Magic of AR Rahman's music spread in Arabia
The magic of AR Rahman's music spread in Arabia: The special performance at the Red Sea Film Festival, fans heard the concert till midnight
Indian music composer AR Rahman's magic is on the rise at the 2nd Red Sea International Film Festival held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. About twenty thousand Arab men and women danced to his songs till midnight. Such openness was not there before in Saudi Arabia. Thousands of Arab girls were singing the famous Oscar Award-winning song from Slumdog Millionaire to the tunes of AR Rahman. The concert started with the song Jai Ho and 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' ended the concert. Only a few of these girls were in burqas and hijabs, the rest were wearing western dresses, apparently, there was no moral police like Iran to stop their passion.
In an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia, about which a lot of unflattering things have been published in the western and Indian media, the craze for Indian film music is surprising. In the crowd of thousands of youth, boys and girls had formed small groups and were singing in chorus with AR Rahman.
This was AR Rahman's first concert in Saudi Arabia and it was also the first of its kind for the people here. Along with Arab people, Hindustani Pakistani people also came in large numbers to listen to him. A huge stage with thousands of lights was built in the open on the edge of the Red Sea, on which there were dozens of LED screens. A huge image of AR Rahman on the stage singing with the help of virtual 3D technology was visible even from a distance. It was a unique confluence of art and technology.
It is truly an unforgettable experience to hear AR Rahman singing along with thousands of young people on the vast Arabian beach on that moonlit night. In Islamic Saudi Arabia, about which so much is written and read in India and the West, this Sufi fakir of music performed miracles there. There was no religion, no country - above all there was music that took us to spiritual heights, like God showering his blessings from the sky. His music was pouring straight from the stage into our souls with the joy of purity. Even after the end of time, the group of Arab boys and girls did not leave Rahman and this process continued till after midnight.
He talked about the classicality of Indian music and recited Tamil and Hindi songs from his films based on ragas Yaman, Bhatiyar, Charukeshi, Bihag, Ritigala, Dharmavati, Poorva Dhanashree, Chalna Tai etc. and felt the power of classical music. Tu Hi Re, Aaja Re, Chand Re, Tere Bina Main Kaise Jeeoon Ho (Bombay) or Radha Kaise Na Jale (Lagaan) or Chaiya Chaiya (Dil Se) all have their roots in classical music. His wonderful commentary in between and Arab youth joining him happily. It was a divine sight that we got to witness.
The magic of AR Rahman's music was not only liberating the Arab society locked down for centuries but also making them global citizens. With the ease with which AR Rahman was communicating with Arab people, it was not felt that this is the same person who has received Oscar, Grammy Award, Golden Globe and worldwide honours twice. He is currently the true cultural ambassador of India across the world. He also said that "after the Corona epidemic, coming and singing among so many people, it is not believed that this is true. Thank you."