I am backstage. The presenter has an attack of nerves and is crying. A lady (indian) makes up her mind and moves to the stage, and says "Sorry for this , we have had a change in plans". The audience boos. The stage ? The 81st Oscars.
The dream breaks. I get up and look at the clock . 7am ! Just in time for the Oscars...
Wife was sleeping . Had to keep the volume really low. And lo and behold what a run for Slumdog Millionaire ! 10 Nominations. 8 Academy Awards ! Double Oscars for A.R. Rehman !
The list of awards:
- Best Movie : Slumdog Millionaire
- Best Director : Danny Boyle
- Best Music Song : AR Rehman for Jai Ho
- Best Music Score : A.R. Rehman.
- Best Editing : Chris Dickens
- Best Sound Mixing : Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
- Best Cinematography : Anthony Dod Mantle
- Best Adapted Screenplay : Simon Beaufoy
It's more amazing cause you know that the movie is based on Amchi Mumbai, with the crew and cast of people from India.
Now, all the above has been already talked about by everyone, and all websites are covering it - oscars.com, TOI, CNN, BBC - you name it , and they are rattling out the figures and the accomplishments. But, I have a few more thoughts...
The message of the film - reel and real.
The movie is about a small time guy, in love, dreaming always, and making it in the end. The 'hope' that keeps one going.
The movie is also about a small rag-tag crew, with a small budget, working with passion and love and dedication, working together as a team, making the unbelievable happen. I am sure none of the guys would have even thought at the start that they are going to one day be part of history.
I thought such things existed only in movies. But here I see a live example. Here is one of the things that I have read in books .. even like the Bhagwat Gita... not really believed in it - but it has happened. Phal ki chinta mat karo, karm karo. Do not wish for rewards, just do you job. I never did believe in that. Without an end goal, how am I to work with the passion and towards a goal ? I always thought i needed that . But many places people say that if you really put your heart into it, you will achieve your dreams.
And here I see that. And I am getting convinced, that one has to just work their best without thinking of the end gains. Difficult to change the programming in your mind for many years, but I think that the seed has been sown.
The 'its indian' syndrome.
No, the movie is not Indian. Its a British film with Indian actors and part of the crew. It was released in the US in August 2008. The Indians did not freaking even consider it. Its only when it started to gain international fame that we Indians started to look at it. Its only when it started to get rewards that it was released in India in end Jan 2009. And now that it is winning awards, the media in India touts it as an Indian film.
Dudes in India, the govt and others, I have a question for you. Why do you only pick up stuff related to India after it makes an international splash ? Why did distributors in India not pick up Slumdog Millionaire for shows here after it was released worldwide ? Why do we suddenly want to claim people of Indian origin as Indians after they have lost hope in the Indian system, moved to a foreign country and make some inventions ? Why do we suddenly find Yoga and Mehendi (Henna) the 'in thing' after the west starts to tout them ?
India. Wakey Wakey. I believe we are letting too many opportunities, inventions and innovations go waste because of the society we have created. We need to promote and nurture talent here. Then , when we start winning on the global scale , we can say we have truly arrived !
For the people with hopes and dreams (including me!). Think about the reel and real life stories for Slumdog Millionaire. Think AR Rehman. Be passionate and love what you are doing. Don't just look for quick results. You will succeed.
Jai Ho !