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Slumdog Millionaire: A Partial Display of a Rising Country
“So, have you ever been to India?” I asked Jacque. He was a good pen pal of mine; and by pen, what I actually mean is e-mail or to be rather precise, Facebook, the enormous cloud of social networking intermingled with a swift desire to meet the same people that you’ve just met in school, online that is taking over the world with it’s very attractive and alluring promise to help you ‘stay connected’.
“Naah… but I’ve seen the Slumdog Millionaire”. He grinned; another metaphor that I’ve used in pretext of sending an online emoticon closely resembling a lopsided smile on the face of a bright yellow egg yolk.
But what really grabbed my attention was his reply a cynical mockery filled to the brim with sarcasm and disdain.
Slumdog Millionaire:- A grossly overrated film made by a famous director picturing India in a pool of cow dung accompanied by whole massive colony of slums with children in their dirty undergarments running all over the place, having stolen a wallet or maybe some foreign tourist’s shoes.
An insight into the dirty underworld, everyday rackets of prostitution, people lying around like shards of filth with no identity whatsoever with a gun to their throat, being threatened by a twelve year old to fish out a few crisp notes or hope to die… and don’t get so disgusted; it doesn’t end here.
What follows next is a gang war between a couple of big time mafia members and a duo of some fifteen year olds, risking their neck to save the life of a girl; their escapade from the horrible city of Mumbai, their decorousness and decency for trying not to make a grab for each other’s crop of sand filled hair and instead, resorting to hurl abuses at each other, hanging on to the bare threads of adolescence…
Most of the people in India who stumbled out of the theater, having watched Slumdog, with their vision blurry and eyes unfocused, muttered a throaty ‘disappointed’ and staggered out of the hallway, never to be seen again.
On the other hand, most of the people who HADN’T been to India ever before, came out of the hall with confident strides, hands inside their pockets, and a remorseful expression on their faces saying, “I’m sorry for those people; It was a genuine and a heartfelt movie.”
And when the time came for the same ‘delegates’ to turn up in the Commonwealth games, they backed out saying “We are unsure of our hygiene, we might fall sick in India”.
According to me, Mr. Danny Boyle, the director of this movie, featured India in a very partial manner. We are a rising country; the government has massive pressure blasting confetti into their heads, bellowing REMOVE CORRUPTION. LOWER THE POVERTY LEVEL. DO SOMETHING.
The movie shows glimpses of India as a country begging the others to release them from the web of poverty, corruption, prostitution, men reaching out to pour some lethal acid into the eyes of young kids and a bunch of girls ready to be sold off.
This is not true at all. While the movie did show some bleak aspects of the country such as a widespread slum area and the ever increasing population; it FAILED to show the metalled roads, sky scrapers, the infamous ‘bollywood’ headquarters, industrial landscapes, well lit suburbs, successful businessmen reaching out to play in role in some of the major events out there, the world class education system…we have, as a matter of fact, made significant improvements to our infrastructure in the past fifty years and that aspect CANNOT be ignored.
Slumdog Millionaire misled people and obscured their vision, willing them to believe that India is a country shooting rockets of some new viruses, a whole bunch of corrupt ministers and a field overflowing with cocaine, into the air.
It has made people pity India, look at it with looks of utmost regret intermingled with some resent as well.
It has made people unwilling to come here; see the sky-reaching turrets of forts built by the Mughals, the wide-spread Himalayas, with every bounty of nature that God has bestowed upon us; from snow capped peaks to evergreen forests; from a peninsula flagged by the Arabian Sea on the west, Bay of Bengal on the east and the Indian ocean on the south to the tribal groups residing in the North-East ; from the Deccan Plateau on the South-East, to the Thar Desert in the extreme west… India is the like a beautifully painted piece of canvas.
Anyone who has ever seen the true colors of India would strongly oppose the dirty picture created in the minds of people from the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.
India is not what it was made out to be in it; it befuddled me and left me open mouthed when I first saw it; I could not recognize the country being shown as my very own…
Nevertheless, I have to agree to one point which was made clearly in the movie; the very words which earned themselves two Oscars-