A.R.REHMAN AND MULTIPLE ORDER THINKING
I practice a kind of thinking called multiple order thinking. This means that I try to go beyond the obvious and the apparent. At first I try and get into the second order thinking where one can grasp what lies beneath. In the third order I try to get at the underlying concepts of deeper significance to others –at community, nation or universal level.
Take A R Rehman’s statement at the Oscar ceremony and at Chennai on his arrival.
“I reproduce here”, what he said at Chennai.
 “It’s a starting point in my career and will indeed make a difference in fans’ approach towards good music,”
 “My award’s message was said clearly in my acceptance speech. ‘In my life, I always had a choice between love and hate and I chose love.’ That is my philosophy in life and in music,” Rahman said.
 “I chose to live a life overriding differences between people, states, language and religion. My fans should do the same.
 As fans congregated outside his home in the southwestern suburb of Kodambakkam, Rahman was keen to ensure that neighbors were not disturbed in the dead of night.
It is clear that Rehman thinks deeply and has a message to all of us. His message carries authenticity because he is known to practice what he preaches.. Thus his modesty is touching when he said that IT’S A STARTING POINT IN MY CAREER, This is all the more surprising in the context of Bollywood where giant size egos are the norm.
His decision to choose love over hate is directed at all those who choose the opposite –these people are too well known to bear enumeration here ..Rehman show us all the way to managing multiple identities- Tamilian, Bollywood/Tollywood star, Muslim, Indian, International— all wrapped in one seamless fashion. His music can switch from Carnatic, to Sufi, to Lebanese to Salsa –all in one song! He himself can switch from talking about Allah to speaking about Iraiavan—the Tamil Hindu word for God. In the face of some consternation among orthodox Muslims, Rehman sang –with added gusto I thought –Vande Matram.
Not many may have noticed that he has introduced maybe a hundred new young singers to the Tamil and Hindi screens –his faith in the youth of India is evident in his statement that he would like youngsters to take a different view of music after his winning the Oscar..
His request that his fans ought not to disturb his neighbors in the dead of night attracts attention to a long forgotten quality in India—consideration for others.
As for Resool Pookutty what he said has gone less noticed maybe because sound mixing is too esoteric for the layman. He said that he considered his Oscar award as God’s gift on the occasion of Shivratri. He made another profound statement –there was one ‘Sound’ before which there was no sound and after which also there will be no sound. He was referring to the Hindu concept of the cosmic sound OM.,
The significance of these statements lie in what to me is a rare instance of a Hindu not being shy of his Hindu identity in public. In our perverted understanding of secularism it had become unfashionable for a Hindu to be so in public. [I am an atheist by the way].
Both these achievers together convey another message to all of us especially the young—humble origins need not prevent you from aspiring for and achieving great success.
How do these guys covey their message ?