Noted composer A.R. Rahman, who recently turned 40, is trying to make up for all that he missed in his formative years by spending quality time with his children.

Rahman, who celebrated 40th birthday Jan 6 -the day on which his son also turned four, said he’s entering the most important decade of his life.

“So far I’ve just been busy living life. From my childhood I was surrounded by grownups, I never got a chance to enjoy being a child. It took me a while to realise how young I was. By the time I realised I was missing out on youthful activity; I was no longer young, said Rahman.

“Now, I’m re-living my childhood with my three children. If I’m able to give them everything that I couldn’t afford, they too are giving me back something vital.” He and his son share the same birthday.

“My son turned four on Jan 6. Yeah, he and I share the same birthday. I don’t know how that happened.” And what does he make of the 40 years of his life? “My life has always been a journey. When I was in my 20s I went through the most turbulent and hectic time of my life. Now I spend as much time as possible with my children Khatija (11), Rahima (8) and Amin (4).

“My studio in Chennai is right opposite my house, so they spend a lot of time with me. All they’ve to do is cross the road and they’re with me.”

Three of his works will compete for an Oscar in the best original song category. “They’ve short-listed 56 songs, of which three - Khalbali and Luka chuppi (from Rang De Basanti) and Chan chan (from Water) - are mine.

“I was expecting a list of 500-600 songs, I’m quite surprised.

I think the way they look at our films and music abroad has completely changed now. There’s a lot more respect for what we do. They don’t think of us as oddities any longer. They don’t think of us as dancing around trees.” Rahman chose the three songs for the Oscars on his own.

“I chose Luka chuppi because of Lataji (Mangeshkar). She’s the pride of the nation. I don’t know what the outcome would be. I think it’s a big honour to be there.

“God willing, if my song gets nominated, I’ll be there in Los Angeles. But to get to the last 56 songs is quite an honour,” Rahman stated.