It’s goodbye Danny Boyle and hello Vashu Bhagnani for Slumdog Millionaire kids Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail. The Bollywood filmmaker has signed on the child stars of the Oscar winning film for cameo roles in his next film. It’s called “Kal Kisne Dekha” and is meant to be a launch pad for his son Jacky. The film, directed by Vivek Sharma has eight-minute roles for Rubina and Azharuddin (undoubtedly with hours of pre and post publicity to follow.)
Late Tuesday night, they faced the camera for the first time in an outdoor shoot at Santacruz Airport. The scene had them returning to India after their moment of triumph and fame at the Oscars (nice one, Vashu) and being saved from a bomb blast by Jacky. The kids were mobbed by curious onlookers at the shoot and admitted, while signing autographs, that they wanted to be film stars. “Bada hoke main Salman Khan banna chahta hoon. He is very cool and my favourite star. But I will complete my college first before I become a big film star,” said Azhar, his leading lady of choice – Katrina Kaif.
On being slapped by dad for not playing nice with the paparazzi Azhar had this to say, “When my dad slapped me, the media wrote bad things about him. He cried after that. So what if he slapped me? Baat nahin sunega toh maarenge na,” Like Azharuddin, Rubina also dreams of becoming a “big filmstar” like Preity Zinta someday. “I am enjoying every bit of the attention now,” she said.
Meanwhile Slumdog Millionaire star Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail’s family had to face the heat of the Bombay High Court’s order to demolish illegal encroachments by removing the huts outside Bandra Terminus and Sahar pipeline at Andheri since two weeks ago. The 10-year-old Azharuddin’s house at Garib Nagar, Bandra (East) was demolished by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Azaruddin played the role of young Salim in the Danny Boyle’s movie. “All the illegal structures will be demolished and no special treatment will be given to anyone,” a civic official said. (Although it feels like this “special treatment” may be a result of all the publicity generated around the slums residents since the movie’s release and subsequent success.)
Like Danny, Vashu intends to do his bit for the kids. “Being a builder I will speak to some friends in Azhar’s area and try to get him a free flat and if that doesn’t happen, I will ensure that his family gets a heavy discount. I will also arrange for the bank loan because I know if I give them the money, it will be spent.” As for Rubina, he will work out a financial deal with her family and other requirements if there are any.
P.S. India’s governing Congress party has acquired the rights to Jai Ho – the Oscar-winning song from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Party officials say the song will be used as part of the election campaign to publicise Congress achievements. Congress officials and T-Series – which holds the song’s copyright – are tight-lipped about the amount of money that has been paid for the song. The general election in India will take place between 16 April and 13 May. Counting is due on 16 May, if you haven’t yet it’s probably time to Jaago Re and vote.