Oscar and Grammy-winning composer AR Rahman's mother, Kareema Begum, passed away in Chennai today. Rahman’s mother was reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year. It is said, however, that Kareema Begum passed away due to age-related ailments. The Oscar-winning music composer shared a picture of her on social media sans caption.
Kareema Begum was born Kasthuri and changed the name after Rahman changed his from Dilip Kumar. She was married to Rajagopala Kulashekharan, a music composer who worked mainly for Malayalam movies. He composed music for 52 films and was the music conductor for more than 100 films. His debut song as a music director was Chotta Muthal Chudala Vare for the 1964 film Pazhassi Raja. Shekhar died on 30 September 1976 when Rahman was nine years old. Kareema is survived by her daughters AR Reihana, Ishrath Qadri, Fathima Shekhar apart from Rahman.
In 2019, Rahman had shared a throwback picture of his mother with his two daughters, Khateeja and Raheema.
The world-renowned music composer always credited his mother for his success at various national and international platforms. In an old interview, he had said that his mother was the one who encouraged him to take up music. Rahman in the book AR Rahman The Spirit of Music by author Nasreen Munni Kabir revealed how a seer his mother looked after led him to embrace Sufi Islam.
According to sources, Kareema Begum's cremation will take place later on Monday.
Meanwhile, condolences poured in as soon as the music maestro shared the photo. Film director Cheran in a tweet said, “My Heartfelt condolence to you and your family sir.. My prayers for her soul to rest in peace (Sic),” while Shekhar Kapur wrote, “Your heart is broken, I know. But your mother left you with an inner strength, an inner resilience and belief .. that I have seen and admired for long. Stay strong, my friend .. (Sic)”