The Epic Journey of Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman


At some point of time,if you are very happy (or) desperately sad (or) madly in love with someone (or) extremely bored (or) emotionally moved,  what would you do? If you ask me the same question ,my answer may surprise you. I will simply take my phone out ,open my music player and play a song of ARR . Because that’s what  my mind really needs , soothing and soul stirring music that could entertain my emotional state. Times change, people change ,but the quality of his music has not changed at all (Mind you, he stepped into the industry 25 years ago). Now that the Kaatru Veliyidai album has released ,it’s time to back track his epic journey and celebrate his successful 25 years in the music industry. He has always shared a significant equation with popular director Mani Ratnam, who needs no introduction. He is simply a path breaking director whose stories have a deep social impact. Let’s go back to the time when a genius director discovered an equally genius musician.




This is how it all went .The hugely popular collaboration of Mani Ratnam with Ilayaraja which gave us so many films to remember (Nayagan,Thalapathi, Agni Natchathiram to name a few) fell after the film Thalapathi. Mani Ratnam had to find a man on a par with Ilayaraja so that the chosen he/she can attribute his vision and elevate his story line to the next level .That’s when the historic meeting between a great director and novice musician happened. A few ad jingles of Arr were  played to Mani Ratnam. He was greatly awe struck and spell bound by the quality of his music (more than audience who were blown away once Roja was released) and made a decision that made a huge impact in the Indian cinema history, i.e. to cast him as his music director.


Thus started an incredible journey of A R Rahman from “Dillep” to “Isai Puyal”.


There is another person, an exceptional lyricist who added luster to this combo, our very own Vairamuthu. With  soothing music, pleasing lyrics and amazing visuals, every song of this trio ought to be a hit.


Throughout the 90’s, Mani Ratnam continuously experimented with revolutionary stories. As Mani Ratnam experimented in his stories, similarly ARR also experimented in his music to fit Mani’s  Ratnam’s vision. Thus every time when they gave us a film,  we thought that would be their best, but to our astonishment the very next film broke that notion. It still holds good. When you were in school you thought “Kadhal Sadugudu Gudu” was the craziest romantic song so far. But then “Mental Manathil” made us speechless .Now, we have “Azhagiye Marry me”.

Will this combo ever get tired or bored of their work? I pray to god for it to never happen. They have given us so many songs to remember and cherish. Be it romance, patriotism, folk, classical or a mind refreshing melody, every song of theirs stood the test of time. The best part in their collaboration is that they continue to add more merit as the years pass by.

For the duo, 25 is just a number but for their fans it is a part of their lifetime. Let’s celebrate 25 years of top notch music and 25 years of lasting friendship.

P.S: Being a huge fan of this duo, I took the liberty of praising them greatly.If you think it’s slightly an overdose, please bear with me :P.


Written by Aravind Rajagopalan, Second year IT.