Monday, February 23, 2009

Mumbai wins an Oscar....!

Mumbai was by far the shiniest star at the Oscar's! My heart was in my mouth just once - when the biggest of the biggest was announced - Best Film. I prayed to an entire pantheon of Gods as Spielberg read out the winner's name... and Boyle sprung into action. Anil K was first off the mark - veteran that he is. He knew his only chance of getting into the tight camera frame while Danny made his acceptance speech ( let down !), was to stick as close to him as possible - after all, the stage was pretty crowded at that point. So there was Anil, grinning away and giving the camera 'those ones'. He also managed to grab the Oscar, wave it around, and generally attract maximum attention right after the speech. Why not? Boyle called himself a 'bloody idiot' for forgetting a choreographer's name in the credits. Well, the choreographer must be thanking his stars about the lapse, since he was mentioned twice or thrice during the key speech!
Mumbai was also thanked over and over again - even Mumbaikars who opposed the film, were acknowledged by Danny! Smart! Should our real slumdogs be celebrating tonight??Will Mumbai's tourist potential go up? Has Mumbai suddenly become a sexy destination for goras in search of shitholes to crawl out of?? Ah well.... whichever way one looks at it, the movie obviously touched thousands of hearts. My own reading of its stupendous success in America is that watching Mumbai's wretchedness and abject poverty, must have made the average American feel less depressed about the recession and potential squalor that confronts the original Land of Milk and Honey.
Oh.... did you guys notice Angelina Jolie's eye -popping emeralds? If real and borrowed, that's another story. If they are her own ... she could flog them and adopt twenty more kids for the same price. I loved Sophia Loren's OTT appearance. Sean Penn's acceptance speech, and Anne Hathaway's EVERYTHING!
Strange how underplayed the LTTE aerial attack on targets in Colombo was here in India. There must be a bloody good political explanation for that. But believe me when I stress this - it was horrific and extreme. When I recreate the sequence of events now, it seems even more chilling in that it was daring, audacious and perfectly executed strike by well -trained suicide bombers who meant business. Kamikaze operations are undertaken by professionals, not amateurs. This was one such. One of the bombs had been dropped less than 500 metres from our hotel. Several models backstage who were standing by a large window had seen the plane swooping past the hotel and heard the explosion that followed when it crashed into the building (Internal Revenue Office) right behind. After enduring the horror and chaos at the venuel, we decided to spend the night at a dear friend's safe home - but what is safe? Who is safe? Nobody could sleep.... there were reports of a rogue rebel sub in the waters just a few yards away from the Taj Samudra. Naval patrol boats maintaining a constant vigil provided some relief. But that was not enough. When we staggered back to the hotel at 11a.m. the next morning, we were told everybody who stayed behind that terrifying night, had chosen to party on till 6 am! The club rocked! Cocktails and food were served through the long , dark hours. Colombo lives with terror.... people are 'used to it.' And yes, continuing in that same spirit, the fashion week finale was resceduled!! Eleven back-to-back designers strutting their stuff. Can you imagine the state backstage? The show had to go did.
A few hours later, there we were in the same packed ballroom, with the same invitees.It was a demonstration of the undying spirit of the undaunted (or the foolish!). I opened the show with a small homage to the people of Colombo... who refuse to allow these frequent assaults to crush them. It was a very special moment. My last model, dressed in all black, walked the ramp making the universal peace sign. Minutes later, we headed for the airport and home. People asked whether we wanted to switch flights... or airline (we were booked on Sri Lankan). No way. By doing that, we would have surrendered. When civil society panics or gives up - the enemy wins. We lose.


Anonymous said...

Truth is the winner always.
Jai ho !

A.prem said...

What a great start to the morning!! :D .. was grinning like a fool all day.

And anne hathaway is *whistles* OMG!!!

Jai Hoo!!

Opaque said...

Considering the competitors, I expected Slumdog Millionaire to win. No questions about it.

Sidhusaaheb said...

It was such a pity that Gulzar Sa'ab was not present at the ceremony, to collect the award that he shares with Rahman (for the song 'Jai Ho', the lyrics of which he has written)!

As for the LTTE attack being downplayed in India, what else would you expect? Tamil Nadu politicians, whom the Sri Lankan army chief famously described as being on the LTTE's payroll, have been raising a ruckus all around, to pressurise the government of India to work towards saving the miserable necks of the LTTE.

Anonymous said...

Slumdog Millionaire sweeping all the 8 Oscars was unbelievable. It is a moment of ecstasy for the entire nation.
But I wonder why you've mentioned only Anil Kapoor while the whole country is proud of A.R.Rahman as well. Kutty also was given due recognition. I think you're biased, Mam. Though set in Mumbai, the movie reflects the country as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Mumbai wins an Oscar??? strange. People who had contributed to this project are not just Mumbaikars, madam. So you see, within India, there's no unity.
Let me speak like you. This is the first time South made it big despite North's domination. Cheers to A.R.Rahman.

Anonymous said...

despite North's ruthless domination

Anonymous said...

