She Saw The Genius In Him .

id-100275260When I was in college all those years ago, I would spend my Saturday afternoons in my best friend’s house. Her mother whom I called Kasturi aunty, was a teacher in a school in Chennai, where we lived.

Kasturi aunty used to speak to us about some of her students.

One of her favourite students was a young boy, who was a wizard at playing the key board. She described his prowess at making soul lifting music on the keyboard and would always end her story of the boy by saying:

“Mark my words, this boy will go places.”

“One of these days, he is going to become a renowned musician.”

“He will become very famous when he  grows up.”

But after a few years, the boy discontinued from her school for unforeseen reasons. She later heard that he had joined another school in Chennai itself. She felt for the boy and wished him well in her heart.

In the year 1992, when my sons and I sat before the television watching a special telecast on Independence day, the lilting music of a song wafted across the screen and filled our rooms and our hearts with the song, “Chinna Chinna Aasai” from the Tamil film Roja.

A musician was born. No. Discovered!

My father called me from his house, even as the song was being telecast, “Are you watching TV? Are you seeing this Channel? What a song! Who is the musician?”

Soon “Who is the music composer of the film, Roja?” was on everybody’s lips.

Kasturi aunty jumped with elation.

“It is him. My student,” she said taking pride in a student as only a teacher could.

The young musician showcased his brilliance in  film after film and soon he became a byword in the music industry.

IN 2009, when he held aloft the two Oscars and said in all humility, “All praise be to God”, Kasturi aunty was not alive to witness the jubilation that rocked our hearts.rahman-birthday_sl_5_01_201

But I am sure, she would have been the happiest person in all of India, had she been alive, because she had predicted this a long time ago.

I don’t have to mention, that the person I am talking about is our very own music sensation, the Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal... A.R.Rahman!

Jai Ho!

Story by Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo

Image courtesy of cooldesign at


This entry was posted in School is Fun, Uncategorized, We Indians! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to She Saw The Genius In Him .

  1. sheilamanimaran says:

    A real feel good story. Three cheers to teachers who see the potential in their students.🤗🤗🤗

  2. Fahmida says:

    Heart warming ! Jai ho !

  3. Anna koshy says:

    Good a teacher cld feel the pulse of the young student’s talent & cld predict a wonderful future.
    Gulsam good you brought out this reality .

  4. You always capture the person and the moment so well! Delightful!

  5. Roshan says:

    Awesome !…Thanks for sharing !!!

  6. teachers are one of the most under appreciated beings on the planet. every successful person is what they are today because of a teacher who taught them well, and rarely anybody appreciates, or even recognises that. I can only imagine ‘Kasturi aunty’s’ happiness at seeing her student make it big, because her happiness lay not in any reward, but at her protege realising his potential and getting recognised for it. For this reason, we must always respect and appreciate a teacher’s sacrifice and their selfless dedication. If not anything else, a ‘thank you’ goes a long way in letting your teacher know how much they mean to you.

  7. Fasulunnisa says:

    Very nice !!!

  8. Jyothi Ravindran says:

    Very nice article Gulsum. Well written . And yes it does take a teacher to spot the talent.

  9. Malavika says:

    I was amazed that you remembered her telling you about ARR. I still can vividly recollect watching the Doordarshan program with my mother,where little ARR played the keyboard. You are great with turning little incidents into fascinating narratives. Keep it up Gulsum.

  10. Naushad Ali Basheer Ahamed says:

    Beautifully written. Fantastic construction in prose. It really brought a whole lot of prior memories. Thank you for this lovely piece.

    I have a small anecdote to share.

    It was 2009, I was in Saudi Arabia back then…Oscars Live telecast….

    it was well into the early morning before it began…. at about 2.30am the telecast finally did…

    I, like millions in India and around the world, had been praying for weeks wishing for a great representation of India and a lasting impression by Rahman sir

    …and then it happened…

    the First Oscar was announced….I was holding back tears, choked with emotion. Hearing A.R.Rahman’s name announced by the presenters set off a clapping frenzy … I was all by myself at home but i did’nt care what the neighbours would have thought

    ….when he said, “Ella Pugazhum Iraivanukae” on stage…

    was the final straw …. hearing our mother tongue resonating around the world ……. I finally let it go …. emotions had reached its climax.

    …… Cried and Cried shamelessly ….. called fellow ARR fans like me and cried in groups…. it was already just too much for us take.


    God it seemed had other plans …. along came Oscar 2 and the rest is history.

    It was the very very best day of my life, which I’m sure was the same, for millions of die hard ARR fans like me.

    Again I thank you for this. I’m gonna share this with the ARR groups.

  11. Ashiq says:

    Super story mom. His music speaks for itself.

    His humility despite reaching such great heights is another reason for his popularity.

    Lovely write up as usual 🙂

  12. Alyssa Al Alawi, Dubai says:

    As usual, what a lovely post, Mashallah. I have Indian friends with whom I shared your article and they loved the peek into the famous ARR’s childhood! We in the UAE knew him even before the Oscar, and couldn’t agree more with all the accolades showered on him. Eagerly awaiting your next post! You truly know how to paint with words!

  13. Anjana says:

    All the songs in the movie Roja are one of a kind. I love ‘kadhal rojava’ the most.

  14. Programming Lang says:

    . Well written .

  15. DevBlog says:

    . Well written .

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