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Who could guess that AR Rehman attempted suicide before the age of 25?

AR Rehman is the music maestro who needs no introduction in any way. Who knew that even a man as super as him had contemplated suicide before he hit 25?

“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.”

“(But) that in a way made me more fearless. Death is a permanent thing for everyone. Since everything created has an expiry date, so why be afraid of anything?” Rahman told PTI.

The turnaround for the 51-year-old composer came when he built his recording studio Panchathan Record Inn in his backyard in hometown Chennai.

“Before that, things were dormant so may be it (the feeling) manifested then because of my father’s death and the way he was working, I didn’t do many movies. I got 35 movies and I did two.”

“Everyone wondered ‘How are you going to survive? You have everything, grab it.’ I was 25 then. I couldn’t do that. It’s like eating everything. You become numb. So even if you eat small meals, make it fulfilling,” he adds.

“I finished everything between the age of 12 to 22. It was boring for me to do all the normal stuff. I didn’t want to do it,” he says.

In his 20’s, he embraced Islam.

“I never liked my original name Dileep Kumar. I don’t even know why I hated it. I felt it didn’t match my personality. I wanted 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 says.

But creating music is not a lonely process for the musician as much as it is “internal”.

“You manifest who you are and let it out. So when you are ideating on your mental drawing book, you need a lot of self-analysis and you have to dive deep within you.

“You need to listen to yourself. It’s hard to listen to your inner side. But once you do, you have to let loose and forget yourself,” he adds.

Wow, that is one hell of a story!

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