A letter to Jenn, whom I follow

Jenn, dear,

This writing, regarding a comment put up by you, is dedicated to a blogizen, Jenn, you of course. Let me copy the comment and paste it here:

"I saw Slumdog Millionaire because of your poll last week. I didn't known anything about it before that (I am woefully out of touch with all things mass entertainment). Anyway, I was just wondering what you thought of it. Is it an accurate representation of some people's experience in India, do you know?"

I felt a pull to say something on the Oscar-winning film, "Slumdog Millionaire", a big-budget sentimental saga by Danny Boyle, who was bouncing upward like a woollen ball after being rewarded the same. Since it was an unassailable victory to his crown, this writing matters nothing. This writing may not satisfy you too, as I am still in a quandary to say what and suppress what.

In my vision, I saw Boyle hopping on the slums, and yet again, a flag-hoister of colonialism, was trying to roll down the Indian way like an avalanche to put up its settlement.

"Slumdog Millionaire" has lifted a veil of truth. Years ago, came on the screen a TV-soap, called "Kaun Banega Crorepati" ("Who wants to be a millionaire?"), hosted by the one and only icon-image of Indian Cinema, Amitabh Bachchan. What has been exposed in the film is as true as the jingling of a coin. In India, the number of the impoverished grows with the escalation of GDP. The funny head is out, and the entire bust and body is down under the quagmire! As ill luck would have it, it became our moral duty to enjoy the TV-show and plan to seek after a handsome amount of money. Almost everybody said that to enjoy the sitting in front of the Big B (Amitabh Bachchan) was his/her longing. You may gain a better understanding of the whole thing soon after your price-less eyes titillate on the following links:


But, the bare truth is, everyone tried to hone his or her luck of taking home 1 million or over.

1 million, amidst utter misery!
1 million, amidst mangled hopelessness!

The 2002 Gujarat violence crept in, the very India was halved into two equal portions. Atrocities rose high, bellicosity played the role of a triumphant, communal integration lost its colour, religious maniacs chopped off a mother, cut her womb filled with future, and threw it in the tongues of fire. The programme, however, went on till the host fell ill in 2006.

I can't pick any bone of contention with anyone regarding the achievement of A.R. Rahman. When he flooded the world with his musical tempo in the films like "Bombay" and "Roja", it was proven that a man of music needs no award save the musical audience. India and her people, and countries abroad accepted this genius, who is musically ours. BUT his superb composition, "Jai ho", proves to be a misfit to the film in the end. The film, therefore, on the platform scene, is thoroughly shattered.

As a solo-song, "Jai ho" touched the Rahmanized height. Just type www.arrahman.com, sink on your chair, have your eyes switched off, and experience a heart-to-heart pleasure flood.

Consumerism says everything needs a fashionable attire. So Boyle revamped his film in the end with the Bollywood just-sing-me-a-song style and with his technical brilliance, he easily boiled his eggs, this time, on the Indian fire, lighted by malnutrition and impoverishment.

"Teeming with filthy, giggling, half-naked children, rubbish-munching goats and mangy stray dogs and scattered with mounds of burning refuse, Garib Nagar may not boast the glamour quotient of the average Oscar party. But today, hundreds of residents of this Mumbai slum crowded around the neighbourhood's few television sets to follow the Academy Awards with bated breath." (sourced from - http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/oscars/article5788095.ece, February 23, 2009)

The Mumbai slum still suffers. Agony is its name. Pain is its name. Hundreds of slums are there in India. I fear neither the success nor the successful. I fear the aftereffect. I see in the near future the Oxford Dictionary suggesting a newly coined word, "slumdog", meaning, "a slum-dweller (of an Indian origin, especially a Mumbaiker), who is named after a dog".

The Govt. enjoys licking the feathers of two Academic Awards, pours every year an unthinkable amount of money to the militaristic security of the nation, and cares little for the slum-dwellers. They boast of having such an Oscar-winning slum, and so, they are not economically theirs.

The GDP increases. The slum remains the same. The usefulness of the slum lies here. It brings home some foreign directors to make films.

With regards,

Dibakar Sarkar


lakeviewer said...

Thank you for the reality check. The movie is so feather-light and Disney-kind that we are neither smelling not seeing the slums. We are taken on a romp, a Disney ride, with a Bollywood ending. Shame on all of us to think this was a tea party after all.

Anonymous said...


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