Saturday, 28 February 2009


“How does it feel to have provided music for an Oscar winning movie?”

This question is not directed at A.R. Rahman, but to R. Prasanna, who has delighted rasikas with Carnatic music concerts on his guitar – and is a jazz musician as well.

Mylapore–bred Prasanna provided the music for the short documentary “Smile Pinki", which won at the Oscars this week. The film narrates the treatment of the eight-year old Pinki, who was afraid to smile because of her cleft-lip. Pinki, born in a poor family in Mirzapur, Utthar Pradesh, was teased mercilessly by other children. After surgery sponsored by ‘Smile Train’ the international NGO, and performed by Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, she learns to smile. The picture has been made in Hindi and Bhojpuri with sub-titles in English.

In his website, Prasanna says, “I am thrilled for Pinki and other beautiful children whose lives will hopefully change after the film 'Smile Pinki' won the 2009 Oscars for 'Best Documentary short'. I am delighted to have played a part in this film as the music composer. Congrats Megan!”

The movie is produced and directed by Megan Mylan, based in San Francisco, who wanted a purely Indian score for the film. She approached Prasanna and told him her requirements. And he obliged. Listen to this.

Prasanna became involved with Carnatic music at a young age, listening to his sister learning it. He studied music from violin vidushi A. Kanyakumari. He has also played the guitar for some of A. R.Rahman’s film compositons. A graduate of IIT, Chennai, he later studied music in the Berklee College of Music in the US. He now lives in the US, and is the proud father of a one month baby who likes to listen to her dad play classical on the guitar.

We don’t know if Prasanna was at the Oscars, but Pinki was, with her father and Dr. Singh. The NGO sponsored her trip.

More on Prasanna here.

Photo: Courtesy Internet


Gowri Mohanakrishnan said...

This was lovely! Thanks, Raji, for sharing this with us. Do Mylaporeans know about this 'scoop' yet?

Sarumann said...

I had not known! How cool!

sittingathome said...

On Smile Pinki..thanks..quite an eye opener.
Also pictures of Thanjavur Periya Kovil brings back good memories.
It's grandeur is unique.

Anonymous said...

The Oscar frenzy-in UK and in India-seemed to be focussed on ARR and Slumdog Millionaire.So this was a nice heart warming piece of info.

Maddy said...

yup - i saw pinki in the Indian group..It was a great evening that - watching the oscars.

Anil P said...

I must watch this documentary. The subject is powerful. Something as elemental as a smile, how it portrays insecurities!

Devika Jyothi said...

Interesting post, Raji

Nice to know the people behind 'Smile Pinki' :)


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

I didn't know he was behind that...i had only heard the song once! But it's nice to celebrate, so high-five!!! Awesome for Mr. Prasanna then! ANd awesome for us too, for winning so many oscars!

Paresh Palicha said...

Dear Raji, thanks for visiting my blog. And, yours is wonderful too.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Raji :)

Many thanks for doing a little bit of research and posting this wonderful information.

At first I got confused. I thought it was AR Rahman playing the guitar.

Prasanna is a great artist. Considering that he is from IIT and did not take up a job in engineering and instead went for playing music indicates that he followed a profession of his true calling. Very few people take such risks.

It is heart warming that SMILE PINKI won the OSCARS. I am sure there are some great artists in India who are world beaters. Unfortunately they don't get the exposure.

Hopefully things will change with Indians winning so many Oscar awards.People all over the world are becoming aware of the great potential waiting to be explored in India, our beloved country with a rich and incomparable cultural tradition.

Many thanks for sharing this interesting information.

Wish you all the best :)

Swarna said...

Wow, I too can now boast of (another) Oscar connection. May the artistes continue to find ultimate bliss in their art and work, and treat the awards as BTW.

Viji said...

How nice to know this : )

Kat said...

Pleasant music. Sounded so much like Veena, which is the ultimate musical instrument. Thank you for sharing this interesting info.

shyamala balram said...

I was not aware of this, it is a proud moment for all of us Indians