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Reacting to the double Grammy whammy, Rahman said, "I never even dreamt about winning all these awards. I once again want to thank the Almighty, my spiritual Sufi teachers Ameen Peerullah Malik Sahib, Danny Boyle and the whole Slumdog creative team."
After the Grammy, Rahman also had a special word of thanks for his mentor Mani Ratnam and his mentors in Mumbai, Shekhar Kapur and Subhash Ghai and mentor in the West, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Back home, Rahman is happy to have received the Padma Bhushan. But unhappy about the fact that a lot of the deserving artistes remain unrecognized by the government. "There're so many deserving candidates for National Awards, still unsung. On the other hand, I believe people with dubious records get recognized. That isn't fair. Personally speaking I'm very happy to get the Padma Bhushan. Ever since the announcement my phone hasn't stopped ringing. I think I've received more congratulations for the Padma than for the Oscars."
Rahman says he's prouder of the Padma Bhushan than the Oscar. "It definitely means more when you're recognized by your own people and country. I definitely value this award more than the Oscar or Grammy," said Rahman before flying out to Los Angeles for the Grammys. "My award comes in a category that won't be televised. So it won't be like Slumdog Millionaire where people back home could watch me."
Much has been said about the two Padma winners Rahman and sound designer Resul Pookutty's disappointing follow-up collaboration in Blue after Slumdog Millionaire. But Rahman stands by Blue. "The script was a bummer. But grant the director Anthony D'Souza for the fact that he tried something different. I enjoyed doing Blue."
Our resident Mozart is amused by premature reports in the press that his song 'Na Na' from his first Hollywood soundtrack has been nominated for and Oscar.
Says Rahman, "'Na Na' is short listed. It's one of 63 songs in the race. Not nominated yet. It's an English song."