Oscar de la India

by Roshni Mulchandani

The came. They waited. They conquered. Sweeping the SAG's, Academy Awards, BAFTA's and now Oscars was none other than the small film that interesting was supposed to go straight to DVD, Slumdog Millionaire. The cast and crew came out in full force and hit the L.A. red carpet in much pomp. Crowds and fans hollered out the names of the cast, photographers and media called out to them, asked them to pose, requested them for interviews. They humbly accepted and spoke volumes about the movie. They then entered the Kodak Theatre only to win, win and win again making them Oscar millionaire's in their own rights. The young slum children came out too all dressed in designer wear looking dashing and excited to see their Hollywood favorites. They ran up and down the red carpet asking for autographs, letting the press know they are popular kids at their schools in Mumbai.

However, the king of the night was none other than apna A.R. Rahman. I'm not exactly sure how they could have gotten his name wrong pronouncing its RaKman instead, but we all knew who they were referring to, so its all good. But if any man had to be recognized on an international platform for his talent, it had to be him. His humility shone when he won two awards for Best Song (Jai Ho) and Best Soundtrack, and simply said, "All my life I had to choose between love and hate. I chose love and here I am.." Noble words from a noble man. He thanked God, mom (in a most Bollywood fashion) and exited. He then charmed audiences with both his nominated songs, Jai Ho and O Saya, in a fabulous fusion with the great John Legend. Their collaboration was simply mesmerizing.

I have always found the Oscar's to be a bit of an extra drag in past years but this year I watched it from start to finish and lurrved it. I'm not sure if that has something to do with the fact that there was so much Indian representation this year, actually that is probably it. If that wasn't enough, Best Documentary Smile Pinki, too won! As did Resul Pookutty for sound mixing in SDM. Smile Pinki follows young and poor Pinki through her ordeal as she sets out to rid herself of a cleft above her lip. Another victory for India. The young children from the slum were bought in and really this is fabulous on part of the production company. This is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for these children and you could tell how excited they genuinely were. While I have my personal apprehensions about the movie, I can't help but thank Danny Boyle and Warner Brothers for helping these children.

So my parting words, Slumdog Millionaire is a great film for many reasons. People have finally started to realize that there is immense talent east of the globe which is untouched. I'm not sure IF we will ever see a Hollywood-Bollywood tie up to be honest only because the audiences are so different but, it is nice to see that we are recognized now. I am a proud Indian today because I feel that the winners did not forget their country; did not forget their heritage; did not forget who they are: Indian. And to that, Jai Ho!

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