‘Slumdog’ Oscar win brings cheer to Bihar village

February 24th, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionairePatna, Feb 24 (IANS) Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” winning eight Oscars in Los Angeles has brought much joy to Budhiya Devi, an uneducated woman in a Bihar village - because her son Mahendra Kumar Singh was a location assistant in the acclaimed film.
“I have never heard the word Oscar before, but my son told me that it is the biggest award in the world. I am proud that my son’s hard work paid off,” Budhiya, clad in a colourful sari with a traditional red bindi on her forehead, told IANS Tuesday.

Mahendra, who was one of the numerous members of the Oscar-winning movie’s crew, is a native of Samraspur village in Muzaffarpur district. And his mother is overjoyed that the honour for her son’s work came on the auspicious day of Shivaratri.

“It was like god’s gift for us on Shivratri, when my son called us and said his film had won the Oscar award,” Budhiya said.

Mahendra’s brothers - Nageena and Arvind - said that soon after news of the Oscar spread in the village Monday, it seemed as though festivals of Holi and Diwali were being celebrated together as hundreds of people smeared colour on each other and burst firecrackers.

“Our village is no more a normal one … it has a connection with the Oscar award and one of its sons is now international,” said Arvind.

But Mahendra’s relatives were unhappy that they could not watch the live telecast of the award ceremony on television as there was no electricity in their village at that time.

“The usual power cut in the village was at the time of the Oscars so we could not watch it live,” said Khushboo, Mahendra’s niece.

Mahendra’s wife Babita was also ecstatic and said it was the happiest moment of her life when her husband called to tell her about the awards “Slumdog” had won.

“Tears came out from my eyes …I am a lucky wife,” Babita said.

Rajdeo Prasad Singh, the location assistant’s father, said they plan to celebrate in a big way whenever Mahendra comes to the village.

“In the last 24 hours, dozens of villagers have congratulated him (Mahendra) on his mobile phone. We plan to organise a big function when he visit the village,” he said.

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