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A.R. Rahman: “Though I am like a supermarket for others, I am like a special shop for Mani Ratnam Sir”

Rahman has composed music for Mani Ratnam’s PS2.



A.R. Rahman

By Jyothi Venkatesh

The teaser of the ‘PS 2’ was released in December. For the unversed, ‘PS 2’ is the sequel of Mani’s box office hit film ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, which was released last year. The film stars Chiyaan Vikram, Trisha Krishnan, Karthik Sivakumar, Jayam Ravi, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, besides Aishwarya Lekshmi, Shobhita Dhulipalia and Jayaram in the lead roles. The makers unveiled the Hindi version of the first song ‘Ruaa Ruaa’ on Monday. Penned by Gulzar, and composed by A.R. Rahman, the song is sung by Shilpa Rao.

Ponniyin Selvan-Part 1′ was a cinematic adaptation of author Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Tamil novel of the same name which was released in the form of a weekly in the Tamil weekly Kalki during the 1950s. It marks the third collaboration of Aishwarya with south actor Chiyaan Vikram after their critically acclaimed film ‘Raavanan’ in 2010.

Talking to the media at the trailer launch press conference of the film, A.R, Rahman who was also given a break by none other than Mani Ratnam way back in 1992 with his film Roja, said that it has been a great honour to work with Mani Ratnam Sir and he is really grateful to have been a part of his films PS as well as PS2.

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A.R. Rahman said that it was overwhelming to work with a talented lyricist and man of words like Gulzar Saab in PS 1 as well as PS2. Rahman also confessed that he was amazed when Gulzar Saab opined that there were far too many words in the songs and asked him to put on some more music and reduce the number of words. “My experience in making jingles for ads gave me the courage to make music in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films when Mani Sir gave me a big break as a music director in his film Roja way back in 1992. I am immensely thankful to great lyricists like Gulzar Saab and Javed Saab for coming up with the apt words that set out to instantly enhance the music that I compose.”

A.R. Rahman, who usually does not attend many trailer launches in Mumbai confessed that as a music director, he considers himself to be a super market but whenever Mani Sir assigns him the job of composing for a film of his, he sets out to function like a special shop, because though he composes all kinds of music for other producers, when it comes to a great filmmaker like Mani Ratnam Sir, who had given him a break, he sets out to churn out different music.

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Wallowing in nostalgia, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said that it was indeed a beautiful coincidence that even Nandini in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was a very memorable character like Nandini in PS1 and PS2. She has lived on people’s hearts and I am very thankful that I got to play Nandini then too and she has remained special for the audience and of course to me. And that was with Sanjay Bhansali ji and today of course with my Mani Garu I got to play Nandini in Ponniyan Selvan and Ponniyin Selvan 2.

Aishwarya concludes. “I mean that’s just tremendously a blessing that I got to play such strong women, such layered women and women with character that touches the lives of so many women out there. There is a relatability, so I’m very grateful,” Aishwarya said. Aishwarya has a double role in Mani Ratnam’s two-part period film, and she plays the role of Nandini and Oomai Rani in the film slated to release on April 28.