Mumbai: Every year, no matter which part of the world he is in, global musical icon A.R. Rahman likes to be home for Ramadan and this year too he is in Chennai for the holy fasting.
"It makes sense to come back home for the holy month of Ramzan for many reasons. Firstly, it's a time when one needs to be close to one's roots, home and family," said Rahman.
"Secondly, looked at from a practical point of view, the days are far too long in the US. By the time it's sunset, it's a good 9-10 hours of fasting, and that's tough. Being home is the best place to be during the holy fasting."
Rahman is making the best of this month-long stay in India, his longest visit home in a year. Besides spending time with his wife, children and mother, Rahman is also here to take a quick look at his music school in Chennai, of which he is rightly proud.
Speaking on the growth of the school, Rahman said: "It all started because I felt talented kids with a musical aptitude didn't know where to go. The older generation of musicians seemed to be tuned into traditional musical instruments and ragas while the youngsters were getting more and more involved with electronic music and gadgets. I wanted a meeting-point where young students could learn about music in its various forms and interpretations."
Today the maverick musician, straddling India and the West effortlessly, is proud of the progress made by his school.
"By god's grace, the school is now a college. It's like my extended family. Every student is important to me. I share a parent-child relationship with each one of them. I want them all to go out in the world as well-versed musicians. That's the aim with which this institution was started."
Luckily for Rahman, he doesn't have to worry about the day-to-day working of the music academy.
"My sister takes care of it. She is running my dream-institution beautifully."