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A.R. Rahman and Dileep Kumar, ramblings

The country is celebrating the Oscar victory of our musical hero A.R. Rahman, who wrote a pretty average (by Rahman's own standards) score for the film Slumdog Millionare. (For a better example of his work, listen to his song Urvashi.) I'm not even going to bother with linking to IMDB for the movie because everyone knows it so well. Danny Boyle did a good job, but I couldn't watch more than 15 minutes of it because it seemed very predictable to me after that point. His other work, Trainspotting, is one of my all time favorite movies and I even had a poster of it on my wall for a year. I won't give any opinions on Slumdog because anything I say will probably have been said before. But, I would like to point out a little interesting, perhaps a little ironic fact I found out about Mr. Rahman.

It does seem, though, that it's time for India to stop selling poverty and overpopulation, and start highlighting innovation. Not many people in this world realize that answering phones for Dell and providing Artificial Artificial Intelligence (no typo there) is not the only thing we're good at. Indians are a proud race and we have the distinction of having the highest karma when it comes to International relations. We never attack in greed, we never take sides, and we do what's best in humanitarian interest without making a big show about it. Our men and women have, rather quietly, contributed significantly in many fields of science, society and politics around the world and will continue to do so. We have our Rush Limbaughs, too, but hey, who doesn't?
In the whole offshoring debate (which, as I remember, is yet to start), we're not the ones stealing American jobs but it is greedy capitalists on US soil who decide not to pay their own people for mundane jobs and ship them overseas. The foundation of the offshoring industry was laid down by influential Americapitalists like GE, Dell, IBM, etc. The solution to this problem is not protectionism but stricter regulation of capitalism; Look at AIG and their shameless stealing spree. Why hunt for Bin-Ladens in Tora Bora when you've got AIG employees running free on US soil?

In any case, I got very sidetracked in this post and just remembered what it is that I was going to talk about. Browsing around, I found that A.R. Rahman was called A.S. Dileep Kumar at the time of his birth. Isn't it a curious coincidence that Dileep Kumar was also a name taken up as an alias by one Yusuf Khan, a legendary actor in Hindi cinema. Yusuf Khan becomes Dilip Kumar and rises to stardom, A.S. Dileep Kumar becomes A.R. Rahman and rises to stardom. Puts a little spin on the whole "what's in a name?" question, doesn't it?