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Learnt something new about AR Rahman

His paternal grandfather hailed from the town of Tiruvallur near Madras

He answered to the name "Rajagopala Bhagavathar" - a harikatha practitioner born in a Mudaliyar family
Thiruvallur is most famous for its Veera Raghava temple - one of the 108 Divya Desams

Judging by the grandfather's name, it is possible that Rajagopala Bhagavatar was associated in some way with the temple
Interestingly Rahman's father himself got married at Tirumala temple to Kasturi

It was Kasturi who converted to Islam after Rahman's father's demise when ARR was in his teens
This begs the question - here was a man who clearly had musical genius in his genes.

His grandfather was a Harikatha singer. His father was a composer in Malayali cinema

Yet how often do we hear about ARR's ancestry and the musical pedigree inherent therein
We keep hearing about his childhood hardships, and his mother's conversion. And ofcourse his very strict adherence to Islam

But does ARR himself acknowledge the tradition to which he doubtless belongs?

I do see him talk a lot about Islam. But not about Mr Bhagavatar..
To me this is what is most disconcerting...

the discontinuity
the cultural chasm that cleans up the slate instead of letting it be a palimpsest
the loss of civilizational memory in a span of 1-2 generations
A good case study on how "religious freedom" does not merely change one's faith, but alters one's civilizational moorings

I am not passing value judgments on that...But this is something to reflect on.
It also begs the question -

What should Hindu society do to prevent such cultural discontinuities?

In this case Kasthuri, Rahman's mom, was a practicing Hindu. Facing hardships in life after her husband's death

The person who provided emotional support in that key period was one Karimullah Qadri - a Sufi Pir

Now the question is - what made her turn to Qadri. And not somebody in the nearby Kapalishwaran Koil in Mylapore, or Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane?
Our temples are institutions of considerable antiquity, hoary tradition, and immeasurable spiritual and intellectual depth

But do they do a good job of providing that emotional and social support to people in their most dire moments? Maybe they do.

But it is worth pondering on
Post script : It looks like ARR converted in his 20s, and not his teens as I previously mentioned.

My bad
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