Rahman accorded hero’s welcome in Chennai

February 26th, 2009 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireChennai, Feb 26 (IANS) India’s double Oscar winner A.R. Rahman landed home to a hero’s welcome with ace drummer Sivamani and his troupe belting out fast rhythms, dancers doing their bit and a crowd of thousands chanting “Jai Ho” as they waited for a glimpse of the man.
“I am completely overwhelmed, touched, with the kind of reception I got… it is great to be back,” a beaming Rahman said late Wednesday at the Anna International Air Terminal after returning from Los Angeles, where he bagged two golden statuettes for “Slumdog Millionaire” for best original score and best original song for “Jai Ho”.

Also present at the airport to welcome the composer were state Information Minister Paruthi Ilamvazhuthi and offbeat actor R. Parthiban.

The minister led a delegation from the state government’s protocol department and gave the music maestro a welcome generally associated with heads of state.

While Sivamani’s troupe performed, a little away was another team from Kerala playing traditional music to herald the return of the hero.

Commenting on his win, Rahman said: “When I won the second Oscar, I wanted to give a bigger message. We have a choice for love and hate for everything whether religion, caste, language — it is to choose love over hate whether in music or the philosophy of life.

“All the actors and directors in Hollywood loved the statement. Michael Jackson liked it too. It is not the highest point in my career, but it is a starting point of making a lot of difference.

“I hope my award inspires others as well,” said Rahman.

Rahman will be felicitated March 1 by the Cine Musicians’ Union, according to the body’s press statement.

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who will be discharged from hospital on March 1, may briefly attend the fete - not only in his official capacity but also as the elder statesman of the Tamil film industry, ruling DMK sources added.

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