The end credits of a recently released movie read “A Film by AR Rahman”, even though his role in it was only that of a music composer. But here’s the fact. Every film that AR Rahman composes music for, is equally his creative product, for the stories we so dearly love, would not have realized their full potential sans the legend’s contribution. That’s the solemn power that AR Rahman continues to have throughout his decades-long illustrious career. Today, as he celebrates his 55th birthday, it’s only fitting that we talk about a few songs by the composer that found their places in millions of different lives.
The Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman, has won people’s hearts again, and again, crossing barriers of language, religion, geography, and culture. Simple, common people, have turned into loyal legions of fans for the musical legend, so much so, that they consider him nothing less than God, and proudly call themselves ‘Rahmaniacs’.
On his birthday, I have listed down a handful of Rahman’s songs that have stood the test of time. This list is not exclusive; however, it includes only Hindi songs by the artist, solely for categorization’s sake.
That being said, here are 10 AR Rahman songs that sound like therapy, and heal people’s hearts repeatedly:
- Kun Faya Kun
“Tune mujhko banaya, main to jagg ko naa bhaya, tu ne gale se lagaya, haq tu hi hain khudaya, ek tu hi hain khudaya”
Honestly, I can write a whole essay on this song, but for the sake of this article, let’s keep it to a few lines. Kun Faya Kun from Rockstar is a hug from God. It’s a prayer, and a love note all at once. Whether you listen to it at 3 am in your bed, or at 3 pm on a crowded train (pre-corona times) it’s always like applying ointment on your bruises. Sufi composition at its marvelous best.
- Maahi Ve
“Maahi Ve, mere har baat mein saath tu hain, maahi ve, mere saare halaat tu”
Like most of Imtiaz Ali’s films, Highway too, received polarizing opinions. If there’s something the opinions don’t differ on, it’s the music of the film. With Maahi Ve, Rahman’s voice takes us to a place where unadulterated love is found in abundance. Besides a dozen other things, Rahman’s genius is also in his capability to capture the essence of a story in his music, and Highway was, truly, no exception.
- Agar Tum Saath Ho
“Teri nazron mein hain tere sapne, tere sapno mein hain naraazi, mujhe lagta hain ki baatein dil ki, hoti lafzon ki dhoke baazi”
The official heartbreak song of the nation, Agar Tum Saath Ho perfectly captures the throes of a love that struggles to culminate into itself. Complex, yet simple. The duality, and grey shades that we saw in Ved and Tara, in Tamasha, is what Agar Tum Saath Ho is all about. Rahman ensures to blend the sweet calmness in Alka Yagnik’s voice, with the helpless pain that Arijit Singh’s voice has to offer. Uff, what a beauty.
- Tu Hi Re
“Chahat hai agar, aake mujhase mil jaa tu, yaa phir aaisa kar, dharti se mila de mujhko”
Bombay released just a few years after AR Rahman started composing music for films, and yet, the album is the perfect dive into his incredible talent. A young Rahman creates timeless magic with the legends that are Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy. The go-to love song for more than one generation.