Without surprise, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ swept the Oscars.
It is an extraordinary film. From the opening moment to the final scene, I was fully engaged. I felt I was not too far away from the story. I don’t even think it is just a story…
Back to early 2006, I had a four-week journey to India with my fellow studio friends, to propose a housing design strategy on site for the local slum dwellers. The sights I caught reshaped my outlook on life.
The parallel lives of the modern and the primitive, the rich and the poor, the human beings and the animals… It seems nothing is odd except the presence of us as observers.
This is how Taj Mahal looked from a distance, how we got there, the scenes on the way and at the place. I remember the shoes and the kids tried to guide us. I feel I have seen little Jamal some time ago.
At the time I was compiling these photos, I found that people in the frames were always looking into my lens, with smile. They are happy, not just on the face. If the poverty in India shocked me at the first sight, then the poor resting in it impressed me permanently.
‘Slumdog Millionaire’ conveyed the Indian philosophy of ‘destiny’ — all the answers are written in your life, which influences I saw with my own eyes.
Bliss or curse?
I wish I had the answer.