I had suicidal thoughts: AR Rahman

He credited his mother for teaching him how to handle dark thoughts.

A R Rahman (Photo by SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mohnish Singh

During a recent event, Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman opened up about his relationship with spirituality. He also shared how he deals with emotionally challenging times in his life and credited his mother for teaching him how to handle dark thoughts.

Additionally, he recounted his struggle with overcoming suicidal thoughts.

Rahman, while talking at the Oxford Union debating society, said, “We all have dark times. One thing is definite; it’s a small little travel in this world. We were born, and we are going to go. It’s not a permanent place for us. Where we are going to go, we don’t know. (It depends) on each person’s own imagination and beliefs.”

He continued, “When I had suicidal thoughts when I was young, my mother used to say, ‘When you live for others, you won’t get these thoughts’. That is one of the most beautiful advice I got from my mother. When you live for others, and you’re not selfish, there’s a meaning to your life. I took it very seriously, whether you are composing for somebody, writing for something, buying food for a person who can’t afford it, or you just smile at someone, these are the things that keep us going. Also, we have limited knowledge about our future. There could be something extraordinary waiting for you. If you have all these things, and hope, that’s what keeps me going. Sometimes, I feel like I have done it all, that I am in a repetitive cycle, and then you realise there is a bigger role for you.”

This is not the first time Rahman has opened up about suicidal thoughts. In 2018, he said, “Up until 25, I used to think about suicide. Most of us feel they 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?”