AR Rahman Father Religion was (Sekhar) a Hindu Brahmin. He married Kareema, a Muslim woman, and their home echoed with the sounds of both Hindu and Islam.
The world knows A.R. Rahman as the Oscar-winning composer who redefined Indian music on the global stage. But behind the maestro stands a lesser-known figure – his father, R.K. Sekhar. A musician and scholar himself, Sekhar played a pivotal role in shaping Rahman’s musical sensibilities, weaving a tapestry of influences that would resonate across continents.
Sekhar, a Hindu Brahmin, was deeply immersed in the world of Carnatic music, the classical tradition of South India. He instilled in his son a love for melody and rhythm, nurturing Rahman’s talent from a young age. However, Sekhar’s own life was marked by interfaith experiences. He married Kareema, a Muslim woman, and their home echoed with the sounds of both Hindu bhajans and Islamic qawwalis. This unique upbringing exposed Rahman to a rich blend of musical and religious traditions, a confluence that would later find expression in his own work.
Rahman’s music reflects the duality of his heritage. His compositions seamlessly blend Carnatic melodies with Western influences, creating a sound that is both rooted and cosmopolitan. He has drawn inspiration from Sufi mysticism, Hindu mythology, and Christian hymns, crafting music that transcends religious boundaries and speaks to the human soul.
Sekhar’s influence extended beyond musical training. He instilled in Rahman a strong work ethic and a deep respect for diversity. He encouraged his son to explore different genres and cultures, fostering an open-mindedness that would become a hallmark of Rahman’s artistic approach.
Today, A.R. Rahman stands as a testament to the power of music to bridge divides. His journey, shaped by his father’s guidance and the interfaith tapestry of his upbringing, serves as a powerful reminder that music transcends religion, uniting hearts and souls through the universal language of rhythm and melody.