Anil Kapoor's behaviour looked childish and selfish. He should have pushed Dev Patel to the front. The Oscar ceremony was not prolonged like our award functions. Thats a mercy. Anil Kapoor left no chance for Irrfan to even speak a sentence. At his age, I expected better behaviour. As for the reportings about Colombo Bombings, there had been bigger ones in the past. Colombo without the fireworks looks abnormal, by the way. Nowadays, we are immune and apathetic to all such terrorist attacks unless it affects us in some personal way. Open the papers on any day. What do we see most of the time? Jolie's emeralds stole the show.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

In other news:
-- I want to be skinny and wear Anne Hathaway's wonderful cream pailette sequined dress with my hipbones jutting out.
-- Anjelina Jolie's jewels were unbelieveable. But I am so over her tattoos.
--Frieda's dress was lovely.
--Sophia Loren looked very, very Tranny.
--Penelope cruz annoys me and did -not deserve the award for her role in Vicki Christina Barcelona.
--Jack Black makes me realise that men who make me laugh are hot.
-- Sean Penn and his angst are just plain hot and does not have to make me laugh.
-- Sean Penn made me laugh anyway.
-- The Slumdog Millionaire kids looked adorable.
-- AR Rahman... what can I say. Jai Ho for an award richly deserved for a fabulous body of work.
-- Anil Kapoor did the smart thing.
-- Irrfan Khan has already marketed himself to the West. He didnt have to do much.
-- Perhaps the talent in the South film industry will be better respected and represented now. After all it garnered 3 Oscars last night.
-- Hugh Jackman, please lay off the fake tanner. You looked orange.
-- Perhaps now it will be acceptable to have conversations about greater social democracy where the divide between the haves and havenots will not be completely ignored.

Thats all folks.

the turncoat said...

Anne Hathaway looked surreal when was lifted by Jackman,
was kinda strange though, with constant rumours of her doin an openin act, the whole act of her givin in to join Jackman on his insistence, did kinda fall flat,
stranger still, she wore two different dresses on the red carpet and in that act which followed the red carpet immediately, i mean, wats the point?

കിഷോർ‍:Kishor said...
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കിഷോർ‍:Kishor said...


How could you have missed the biggest win for Indians last nite -- the double win of A.R. Rahman?

Hope there is no bad blood between you two :-)

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

@Kiran... Amen, except for I told you to fix the colors on the tv last night... no orange, just hot hot hot!
@All... Please don't forget to mention the one and only technical award for sound mixing to Rasool! He did mention the oscar belongs to his country India... AR... sorry Tamil didn't work for me, neither did the dialogue from Deewar. Why did he forget to mention India? Tis' India first then region ;-)

കിഷോർ‍:Kishor said...
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കിഷോർ‍:Kishor said...

Ek-ladki, I thought it is so cool that Rahman said something in Tamil (BTW, I am Malayali). What you are saying is Tamil is not OK for you but Hindi is OK??

Indian culture cannot be standardized based on Hindi. Being a Tamilian is just one way of being Indian. We should respect people for expressing their true identity.

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

@Kishor...Please read carefully, I said India not hindi :-D Language is not an issue, my reason for being offended was why didn't he mention the great country of INDIA. Language is no barrier in a good film or a speech, but when the film is about India and celebrates the optimism India portrays, he could have mentioned the great country of India. For all it matters he could have spoken in Japanese and no worries :-D
For the record I am a sindhi (an NRI of 25+yrs) married to a Malyali;-)

കിഷോർ‍:Kishor said...

@Ladki: I would have objected if ARR spoke in Japanese. Any Indian langauge is OK :-)

ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

@Kishor... Again for the record I said Tamil didn't work for "me." Neither did the dialogue for Deewar ;-) Seriously, a good movie is a good movie, a good speech is a good speech... irrespective of the language. I would have even enjoyed a subtitled version had he spoken in Japanese. It's all about the quality, not the region for me per-say. I love cinema not regions. Bole to bilkul Global Indian heich hai apun.

Piper .. said...

I cant stand Angelina Jolie for some reason! :) She didnt really have to cling onto Brad Pitt, did she? :) And yup, Anil Kapoor was weird, leaning towards Danny Boy like that! Frieda Pinto looked a lil aged, dont you think? She couldve let her hair down(literally I mean!). But the clincher ofcourse was AR Rahman!!! Can you believe it? TWO Oscars!!!! wowieeee!! :) what a night it was!! :):)

Piper .. said...

just have to mention this : Meryl Streep gets better by the day, doesnt she? wasnt she looking gorgeous??

Anonymous said...

I FEEL this concept of feeling proud over these oscars absurd.Feeling pride over chandrayaana was fine as the money was tax payers' and isro was a government organisation but here it is just an individual talent rising on its own despite the odds(what has indianness got to do with it?).....also the way in which our news channels have gone all jashnebahara is cardinally misplaced because oscars are not the greatest film awards as 1.they mainly recognize only english films and therefore they wont award some of our greatest regional language cinema 2. the jury is chiefly american(over 80%) so a heavy american-way-of-looking-at-things will find place in awards which breeds prejudice

krishna said...

A.R.Rahman is one among Indias present to the world, note he said "all my life i had a choice between hatred and love, i chose love and look where i am" that is the best an artist could have said, he is one not all like many of us who are rooting for the Oscars, he only says this is a bridge to American movie industry.

Anonymous said...


Normally I wouldn't bother to read blogs or leave comments on blogs. But the bit that I saw on national television yesterday has forced me to do it.

When I heard you criticise people on NDTV yesterday for claiming the recognition Indians got at the Oscars on the basis of region, I thought, "Great, somebody is ticking those people off".

But the very next moment, you turned into a regionalist yourself. You said if anything the award was for Mumbai!!!
Tamilians and Malayalis cannot claim the victories of their brethren as their own. But it can be a victory for Mumbai, just Mumbai.

You are wrong Ms De. I feel people living in slums anywhere in India have the same indefatigable spirit. It's not something that is particular to just Mumbai.

I thought I will bring this to your attention in case you still think that you are a liberal free of regionalist tendencies. Because you showed yesterday that you are anything but that.