How Facebook and Rahman Are Alike
Facebook and AR Rahman both seem to appeal to all demographics. Facebook launched around 2004 and has steadily been gaining popularity among young and old ever since. Personally, I love Facebook -- it has allowed expatriates like me to reconnect with friends and other nomads. And Facebook offers not just a reconnection but a rich, nuanced canvas on which to rekindle a relationship, albeit virtually. Rahman has been around a bit longer, but many folks seem to have jumped onto his bandwagon just recently after Slumdog's sweep at the Oscars. I consider myself an original mega-fan and have been following his work ever since my wife, Samita, introduced me to his very first score for the movie Roja (1992). I've created an MP3 DVD with every single one of Rahman's compositions -- almost 500 songs. It's a prized possession. Rahman's grasp of music is exceptional -- each soundtrack seems to contain a few songs with popular appeal and others (with classical leanings) for more refined tastes. As a result, he is able to keep everyone engaged. Similarly, with Slumdog (and other Western collaborations) he has been able to extend his appeal to a much broader audience. I'm glad that Slumdog fetched Rahman the international recognition he more than deserves, but there are many other soundtracks that are much more potent examples of his true talent. (To hear Rahman at his best, check out classics like Bombay, Water, and Zubeida. Also recommended is his more recent work on Delhi-6 and Yuvvraaj.) Slumdog seems to have received mixed reviews from elite Indians but I overheard someone say the other day that the dubbed version is playing to packed cinema halls in Delhi.