He has been hailed as a legend, a monarch of music and a globally supreme talent. But this simple Chennaiite is perhaps most proud of his roots. A fond family guy, benevolent boss and a nurturing personality, A. R. Rahman was born on January 6 in this very city as Dileep Kumar.
There is much to celebrate about the city, he feels, â€œThere is so much innocence in the eyes of people here.â€ He jokes and breaks into endearing peals of laughter, when he says, â€œHowever, things do come to Chennai 20 years later, but nevertheless there is growth and evolution.â€
PARADISE ON EARTH
My home and studio are special to me. Itâ€™s the place where all the â€˜musicâ€™ happened. Some of my best songs were composed here. Lots of special memories! Above all, my family lives here. After all, after my hectic travel and composing schedules, when I come back home, I am rest assured. It is my â€˜paradise on earthâ€™.
And of course, my music conservatory school for musically talented students from all over the world, is a haven and sanctuary.
I love the yummy tiffin at Saravana Bhavan at Ashok Pillar. An array of freshly made treats from the joint are something I never miss. Whenever I am free, especially on a Sunday morning, I take all the kids and saunter into Saravana Bhavan with my family. I also enjoy Chinese food and once in a while drop in at Golden Dragon for an oriental meal.
BORN IN MYLAPORE
There is an abundance of musical talent here. It is the abode of all great Carnatic musicians. I was born in Mundakanni Amman Kovil Street in Mylapore. And my mom delivered me at home with the help of a midwife. I have such fond memories of this area.
JAI HO TO THE SLUMS
The area I lived in was a slum near Valluvar Kottam where I grew up. I used to go to Padma Seshadri School from a rented house in this area. The warmth and love I received from these people is touching. I always hold them dear to me. Despite rapid advancement in the area, some of the people there are just the same and I love this about them.
Museum is one of the luxuries the city has. The art collections and showcases are brilliant and truly inspiring.
SUFI AND SILVER SANDS
I visit the Shrine of a Sufi saint in Nemili Village in Sriperumbudur, whenever I get the time. There is a beautiful beach also abutting the shrine. If I am in a good mood, I take in the azure blue waters and the silver sands with my children.