“I never liked my original name Dileep Kumar. I don’t even know why I hated it,” said AR Rahman about dropping his birth name Dileep Kumar. The Oscar winner was talking at the launch of his biography titled ‘Notes of a Dream: The Authorized Biography of AR Rahman’ written by Krisha Trilok and published by Landmark and Penguin Random House.
The composer said that he felt the name never matched his personality and hence wished 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 said.
In a report published in The Hindu, he also admitted to having thought about suicide initially. “Up until 25, I used to think about suicide. Most of us feel we are not good enough. Because I lost my father, there was this void… There were so many things happening.”
Rahman soon made his mark with Roja – the debut soundtrack album even fetched him a national award. Director Mani Ratnam, who until then had worked only with Ilaiyaraaja, collaborated with Rahman for the first time on the project and continues to do so till date.
During the event, he also spoke about his work process. The composer considers it imperative to listen to his inner side after which he would let loose and forget himself in order to work. “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 [working] very early mornings like 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. or the nights.”
About the book, Rahman had said in an earlier statement that, “‘Notes of a Dream’ has been a journey for me that took me to those corners of my life which have remained candid for a long time. The insightful conversations with Krishna Trilok have unravelled parts of my creative and personal life which are not known to many.”