‘I dodged death to pick up the Oscar’

When he was 10,Resul Pookutty was assumed dead. A severe bout of jaundice had affected the brains of the sickly eighth and the youngest child of the Pookutty family.....

Written by Alaka Sahani | Mumbai | Published: February 27, 2009 2:03 am

When he was 10,Resul Pookutty was assumed dead. A severe bout of jaundice had affected the brains of the sickly eighth and the youngest child of the Pookutty family. He was laid out on the floor. A grieving aunt,maybe as a final gesture,poured some milk into his mouth. And when he gulped it,the family,seeing a ray of hope,rushed him to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram where he was treated for a month.

Today,nearly 27 years after that near-death experience,he joked,“I came back to life to pick an Oscar.”

There were two more instances of Pookutty dodging death — when the bus he was travelling in fell into a river and when he was paralysed for three months at the age of two. After a dizzying experience at the Academy Awards and the star-studded parties that followed,the celebrated sound engineer recalled these incidents at his Andheri studio on Thursday evening in a lighter vein.

The media melee he was caught in after landing in Mumbai on Wednesday night had ebbed,but was showing no signs of dying out. “I felt like Jamal Malik going back to the set to answer the final question,” said Pookutty,narrating how he was taken in a police van as over-enthusiastic fans made it impossible for him to reach his car. “It’s like a dream. Everything is so unbelievable,” he said.

Though he won the Oscar,CAS and BAFTA awards for sound mixing in a span of less than 20 days,the most incredible moment for him came backstage at the Kodak Theatre. Steven Spielberg shook his hands on the Oscar night and complimented him for the good work. “His hands are really soft,” Pookutty said. And while on stage,it was Brad Pitt who gave him a thumbs-up from the audience. He also received the Golden Reel Award for sound on the eve of the Oscar award.

Working on the advice of well-wishers to cash in on these awards,the 37-year-old has now found an agent in Los Angeles. He is already in talks with Disney for a project. There are a couple of other deals that might work out,but Pookutty is not revealing much at this stage. In the meantime,there are Bollywood projects like Blue,Prince and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next project and these will keep him occupied till 2010-end.

After attending a series of post-Oscar parties,including the Governer’s Ball,Vanity Fair bash,Fox’s celebrations and the one hosted by Elton John,the one Pookutty was eagerly looking forward was a dinner at a Goregaon restaurant on Thursday night. There,nearly 20 family members and friends were gathering to celebrate the first birthday of his daughter.

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