Had suicidal thoughts till the age of 25: reveals AR Rahman


Oscar winner AR Rahman revealed about his early low phase in life. He made a candid confession that the singer-composer had suicidal thoughts until the age of 25.

“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 turning point in the life of the 51-year-old composer came when he built his recording studio Panchathan Record Inn in his backyard in hometown Chennai. 

"Before that, things were dormant so may be 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," he adds. 

The composer talks about hard times and other events in his life in his biography, "Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman" written by author Krishna Trilok.

Things gone worse when Rahman’s father RK Shekhar died at the age of nine.

"I finished everything between the age of 12 to 22. It was boring for me to do all the normal stuff. I didn't want to do it," he says. 

When he made debut as a composer with Mani Ratnam's Roja (1992), Rahman along with his family embraced Sufi Islam. 

He never liked his original name Dileep Kumar. "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," he says. 

‘Roja’ changed Rahman’s life and there’s no looking back since then. 

"You manifest who you are and let it out. So when you are ideating on your mental drawing book, you need a lot of self-analysis and you have to dive deep within you. 

"You need to listen to yourself. It's hard to listen to your inner side. But once you do, you have to let lose and forget yourself," he adds. 

It was for this reason AR Rahman worked late nights or early mornings. 

"If I am going deep inside something and suddenly there's a knock on the door, I'll come to reality from a very different world and I won't be able to go back to the same spot again. This is one of the reasons I prefer (being at work) very early mornings like 5 AM or 6 AM or the nights," he says. 
Rahman says the most important thing for him is not to feel bored and constantly try to do something new; be it professionally or personally. 

"You feel jaded if you do the same thing. You need to find different things to do. For me travelling, parenting and spending time with my family though I can't do that much is beautiful. It helps a lot”.