AR Rahman after losing his father: Up to 25, I used to think about suicide

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Nov 05, 2018, 10:03 AM(IST)

File photo of A R Rahman. Photograph:( Pinterest )

Celebrated Indian music composer AR Rahman once felt like a failure and contemplated suicide every day. In an interview on his life and tough phases that lifted him up and made him what he is today, Rahman opened up on the initial low phase of his career. 
The Oscar-winning composer told PTI: "Up until 25, I used to think about suicide. Most of us feel they are not good enough. Because I lost my father, there was this void... There were so many things happening. (But) that in a way made me more fearless. Death is a permanent thing for everyone. Since everything created has an expiry date, so why be afraid of anything?"
Rahman points out that building his own recording studio called the Panchathan Record Inn in his backyard in hometown Chennai, made all the difference. He elaborated: “Before that, things were dormant so maybe it (the feeling) manifested then. Because of my father's death and the way he was working, I didn't do many movies. I got 35 movies and I did two. Everyone wondered 'How are you going to survive? You have everything, grab it.' I was 25 then. I couldn't do that. It's like eating everything. You become numb. So even if you eat small meals, make it fulfilling.”
The 51-year-old composer triggered a dialogue on mental health and hiccups in one’s life as he saw the release of his book, ‘Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman’. Written by author Krishna Trilok, the biography, in association with Landmark and Penguin Random House, was launched in Mumbai, Saturday. Also read: This is what he thinks about #MeToo movement. 
During the launch of the book, Rahman emphasised on the void left by his father in his life after he passed away. Rahman was simply nine when his father RK Shekhar, who was a film score composer died. Their family had to rent out his musical equipment to survive. This somewhere led to Rahman taking to music at a young age.
He said, "I finished everything between the age of 12 to 22. It was boring for me to do all the normal stuff. I didn't want to do it." 
Rahman then embraced Sufi Islam, reinvented himself and even changed his name to A R Rahman instead of Dileep Kumar. All this before he debuted as a composer with Mani Ratnam's Roja (1992). He said, "I never liked my original name Dileep Kumar. I don't even know why I hated it. I felt it didn't match my personality. I wanted to become another person. I felt like that would define and change my whole (being). I wanted to get rid of all the past luggage.”
"You manifest who you are and let it out. So when you are ideating on your mental drawing book, you need a lot of self-analysis and you have to dive deep within you. You need to listen to yourself. It's hard to listen to your inner side. But once you do, you have to let loose and forget yourself," he added.

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