of my first win, he added,referring to the 1991 National Award for Roja.
Anil Kapoor,who stars in Slumdog,and who jumped off his seat in elation as Rahmans name was announced at the presentation,said over the phone,Our awards were a team effort but I expected Rahman to win.
Born A S Dileep Kumar,the son of Malayalam film music composer R K Shekhar,Rahman was something of a keyboard wizard by the time he was 11. Later,he switched to the synthesizer,now his signature instrument. The family converted to Islam after Shekhar passed away,when Rahman was still a child.
At 11,Rahman joined composer Illaiyarajas troupe as a keyboardist,and played with M S Vishwanathan,Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on world tours. He dropped out of school in Class 11,but received a scholarship to go to Trinity College of Music,Oxford for a degree in western classical music.
He debuted in films with Mani Ratnams Roja in 1991,rewriting the rules of film music composition. He went on to produce more unforgettable work with Mani Ratnam in Bombay and Dil Se. A lot of beautiful music followed Rangeela,Rang De Basanti,Taal,Jodhaa Akbar,and Andrew Lloyd Webbers Bombay Dreams. But the Globe is certainly Rahmans biggest achievement yet.