Monday, February 23, 2009

'Slumdog' shines with 8 Oscars: 2 for Rahman, one for Pookutty

Los Angeles, Feb 23 (PTI) "Slumdog Millionaire", the rags-to-riches story of a Mumbai slum dweller, had a golden run at the Oscars today sweeping eight awards with two going to music maestro A R Rahman, the first Indian to achieve the historic feat.

43-year-old Rahman bagged Oscars for Original Score in the film, named the best at the 81st Academy Awards, and along with veteran lyricist Gulzar also won the Best Song award for the foot-tapping number 'Jai ho'.

"Before coming here I was excited and terrified. The last time I felt that way was when I was getting married," a beaming Rahman, dubbed as 'Mozart of Madras', said in his acceptance speech as he became the first Indian to win an Oscar in the mainstream section and the third after Bhanu Athaiya (costume design, 1983) and Satyajit Ray (lifetime achievement, 1992).

"The film is about optimism and the power of hope...All my life I had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I'm here," Rahman, clad in a black suit, said about the low-budget movie based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup's novel "Q & A".

Kerala-born sound engineer Resul Pookutty notched up an Oscar for Sound Mixing while Briton Danny Boyle was adjudged the Best Director.

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