All kinds of doors opening for A.R. Rahman

Seema Saleem, Anchor, ETV-India: "Good evening. Our top story this hour is once again Slumdog Rahman oscar
Millionaire’s domination of the Oscars. The Danny Boyle-directed movie bagged eight Oscars, including two for our very own A.R. Rahman. Here’s his acceptance speech again …  Rahman has done India proud, not only winning two Oscars, but also performing parts of two songs and cracking more jokes than Hugh Jackman. Let's go to Ravi Ram, our correspondent in Hollywood, who is standing outside the Kodak Theatre. Ravi, one of the questions everyone in India is asking today is whether Rahman is going to pursue a career in stand-up comedy."

Ram: "Seema, I spoke to Rahman moments ago and he told me that he is not seriously considering stand-up comedy, but may give some tips to Russell Peters."

Saleem: "The man is truly amazing. Here’s his acceptance speech again …  He was part of a history-making night for India, with three Indians winning Oscars. And Ravi, I hear there was even more history made last night.”

Ram: "Yes, Seema, there definitely was. I have consulted with an Academy Awards historian and verified that when Rahman gave his acceptance speech, it was the first time Tamil was ever spoken at the Oscars. I have also verified that when Resul Pookutty was nominated for his award in sound mixing, it was the first time someone had ever said 'Pookutty' at the Oscars."

Saleem: “A great night of history indeed. Here’s Rahman’s acceptance speech again …  Ravi, this might just be the beginning of Rahman’s relationship with Hollywood.”

Ram: “Yes, Seema, the rumor here is that Hollywood is going to make a play for him.”

Saleem: “Will it be a musical?”

Ram: “No, what I mean is, they are going to try to grab him from India. In fact, one Hollywood producer said to me, 'You give us Rahman, we'll give you Shyamalan.'"

Saleem: "Rahman for Shyamalan? I can already see the protests. Let's go to Madhu Mahadevan, our correspondent in Chennai, for more on this developing story. Madhu, what are people saying about the possibility of Rahman going to Hollywood?"

Mahadevan: "People are not at all happy about that. I just spoke to a group of young fans who said that Rahman has a bright future here and that his Slumdog success, as well as his other movie work, has earned him the right to spend the rest of his life as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu."

Saleem: “A political career for Rahman? Would he belong to the AIADMK party or the DMK party?”

Mahadevan: “Well, his fans say they will form a new party called POWER. It stands for ‘People for an Oscar-Winning Eloquent Ruler.'"

Saleem: “But don’t they think he would get more exposure around the world if he works in Hollywood?”

Mahadevan: “Let me ask one of them. Come here, thumbi. Seema wants to know if Hollywood would give more exposure to A.R. Rahman?”

Fan: “More exposure, but not better exposure. We know him very well in India as A.R. Rahman. In America, he will always be A.R. Raaarrcckkkman.”

Saleem: “However you pronounce his name, he is certainly a musical genius. Here’s his acceptance speech again … He was already a big star and now that he has won two Oscars, he will never have to pay for dinner again. Let’s go to Kuldeep Kaur, our correspondent in New Delhi, for more on what’s in store for Rahman.”

Kaur: “Seema, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to make an important announcement soon. My source in the government tells me that he may declare a national holiday in honor of A.R. Rahman. I'm also hearing that he may declare Rahman a protected national treasure. That would prevent foreign entities from taking him from India –- or even taking parts of him.”

Saleem: “Parts of him?”

Kaur: “Well, we don’t want another country getting a strand of his hair or part of his skin. As my source said, ‘A.R. Rahman belongs to India. No one else should even think of cloning him.’”


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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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