AR Rahman ‘totally changed’ after embracing new faith, changing name from Dilip Kumar: Sivamani

AR Rahman’s frequent collaborator Sivamani spoke about the transformation he witnessed in the music composer after he embraced a new faith.

Music composer AR Rahman is a deeply spiritual person, and has often spoken about his faith. Rahman, who was born Dilip Kumar,  and started following a sufi saint after he lost his father at a young age. Now, his frequent collaborator, percussionist Sivamani, has opened up about how he saw AR Rahman .

In a chat with O2 India, Sivamani recalled that he would visit the sufi saint’s shrine along with AR Rahman and his mother. He shared that they performed seva at the shrine, while Rahman studied. “The master would come and teach his Quran and his class happens. We will wait down in the studio,” he recalled. Sivamani shared that from then on, Rahman was a “totally changed” person, and developed a new level of focus. He shared, “What I see in Dileep… from there he totally changed after AR.”

Sivamani shared then Rahman was “focused on his spiritual path, and was very calm” after he started embracing his new faith. “Not even talking when he is composing in the studio. You cannot discuss anything, joke or anything, he was very serious, and it really brought him the discipline,” he shared.

Sivamani recalled how the atmosphere of the studio was “very spiritual.” “Before starting, in the studio we heard azaan… not azaan but kind of very spiritual guru’s voice. He always played in the beginning when we were just starting, and in the evening, the dhoop smell would come in the studio. (There was a) very spiritual connect with god and then he would start the work,” he shared.

Rahman has previously said that “another spiritual path gave us peace” when he spoke about his faith with Karan Thapar in 2000. He also spoke about changing his name from Dilip Kumar to AR Rahman and told Nasreen Munni Kabir, “The truth is I never liked my name. No disrespect to the great actor Dilip Kumar! However, somehow my name didn’t match the image I had of myself.”

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