Read my lips : no more 'Slumdog..." The movie and all the hype around it are coming out of my ears. Good on you , Boyle and gang. And may you win all the 10 Oscars you have been nominated for. But for now... I desperately need some respite. I have read all the reviews, heard most of the tv debates, absorbed differing opinions.... you get the gist. That the movie has not opened to full houses even in Mumbai does not surprise me in the least. Plus, it hardly matters. It has been declared a global winner. For now, let's get a life....and save the band baaja for the post-Oscars' party.
Met Sushmita Sen after ages at a wonderful evening put together by the India chapter of the IAA (an international body that represents the advertising community). She was the chief guest at a contest to determine the best pitch to take Nobel Laureate Dr. Rajendra Pachauri's solar lantern initiative forward. Remember the 'Light a Billion Lives' campaign? Most of us noted it but didn't act. All it takes is 3, 600 rupees to donate a lantern, and 3 lakhs to bring electricity to a village. There are 40 crore Indian citizens living without electricity in this day and age!! What a shameful statistic. As Dr. P briefed a few of us, who formed the final jury, left to government intervention, lighting up these villages would take another 240 years!!! But with the support of NGOs, corporates and individuals, this life transforming initiative could achieve its ambitious target within a few short years. Annapoorna, Dr. Pauchari's attractive programme director demonstrated how very easy it was to get the Lantern movement to take off - and Sushmita was gracious enough to kick start the process by handing over 2 cheques, from herself and her daughter Renee, as her personal contribution. She made a charming and sincere speech.... and looked like a million bucks, clad in slim-fitting black trousers and a black shirt. There was no evidence of the extra kilos the press has been commenting on. The best thing about Sushmita is that she radiates positivity. There is an infectious exhuberance about her that is entirely appealing. Whether or not her career is going anywhere, is irrelevant. She is obviously in a happy space.... and glowing! Love ke side effects???