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Post Oscar, Rahman lands 3 Hollywood offers - Sathish - 02-28-2009

CHENNAI: While speculation is strife about the benefit that A R Rahman’s win in the Oscars is likely to bring to Indian entertainment and sound industries, the music icon who has grown larger than life into a maestro, has landed himself 3 offers from Hollywood.

“Yeah, I have received 2-3 offers,” he said in his trademark matter-of-fact tone, albeit with an added touch of euphoria. “Due to the confidentiality in the agreements, I cannot talk about them any further,” he said. He was addressing the media in Chennai on Thursday in a mood of jubiliance, having slept barely seven hours after his arrival from Los Angeles at 3.

The air in the hall cackled with almost as much energy as his Oscar winning song releases. “Jai Ho! Embodies the release of an extra-ordinary energy,” he said. “The music enhanced the film, like the jewel on a beautiful ornament. And it, somehow, also appealed to a western sensibility.”

The musician, who did Tamil proud by addressing a few words in his mother tongue to the audience at the Kodak theatre on Sunday, admitted that despite having forayed into different styles of music, composing for Tamil songs, having grown up with the language. But, that didn’t stop him from taking wild risks at the international stage.

“Less than one tenth of the budget of Slumdog Millionaire was allocated for its music. If I had shied away from it, I would have missed all this,” he said.

He recalled the moment nearly two decades ago, when he stood under the spotlight receiving a national award for his debut with Roja, directed by Maniratnam. “I had only as much expectation for this award as I had for that one!” he said. “Well, after the Golden Globe and Bafta, I had some 5% more expectation.”

Today, he is all set to source young talent from India, and the rest Asia, and project them in the international arena; to heights as dizzying as the one he has achieved. “That was the whole point of starting the KM music conservatory,” he said. “Also, every celebrity in Hollywood is keen on collaborating with the Indian cine-industry today.”

His answer to the school of though that criticizes SM for projecting India with a colonial mindset in the global arena: “As an artist, I saw the movie depicting the success of an underdog, after much struggle. But, I suppose other people could feel differently about the movie, and they are entitled to feel so.”

“The international spotlight is on Dharavi now. I think those kids will now be properly provided for, with contributions coming in from all over the world. Some of them have already been assured education and proper living up to the age of 16.”

“If the same movie had been shot by an Indian director, would it have won the Oscars?” a question came whizzing in.

Rahman answered, “Yes, provided the director gets hold of an international distributor, with whom the movie can be sold effectively worldwide.”