Rahman sir has been a big part of my life even before i knew it. I believe that there is a piece of my soul in his and his in mine. We take each other along wherever we go. That’s the only possible explanation to why I like him or revere him so much. Hailing from the same city as Sir and having lived only a few kms away, there wasn’t a time when I hadn’t dreamt of meeting him. But it took UAE and the Expo to bring us only a few feet apart. I had a super close encounter with him at the Sharjah Art Foundation in Nov 2021 after standing in different distant corners of numerous concert venues over the past years. It felt like my heart was plugged into an amplifier that the entire room could hear. He walked right past me, dressed in a suit, his face adorned with that classic divine smile of his. Seated at the edge the chair the entire time and almost making it difficult for us to lean back or cross legs, his body language spoke humility.
Cut to 24th March – the encore of AR Rahman at Jubilee park – his electrifying presence, swag and that power stance mid performance were a complete contrast to what I saw of him up close. I went to bed thinking, experiencing this epic concert was the best thing that can happen to me as a fangirl! But little did I know that I would get the privilege and honour of touring the prestigious Firdaus Studio (approved by the man himself!) before it even opened to general public! The morning of 26th, we reached the expo venue fairly early (with a questionable amount of sleep and a clinically explosive heart rate). The Saturday’s crowd and the mid-day heat were unforgiving. Laden with enough caffeine to suppress the nerves, I waited with friends from the I ❤️ ARR Community, outside the unmissably unique structure, that is, the Firdaus Studio.
At the most unexpected moment, we saw Mr. Aditya Modi, the man who made Firdaus from ground up, emerge from the simple sliding doors of the building. I was more baffled and puzzled than surprised. A man of his stature, walked out to welcome us?! What happened after was only more puzzling. Mr. Modi took us through every part of the studio himself and explained the features and purposes of the design. The majestic recording room resonated of Rahman Sir’s presence and positive vibrations. We were still getting ourselves to believe that just less than 24 hours ago, our beloved isaipuyal was standing right where we were! Yet, nothing could have really prepared us for what came next. We went to the console room and Mr. Aditya asked us what song we would like to hear in the Dolby atmos room. Without taking a moment to think, we replied in unison, “Sifuna from Why? And Moopilla!”. The sound quality was incredible and we could feel the effects passing through each cell of our body. I have never heard sound of such clarity in my life.
The exciting part about the console room was not just sound of music but also the sound of silence! We left the room only physically and will probably live there mentally for a while now. On our way out, we got to take pictures with Sir’s golden hardware (the Oscars, Grammys, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA) which is only the next best thing to meeting him in person. By now, I was completely floored and baffled by how patient Mr. Modi had been with us (the evidently crazy and silly fans) and spent all this valuable time showing us around. So I obviously went up to him, thanked him and said that he didn’t have to do this. He smiled and replied, “Well, I learnt a thing or two from the boss‼”
It’s been an entire day since the visit and the only accurate way to describe what I’ve been feeling is that it’s a high that’s not wearing off anytime soon. Thanks to Chander, my thalaivARR and Aditya Modi for making this happen!
Bhargavi I❤️ARR Community