He defied the traditional force of film gravity and took South Indian music to the North. He gained acceptance among Hindi audiences despite not knowing the language himself. He created music with the best of the west. As a true child of liberalisation (Roja was made in 1991), he democratised music by rendering the monopolists obsolete. He uncorked a fresh, unending torrent of talent, and unleashed the kind of voices and sounds never before heard.
And he has done it all like Sachin Tendulkar, without once putting a foot wrong.
For a man of such singular talent, is Allah Rakha Rahman India’s greatest ever film music composer ever? Greater than Ilayaraja and M.S. Viswanathan, S.D. Burman and R.D. Burman, Laxmikant and Pyarelal? And is Oscar night, 22 February 2009, going to be the most important night of his life?