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Unhappy with his life at 25, AR Rahman contemplated killing himself

AR Rahman, the Mozart of Madras, is arguably one of the most iconic composer in the last two decades. His music has appealed to both desi and global audiences. However, Rahman has always been a recluse.

His just-released biography, Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman, will shed more light on Rahman’s life.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency has reported that Rahman once contemplated dying by suicide, as he thought his life to be worthless.  

“Up until 25, I used to think about suicide. Most of us feel they are not good enough. Because I lost my father, there was this void. There were so many things happening. (But) that in a way made me more fearless. Death is a permanent thing for everyone. Since everything created has an expiry date, so why be afraid of anything,” Rahman told PTI.

The low phase early in his career was compounded by his father RK Shekhar’s death. He was only nine when his father passed away. His life changed when he built his recording studio, Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios.

“Before that, things were dormant so maybe it (the feeling) manifested then. Because of my father’s death and the way he was working, I didn’t do many movies. I got 35 movies and I did two. Everyone wondered ‘How are you going to survive? You have everything, grab it.’ I was 25 then. I couldn’t do that. It’s like eating everything. You become numb. So even if you eat small meals, make it fulfilling,” added Rahman.

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In another intriguing disclosure, the Roja (1992) composer was never too fond of his name. The singer and his family had embraced Sufi Islam before the release of Roja.

“I never liked my original name Dileep Kumar. I don’t even know why I hated it. I felt it didn’t match my personality. I wanted to become another person. I felt like that would define and change my whole (being). I wanted to get rid of all the past luggage,” said Rahman.

Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman was launched on Saturday in Chennai. Penned by Krishan Trilok, the book is published by Penguin Random House and Landmark.

Rahman’s next 2.0 is set to be released on 29 November.

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