Curiosity about India fuelled ‘Slumdog’s’ success

Curiosity about India may have helped 'Slumdog Millionaire' become a phenomenon,says Vikas Swarup.

Written by Reuters | Tokyo | Published: March 14, 2009 4:20 pm

Curiosity about India may have helped “Slumdog Millionaire” become a phenomenon,says the author of the novel which became the basis for the Oscar-winning film.

Vikas Swarup,who is also India’s deputy high commissioner to South Africa,found himself in the spotlight after British director Danny Boyle adapted his novel “Q&A” for the big screen.

As the “Slumdog Millionaire” juggernaut won over critics and the box-office,Swarup travelled around the world to promote his novel and the film.

“The world is curious about India — what is powering this nine percent growth rate,how is India combining tradition with modernity. What makes India tick?” Swarup said in an interview on Thursday.

“Part of the reason for the film’s success is because it was about India,it tapped into this global hunger for news about India,information about India,” he said.

“Slumdog Millionaire”,a rags-to-riches drama about a Mumbai slum kid winning a TV game show,swept the Academy Awards last month,winning eight Oscars including best film.

As the final award was announced,the film’s cast and crew thronged the stage — among them Rubina Ali and Azhar Ismail,who have spent most of their lives in the squalor of Mumbai’s slums.

“For me the enduring memory of that night was the sight of these two little children Azhar and Rubina,who had come all the way from Dharavi to Los Angeles sharing the same platform with Steven Spielberg,” Swarup said.

Life has also changed for the Indian diplomat who now finds himself being “recognized and sort of accosted” in shopping malls.

“I didn’t win an Oscar,but the fact that my film won eight Oscars makes me feel,in a way,like a Godfather to the final product.”

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