Walking affords one of the greatest pleasures. Meeting new people. And animals. Really.
I started having conversation with one of the dogs that I came across yesterday. On being asked what his name was he said I could call him ‘Anything But Tommy’. I said “Great, so ABT so what’s up?”
ABT said “Nothing much. What’s the latest on Slumdog Millionaire”. “This is great, even you have started to follow the news about Slumdog…” I said.
“What do you mean?” answered ABT, “I was the first one to have an objection even before Big B made his views open on his blog. Too bad I cannot blog or I would have beat Big B to it.”
“Okay, so what is your stand on it and why are you piqued with Slumdog Millioniare?” I asked.
“H.H…I take offense to the title itself , what do they mean by “slumdog”, its an offense to the dog fraternity….you know.”
“Now, come on ABT, don’t be so square…it is just a phrase…like the dark horse or the underdog…know what I mean”.
“Ok, Ok, if that’s what you say it is…. again, I do not know why so much noise has been made out of this movie internationally.”
“Well, ABT, you will have to watch the movie to decide for yourself but I can tell you one thing… there must have been something in it for the international fraternity to have taken a fancy to it.”
“Oh, don’t tell me master, the international crowd is very weird. They must have liked the poverty and the miserable living conditions shown in the film. They are known for doing that, lapping up stuff like that… have you forgotten Ray’s “Pather Panchali”, Mira Nair’s “Salaam Bombay” ooops I must say Mumbai here, that Raj Thackeray guy is a force to reckon with nowadays. Also, don’t you think, A.R.Rehman has done tremendous stuff on sound and music earlier.”
“Oh yes, ABT, even I agree that Mr. Rahman has done great stuff before Slumdog, but don’t you see none of those films in which Mr. Rahman has excelled had been nominated for the Golden Globe.”
“Why not is what I want to ask” retorted ABT.
“Well, that’s a big debate and I don’t want to go over it now. But ABT we should be proud that an international person has managed to portray Mumbai in all its gore and glory and has walked away with all the honors.
“Yeah, yeah like Richard Attenborough did with “Gandhi”
“Gandhi” was different, ABT. Gandhi was a world figure ….and this is about microcosm in a metropolitan city like Mumbai.”
“Oh, c’mon, don’t give me those heavy ones and get away, master. Just because I do not understand those micros and macros, I am not gonna give up on this argument.”
A sudden silence and then ABT asked, “What do you think will happen at the Oscars, now?”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
“Will Slumdog walk away with more awards?”
“Well, ABT, that is a possibility. But, our very own Indian entry ‘Taare Zameen Par” by Aamir Khan has failed to get nominated for the Oscars.”
“Oh, that’s very sad”, said ABT. “Maybe the film does not have those necessary ingredients to move the audience or the judges on the international circuit like Slumdog did.”
“That we don’t know ABT, but yes it has been nominated for the BAFTA in 11 categories.”
“Holy cow!! That is putting India , Mumbai and Anil Kapoor on the entertainment global map.
“Anil Kapoor must be blessing his luck”
“Why not,” said ABT, “Big B raked in the moolahs and fame with the T.V. show “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, Shahrukh could rake in just the moolah and no fame, wherein Anil kapoor is a winner on both counts I must say.”
“So is Anil kapoor your favourite actor?”
“No way, he is not, infact he has more hair on his body than I have on mine and I don’t like that”.
So long ABT nice talking to you…