Slumdog Kids In a Slump
It’s hard to go back to reality
-The Betty Editors
The Slumdog kids are in a slump. Rubina Qureshi and Azharuddin Ismail, the young stars of the Oscar-winning movie are back home in Mumbai and feeling very blue. Since returning from Oscar night partying Azharuddin has been battling the flu with a temperature of 103. Rubina doesn’t want to take off the dress she wore on the film’s big Tinseltown night.
While in L.A. the youngsters stayed at fancy hotels where they enjoyed soft beds and bathrooms for the first time in their young lives. They also were taken to Disneyland.
Now it’s back to school and the shanties where they lived before being an important part of the movie that is now racking up hundreds of millions in ticket sales worldwide.
Azharuddin, 10, who is taking antibiotics, even complained about a spanking from his father. “I am very sad,” he said. “I feel sleepy, hot and sick all the time here. There are too many mosquitoes. I just wish I was in America still.”
Rubina, who is 8, is also very upset, reported the London Daily Mail. “I don’t want to live in a slum anymore,” she said. A sewer pipe runs past her family’s front door. “I don’t want to sleep on the floor any more. I want a proper bed and to live where the air does not smell. I have seen what it is like in America. I have realized how bad life is here and I want to get out.”
Both the producers of Slumdog and the Indian government have promised new homes for both Rubina and Azharuddin’s families. But social workers and psychologist understand how hard it must be for the youngsters to readjust to their grim lives at home after a few days of attention combined with luxury and glamour.
One can only hope that Rubina and Asharuddin’s experiences eventually are closer to the fairy tale ending of Slumdog Millionaire, rather than the unrelentingly harsh reality that the millions in Mumbai’s slums face every day.