The Indian Oscars!

The 81st Academy Awards will probably go down in the pages of history as the most memorable one. The much-celebrated underdog phenomenon swept the awards clean bringing 3 awards to India. While Slumdog scored eight on ten awards it was nominated for, Brand India grabbed all the eyeballs that were glued to the television sets.

Slumdog’s unrelenting record run (outside the Indian sub-continent and in the rest of the world, of course) continued with trade analysts predicting that the movie will amass millions in dollars. While the Indians are divided in opinion over the movie the entire world seemed to have gobbled up the rags-to-riches fairy tale from a third-world (or should I say developing?) country.

And boy, it was India all the way at the Oscars this year. What we thought was unachievable, Oscars, the inappropriate benchmark that we set ourselves for Indian movies, had finally arrived home - and three of them in one catch. 43-year old Rahman equaled the total number of

Oscars India won during the past 80 years by bagging two of them. (The other two were Bhanu Athaiya, the first Indian to win an Oscar, for Gandhi in 1982 and director Satyajit Ray, who received a lifetime achievement award in 1992.). Pookutty’s Oscar for sound mixing added to the count.

But the surprise came from the ‘best documentary’ awards section. With India having been blinded by the Slumdog bandwagon, it’s not surprising that nobody noticed the winning potential of the documentary ‘Smile Pinki’, filmed in India about a little girl who was bullied by the society (that comprises of her world - her school mates and other kids) for having born with a cleft lip, a congenital birth defect.

Smile Pinki follows the life of a six-year-old Pinki who lives in the Dabai village of Uttar Pradesh. Magan Mylan, the American director’s 39-minute documentary’s winning streak means a lot to the Smile Train project and the plastic surgeons involved in it. The project was launched to create awareness about cleft lip and palate and that it is rectifiable by surgery. Thanks to the project, Pinki went through a surgery and earned her right to smile - as lovely as any other child.

And she walked the red carpet too – in her pig tails, pink glossy clothes and a confident, reborn smile. Now, how many of us noticed that!

Smile Pinki might neither be released at your nearest theatre nor might it be available for downloads on torrent share. But it has managed to create awareness among the poor villagers who, by far, thought that their children can live with cleft lips and palates shunning social ostracism.

And now for the clichés – Beauty pageant wins, chess championships, dirt cheap BPO services, Information Technology services, the disputable status of Asian superpower and now Oscars too. It wouldn’t kill to say that India has come a long way. Jai Ho!

Respond to

Behindwoods is not responsible for the views of columnists.

If Aamir had played fair, would Asin have cried foul?
Slumdog Millionaire – Unentertaining, Laughable and Annoying!
Kumaravelu and Prakash Raj glowing - Trisha?
Does Poo really respect its heroine's true desires?
The intention of Bala
Lessons from the Slumdog!
Can Malgudi work for Tamil cinema?
The unfulfilled dreams of Kamal
The Indian Oscars!
The Nayan coundrum
Oscar is not far, after all!
"7 good movies you probably missed @ the theatres
Fourth Dimension
The peerless movie of 2008
The best school of film making!
Rajini – Politically inclined or not?
Did Sivaji Ganesan overact?
Click for Behindwoods News Click For Galleries