Monday, February 23, 2009

"Happiness is falling from the sky..."

Slumdog celebrations in Mumbai.

Shock of the Oscars for me: I've been mis-pronouncing A.R. Rahman's name for years. First Van Gogh, now this. Is there no end to our ineptitude? (Don't answer that!)


Tulkinghorn said...

I'm sure that (as with your long ago references to Mr. Hark) the fans will forget and forgive.

Maybe you should have an explanatory press conference and all of us can sit in the front row and glare in support.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you have been pronouncing it, but they were WRONG WRONG WRONG last night. It sounded like noodles at one point.

Generic said...

The noodle version is close to what I've always said: "Rah-maan."

Last nught the "H" was replaced with a gutteral that was almost but not quite a "K," rather like the throat clearing noise in the pronunciation of Van Gogh that Woody Allen made fun of.

A friend sez the maestro's own pronunciation is closer to "Ruhamaan."

Tulkinghorn said...

Ziaur Rahman is a Bangladeshi cricketer.

This recording claims to be the proper way to pronounce his name:

Generic said...

The audio sounds like a softer, more comfortable version of what i heard last night.

Amrita said...

Well, if you go by last night, Rahman is actually middle eastern, not Indian. His name is Allah Rakha Rahman which you pronounce:

Allah (the usual)

Rakha (raa-kha - long on the "ra" and the kha is pronounced gutturally the way they pronounced H in rahman)

Rahman (reh - maan where reh rhymes with heh)

South Asians don't pronounce their Hs hard - Ahmed in Arabic is pronounced "Ach-med" but in Urdu or Hindi is pronounced "Eh-med" where "d" rhymes with the "th" in "the" or "there".