Music has no boundaries; it has no language; it has no limits. To understand it, you just need to a keen ear and a willing heart. There are few in the contemporary Indian music scene who have proved this better than Allah Rakha Rahman.
Now, Canada has honoured the Mozart of Madras by naming a street after him in in Ontario, Canada. People in the West are aware of Rahman thanks to his work with Slumdog Millionaire but still it has been anything but an easy journey.
After scoring Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bollywood-themed stage musical “Bombay Dreams” in 2002, he was supposed to take off in the West but while “Bombay Dreams” was a success in the West End, on Broadway it closed in eight months and never recouped its $14 million investment.
But his list of honours is now growing rapidly — a BAFTA, two Oscars, two Grammy awards, a Golden Globe and four National Awards in India. This is his time and Canada agrees as well. Rahman posted a picture of himself on Facebook with the signboard of the street in his hand.
Welcome to my street! (In Markham, ON, Canada)Posted by A.R. Rahman on Monday, November 4, 2013
Interestingly, this recognition of an Indian musician irrespective of nationality comes even as musicians from Pakistan are being hounded by forces like the Shiv Sena back home . Rahman, himself, has faced a lot of heat from organisations like the Raza Academy for giving music in a film about the Prophet Muhammad.