New Delhi: Formative years of A.R. Rahman, an internationally accomplished artist with many honours, were not so easy, reveals the music maestro's sister Reihana.
She said that at the tender age of nine, the maestro experienced life-changing incident after an untimely death of their father, composer R.K. Shekhar.
Recalling that incident, she said: "What happened was that my father fell sick and there was a 'Peer Sahab' (priest) who said that he would cure my father through prayers. But my father decided to go ahead with the operation even though the Peer Sahab told us not to."
Reihana shared the memory on the Big CBS Prime's show "India's Prime Icon", where Rahman is competing for the title.
"He (Peer Sahab) even told us that if my father is operated, he might not live. My father still went ahead with the operation and ultimately passed away. This incident had a big impact on my brother (Rahman)," she added.
With his father gone, Rahman decided to take on the responsibility of his family.
"He (Rahman) started off as a keyboard player. There was a time when we had to struggle hard to make ends meet because my father was not there," said Reihana.
"We were used to a little luxurious lifestyle. When my father was there, we never bothered. But it so happened that he (Rahman) had to go and earn for us..." she added.
The episode will be aired Saturday on Big CBS Prime at 9.30 p.m.