AR Rahman tells wife not to speak in Hindi at awards ceremony: ‘Speak in Tamil’
AR Rahman told his wife not to address the crowd in Hindi, as she joined him on stage at a recent awards show.
A video of composer AR Rahman telling his wife to speak in Tamil and not Hindi at an awards show is being widely shared on social media. Rahman was honoured at the recent Vikatan Cinema awards, where he invited his wife Saira Banu up on stage to say a few words and accept the trophy alongside him.
She became emotional as he thanked her, and readily walked towards the stage when he asked if she’d like to join him. She hugged Rahman, who offered the trophy to her and invited her to say a few words. But just as she was about to speak, he told her in Tamil, “Please speak in Tamil, not Hindi.” Saira looked uncomfortable, but she smiled and said, “Sorry, I can’t speak fluently in Tamil. So, please excuse me. I am super happy and excited because his voice is my favourite. I fell in love with his voice. That’s all I can say.”
Despite having worked across industries and having produced music in multiple languages, Rahman has advocated for the Tamil language. Last year, when Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that people of different states should communicate with each other in Hindi and not English, Rahman shared an illustration of “Thamizhanangu” of “Goddess Tamil”, a word from Tamil Thai Vaazhthu or the Tamil national anthem, penned by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai and composed by MS Viswanathan.
Rahman and Saira tied the knot in 1995, and their marriage was arrange by his mother. He told Simi Garewal on her chat show several years ago, “To be honest, I didn’t have time to go and search for a bride. I was doing all these films and Rangeela in Bombay so I was so busy in that. But, I knew it was the right time for me to get married. I was 29 and I told my mother. I said, ‘find me a bride’.”
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