Life and other things

From Slum dog to …..?

So at last I have seen it.

Slum dog Millionaire, the most hyped up and acclaimed film. Academy awards, nominations for Oscars and columns of praise.
I was not that impressed.There are personal reason behind it, When I was in India last year I watched a documentary on the same subject. The gangs who broke childrens limbs and gauged their eyes out,so they can become effective beggars. Since the tourism has increased to that country, the gangs of children begging has soared too.

It was a haunting documentary,which brought home to me in painful reality,how low humans can stoop for money. It was said that such gang masters earned vast amounts and lived in luxury.Lately the government of India has started taking advertisements in the media as well as posters to warn people, not to give money to these children.

I have also lived in India, and have seen the street children and their plight. Before they moved to the new site the slums were in the fly path of incoming flights from the west. As the plane descended, you saw almost a city, with corrugated tins and mating for wall. It was a stark contrast with us coming in to enjoy our holiday. Staying in the posh hotels there, you were acutely aware that just down the road there are thousands of people who have to walk a long way to get some water.

Anyway back to the film.
The film is the story of two such boys, who watch their mother killed in front of them, by a frenzied mob, of a religious riot out on a killing and burning spree.

The intentional maiming and blinding of the children is quite painful to watch.Especially if ou know that it is true. The acting by the children and the young men is great.
There are some stock Bollywood ingredients, like the song and dance by the young girl. The song has been called “smutty”, it certainly has some very suggestive lyrics.
In my opinion the film has been dragged kicking and screaming to a happy ending, with the sprinkling of romance and  the lovers are united against all odds.

A happy ending seemed as unlikely in the case of those children as the wining of a million, by an uneducated boy in a t.v. quiz show.
Am sure the film is acclaimed and has been praised by those who know about these things, am no film critic but I have seen the reality, may be fantasy doesn’t live up to it.

What really is troubling me is that some enterprising travel agent is offering special tours to see the real slums.

I rest my case.

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