The Maestro AR Rahman recently spoke about how his initial low phase in the career gave him suicidal thoughts and how it eventually helped him emerge braver.

“Up until 25, I used to think about suicide. Most of us feel we are not good enough. Because I lost my father, there was this void… There were so many things happening.”

“(But) that in a way made me more fearless. Death is a permanent thing for everyone. Since everything created has an expiry date, so why be afraid of anything?” Rahman told PTI.

“Before that, things were dormant so maybe it (the feeling) manifested then because of my father’s death and the way he was working, I didn’t do many movies. I got 35 movies and I did two.”

“Everyone wondered ‘How are you going to survive? You have everything, grab it.’ I was 25 then. I couldn’t do that. It’s like eating everything. You become numb. So even if you eat small meals, make it fulfilling,” he adds.

He reinvented himself by letting go not only the baggage from the past but also his birth name – Dileep Kumar, which he says, he despised.

“I never liked my original name, Dileep Kumar. I don’t even know why I hated it. I felt it didn’t match my personality. I wanted to become another person. I felt like that would define and change my whole (being). I wanted to get rid of all the past luggage,” he says.

Rahman says the most important thing for him is not to feel bored and constantly try to do something new; be it professionally or personally.

“You feel jaded if you do the same thing. You need to find different things to do. For me travelling, parenting and spending time with my family – though I can’t do that much – is beautiful. It helps a lot.”