Kerala village basks in Pookutty’s Oscar glory (Lead)

February 23rd, 2009 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireAnchal (Kerala), Feb 23 (IANS) It seemed like all roads in Kerala led to Villakkupara village, the home of Resul Pookutty who Monday won the Oscar for sound mixing in the film “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Two state ministers M.A. Baby and Mulakara Ratnakaran and Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy besides a few legislators and politicians have visited the village which is 50 km from the state capital.

Byju P.T., Pookutty’s brother, said that the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Sunday evening.

“This is a great feeling and we really miss our parents who would have really cherished Resul’s achievements,” said Byju.

Pookutty called home after winning. His call was greeted with loud applause by more than 200 neighbours who have stayed put at his home since early Monday morning.

Pookutty’s four sisters and three brothers treated everyone present to a feast.

“We served steaming hot biryani to all who were with us in our moment of joy. I’m told that a few TV channels would be spending the day with us here also,” added Byju.

The state government has decided to hold a public reception to honour Pookutty, said Culture Minister Baby, who arrived with his wife to share the happiness at the Pookutty home.

“This is unbelievable for Kerala and for the country. Resul has got it at the prime of his youth … this is what is more exciting. Hard work pays off and this is going to be a great impetus for all in the film industry,” Baby said.

His family was in tears, villagers crowding around a TV set in front of his house here cheered and plates of sweets did the rounds as Pookutty bagged the award.

Tension had built up in the neighbourhood as the Oscar for sound editing did not go to “Slumdog Millionaire”, but shouts of joy broke out when Pookutty, 36, was declared the winner for sound mixing.

“We decided to place a TV in front of our home because since last evening the mood was building up. He (Pookutty) called me last night and said it is going to be tough,” said Byju.

The ones who could not hide their happiness were his two sisters who had tears rolling down their cheeks.

“We just can’t hide our emotions and I don’t know what to say,” said one of his sisters.

As Pookutty was set to make his acceptance speech in faraway Los Angeles, hundreds of villagers waited spellbound.

Saifuddin, another brother of Pookutty, thanked Allah for the honour bestowed on their family.

“We are humbled that this has happened in my family and he’s got an award many felt he would never win,” Saifuddin said.

Wishes poured in for Pookutty from Malayalam film stars as well.

“He has reached the real heights in the film industry. Though he is a Malayali, he is yet to work in a Malayalam film. This is because sound has not got its due share here. Now things will change,” said Malayalam superstar Mammootty.

Pookutty was the youngest of eight children and had a passion for films right from his young days. His father was keen that he become a doctor, but Resul failed the medical entrance examinations and went on to pursue his film industry dreams after studying at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He also has a degree in law.

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