February 27, 2009 at 3:12 am (cinema) (, , )

Every passenger who came out of the Chennai airport in the wee hours of Thursday would have been surprised to see a wide awake crowd greeting them with drumbeats and screams. It was a rehearsal to welcome the man whose luggage included two identical statuettes – 13.5 inches tall weighing 8.5 pounds.

When the display screen flashed the arrival of Emirates flight EK-542, the entrance of the arrival hall was besieged. The excitement was just beginning. Around 50 persons, who had bought passes to enter the airport, managed to reach the entrance of the aerobridge. They were the first to catch a glimpse of Kodambakkam’s pride, who summed up his life’s journey on the world stage as: “All my life I had a choice between hate and love. I chose love and I am here.” At a press conference later in the evening, A.R. Rahman explained that this choice was the governing philosophy of his life. “Every decision in my life has been like that.” Especially, in a world divided by religious, caste and regional identities, the message of love seemed appropriate. “My dream is to connect people with music.” He had not expected ‘Jai Ho’ to win; rather, he had no expectations. The approach of not thinking about awards, money and fortune while making music seemed to work for him, he said. Replying to the grouse of some Indian audiences that ‘Jai Ho’ was nowhere near his best work, he said, “Your sensibility found other tracks good,” and Western sensibilities loved Slumdog’s tunes. He said that Slumdog was his “career best” when it came to music for a Hollywood audience. And the lyrics ‘Jai Ho’ had a phonetic appeal that transcended any language barriers. “The song is a release of extraordinary energy.” After an exhausting journey through ups and downs, the movie ends with a “burst of joy” in this song.

As to why some Indian audiences did not think highly of the movie, he said that though he disagreed, people were entitled to their views


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