He's 21 and taken the world by storm. Soma Basu talks to destiny's new child Anirudh Ravichander

With over 40 million hits on YouTube within two months of his maiden composition, and 34 new film offers thereafter, what else can Anirudh Ravichander of ‘Kolaveri' fame ask for? A beyond belief popularity has put him in a whirligig trajectory since November 16, 2011. He still can't figure out the “how and why” of the super success, but remains uber cool.

Till count 50, he kept track of his interviews. “A week on, I lost count. May be you are the 600th person….no perhaps the 1000th,” he giggles child-like. “I have also got a bit bored of the song…I have been with it from the day of composing, recording, mixing, mastering, releasing and singing innumerable times at functions…..but please don't put it in the headline,” he laughs again.

Secret of success

At 21, he has touched the pinnacle of glory and obviously the crown doesn't rest easy. He has been zooming in and out of studios, flights and functions round-the-clock. Not much of a public speaker, he has been invited to IIM, Ahmedabad, on February 7, to give a talk on “how the Kolaveri song has become a cultural rage”.

So how, I ask again. “May be it was just our good time. The song was leaked by a studio staff who recorded it on mobile. And then Sony immediately released it officially. Nobody had imagined this wave. We were just a bunch of youngsters enjoying what we love to do. There was no expectation, just fun aided by lot of funny words, funny music and funny situations.”

Call it history or destiny, Anirudh has lost his sleep, privacy and a few kilos too. He folds up his sleeve to show the multiple red and black sacred threads his mother has tied on his wrist. “She worries a lot.”

His banker-father had almost packed him off to Singapore for a graduate course in Commerce after he finished schooling from Padma Seshadri four years ago. “I pleaded that I could not leave my music and friends. I enrolled in Loyola College, but was seen more at culturals than in classrooms.”

His kind of accomplishment and adulation happens only once in a lifetime and to one in a million perhaps. So is he God's chosen one? “I am not religious but I do believe in God and say my daily prayers. After this phenomenon, I have started believing even more in the existence of some supernatural power,” he says.

What Anirudh is looking forward to is sound sleep. “I should soon be done with the work for ‘3' slated for a March release. And then I will go to an undisclosed destination without my mobile.”

The background score remains to be completed, which the team is planning to do either in Budapest or Bangkok, with a symphony early next month. “Even now, every day I am in the studio from 8 p.m. to the wee hours of the morning. I am a nocturnal creature. The tranquillity, silence and darkness of the night give me the impetus to work.”

Experimenting with genres

He is in sync with solitude now but as a child he used to trouble his elder sister. “I would play the piano loudly and Sandhya akka would scream and shoo me out of the room. A lawyer and a guitarist, she is enjoying the Kolaveri rage,” he smiles.

“I don't think my music has a structure. Depending on the theme, I love to experiment with as many musical instruments and types of music.” The young lad who has taken the world by storm shows no ‘Kolaveri' himself. “I never get angry. May be sad at times and it sometimes gets into my music.”

What makes him happy? “A good sleep, after eating spicy Andhra food. I love it at Amravathi in Chennai. And when I travel, I love to dig into biryani.”


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