Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

For a Mumbaikar turned radical Mumbai-baiter, Slumdog Millionaire should be such a great mouth piece. Showing Bombay in all its gory, disgusting, repulsive, and obscene glory, it should have made me say to the city loyalist, "Look, is this why you really like the city. Look at this ugly mess of the city you got!".

But somehow, it made it long for the place. Because for some reason, the ugly mess is mine (may be I even contributed to it before shamefully copping out ).

I am glad I didn't have a life anywhere close to Jamal's. I did start out in one of those millions shacks near Golibar road, Santacruz, but thanks to the resilience and grit of my grandmother and my parents, I came out of that pretty quickly. At age 5, I was living in a 1 BHK flat - a place a million worlds apart.

Slumdog Millionaire makes you believe in your heart that even fantastically great things do happen to good people. Most of the poorer folks work incredibly hard to earn a living, without purposely trying to subvert the system or break the rules. I think if most of these guys who keep trying and fighting come out winning. Bombay offers them the opportunities to work. They toil terribly hard, subside on vada-pav, send their kids to school, put money away for the rainy day, and find themselves in substantially better place than where they started. I truly think there are a million Slumdog Millionaire stories out there. And I feel proud that a city that is filthy, cramped, and insensitive is still a place where such inspiring stories bloom.
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