When I was in India, the scenes from Slumdog Millionaire kept replaying in my head. Admittedly, Slumdog Millionaire subconsciously became my “guide” to present India. (The only other movie I’ve seen about India was Gandhi and that was set in the first half of the 20th century.) I understand why some Indians were upset that Slumdog Millionaire was such a celebrated movie when it portrayed a destitute and dangerous India to the whole world. It really gets to you; well, it did to me at least. More details in another entry.
On the flip side though, compared to what was shown in the movie, actual Indian train stations are worlds apart from what was shown on the silver screen. Remember the scene where Jamal looks for Latika and sees her gazing up from the platform? That scene was filled multi-colored saris and the atmosphere was pretty festive, I’d say. Remember the Bollywood-style dance sequence that was shot in a train station towards the end credits? Compare it to these photos of Old Delhi Railway Station.
Old Delhi Railway Station
Anubhab, my friend,
making a phone call by a book kiosk
Waiting it out
The line didn’t move
Well, that’s the reality. Amazingly, though, despite the apparent disorder, everyone still got on their trains and reached their destinations. Method in madness, the Indian way. The movie didn’t prepare me for the train stations but, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised to see how it really is. Wild.