11th August 2023, Mumbai: Renowned music maestro A. R. Rahman, with genuine concern and heartfelt regret, recently addressed the tumultuous turn of events at his ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ concert in Chennai. This concert, held at the Adityaram Palace City on a bustling Sunday evening, was a highly anticipated event, drawing in an astounding crowd of over 45,000 music enthusiasts. However, the sheer magnitude of the turnout led to a series of issues, including long queues, chaotic traffic conditions, and insufficient crowd control measures. Rahman candidly expressed his distress over these unfortunate occurrences and accepted responsibility for the event’s mismanagement.
Rahman reassured his dedicated fans
Rahman elucidated that his primary role as a composer was to deliver an unforgettable performance, a responsibility he took to heart. His focus remained firmly on creating a mesmerizing musical experience within the venue, unaware of the challenges unfolding outside. He candidly admitted, “I was just thinking that it shouldn’t rain,” emphasizing that he was wholly engrossed in his performance, oblivious to the chaos beyond the concert’s confines. Rahman reassured his dedicated fans that he was actively gathering information about the situation and hinted at a future surprise for them, vowing that such an incident would not recur under his watch.
Rahman refrained from apportioning blame
His genuine concern for the safety of his audience, especially women and children, was evident as he underscored the paramount importance of security. Rahman refrained from apportioning blame, opting instead for a collective understanding of the challenges faced by a burgeoning city like Chennai. He acknowledged the expanding cultural appetite of the city and its residents, expressing his hope to contribute to Chennai’s burgeoning reputation as an arts capital. Despite the tumultuous events surrounding the concert, Rahman’s perspective remained remarkably balanced. He described the ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ concert as a 90% success and a 10% setback. The music maestro highlighted the resounding success of the performance itself, which resonated deeply with his audience, showcasing his illustrious 30-year musical journey. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the issues related to crowd management had left some fans disappointed.
Underlines that his fans’ allegiance was to his music, not the concert organizers.
Rahman’s deep affection for his fans in Chennai was palpable as he reflected on the city’s overwhelming energy and love for music. He philosophically mused that sometimes, when one loves something passionately, it can become elusive, alluding to the challenges faced during the concert. He remained steadfast in his vision to elevate Chennai to an arts capital, underlining that his fans’ allegiance was to his music, not the concert organizers.
In closing, A. R. Rahman’s candid and empathetic response to the ‘Marakkuma Nenjam’ concert chaos reveals the artist’s profound commitment to his craft and his audience. His ability to acknowledge the challenges faced, accept responsibility, and maintain a positive outlook is a testament to his professionalism and love for music. While the incident left a bittersweet note, Rahman’s unwavering dedication to his art and his fans remains undiminished.
By Yashika Desai