To share the space albeit with two thousand odd others, with ARR for a little over 2 hours, listening to some of his creations, the energy, the humility, is a once a lifetime chance. I had mine last evening at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The evening was a mixed bag of music for people from all walks of life and I am sure no one went home disappointed. There were dancers, musicians, vocalists apart from ARR who shone on stage. That is the beauty of the man. Never once did he overpower or grab attention even though the spot light was focused on him all the time. The versatility and dexterity with which he handled different musical instruments left you wondering if there is anything that he cannot do.
His message that classical music was the mother of all music was a hard knock of reality to all the children of the newer generations who aspire to be great musicians by taking the short cut. His jamming session with six other vocalists that began with a basic Hindustani raag and led to the biggest hits in Indian cinema today, demonstrated his belief and drove home the point to hordes of youngsters, who look up to him as mentor.
The man is a living example of a global Indian. His band of musicians were a motley of people from different continents of the world, his dancers were a healthy mix of people both fair skinned and dark and it proved he did not have any gender bias as well, based on the ratio of men vs women performing on stage with him.
His signature voice not only sets your foot tapping but your heart, your soul and entire being threatens to break free from the useless bounds of physical form and reach out to him. I came back from the show with music in my soul and relived the evening in detail in my mind. What remains fresh in my memory from last evening is how ARR signed off the show.
Ella pughazhum iraivanukey – roughly translated from Tamil. it says,
“All the adulation is God’s grace.”