Inside the Mind of a Creative Genius

Today was a very special day for
me. I got a chance to spend almost three hours with a great music composer,
Rahul Ranade (


Rahul is best known for his music but he has acted, directed and created in marathi and hindi. He is one of the founders of GRIPS theatre in India.

After composing music for
countless plays, films, serials and even political campaigns, Rahul continues
to enjoy music like a child in a sweet shop – amused, thrilled, fascinated and
intensely in love with music. I feel Rahul is at his best when he writes
melancholic music and also when he lets loose his natural flamboyance and writes
riotous, joyous music.

He talked about the kind of music
I like to listen to, helped me choose music and suggested what I should
experiment with. It was a fascinating experience. I felt like I was given the
key to Alibaba’s cave and could experience the wealth!

As it often happens, our
discussion turned towards his creative process and Rahul told me about how he
has changed as a composer since the first time he wrote music (he was 16
then!). He is composing for thirty years now and still enjoys it every bit.

When he started, it was all
analog music where, every music player, every piece of machinery and intimate
mechanical knowledge were vital for creating music. Now it is all digital and
with one machine, he can create whatever he wants to! It is fantastic to be
able to create all by yourself with the help of a machine.

I am impressed by Rahul’s ability
and willingness to keep learning this huge change in technology and use it
positively. I have heard stories about brilliant music artists unable to adjust
with this change and being sidelined and almost starving. Rahul knows quite a
few of them and agrees that if one cannot change with the flow, it is all over!

This brings home two important
points for me as a parent and human being-

1. Change is perpetual. I must
inculcate the capacity to flow and bend and grow with my environment. If my
education does not help me to learn this process of learning, it is useless

2. Human brain has great
plasticity at all ages and we can learn throughout life. This is opposite of
what is told to you by phony parenting coaches – human brain grows till age of
five so cram in everything till then. This is a marketing gimmick to fool you
into buying their brain stimulation products. Creative and happy people like Rahul
will tell you that when you follow your heart’s direction and your natural
talent, learning becomes a part of you and you continue to grow without realizing


Another thing that Rahul talked
about was his pattern of taking a day or two off every week and spending it
listening to music, watching movies or doing things that give him tranquility. This
means he gets away from excessive stimulation and gives his creativity a
chance. This is exactly what I have tried to convey in my previous blog on
creativity. This ability to spend unstructured time is the most valuable human
ability and it is mother of all human genius.


I came away feeling blessed and
happy. Music has a quality to make you feel emotional and because of Rahul and
his music this became a very intense experience helping me to explore more
corners of my mind that are inaccessible to words!

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