The first to land was the duo of Irrfan Khan and Resul Pookutty who arrived at Sahar International Airport - Mumbai late Wednesday night. Resul was all smiles as he held his Oscar trophy proudly in his hand. The media went into frenzy and Resul & Irrfan had to be whisked off in a police van to the airport police station. Meanwhile around 150 members of the sound recordist's association arrived to cheer their hero- Resul Pookutty with placards, garlands and banners. This was indeed a sight that the simple guy from Kerala will cherish for a long, long time.
Meanwhile in Chennai, the celebrations were even bigger as the 'Mozart of Madras' A.R.Rahman was arriving home. Thousands of fans and well-wishers gathered at the Chennai airport from late Wednesday night and waited for their local boy. The atmosphere was abuzz with music as leading percussionist Sivamani and his troupe kept the fans engaged with some music and dance.
Around 2:30am IST, early Thursday morning, the Guru of Music- A.R. Rahman sporting a black jacket and black shirt finally made a grand entry. The crowds went berserk on seeing Rahman and police surely had a tough time keeping the music maestro protected. Rahman obliged the thousands of fans by shouting 'Jai Ho' and quickly got into his car to proceed towards his Kodambakkam residence. The celebrations continued even in his locality which was decorated with banners, cut-out, flowers to welcome the local boy. Truly a historic moment that Rahman would cherish for his lifetime!
Later in the day on Thursday afternoon, the talented kids from Slumdog Millionaire arrived at Mumbai's Sahar airport. One could see Tanay Chedda (who played young Jamal) who was all smiles on seeing his family at the airport. Even the slightly elder Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala (who played young Salim) seemed pleased to be back home. Ashutosh in fact has his ICSE Board exams starting in a couple of days but the smile on his face didn't indicate any stress or tension. However, the cute and cheeky Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (who plays the youngest Jamal in the film) seemed a little surprised by all the media attention.
The maximum cheer was however for real-life slum-kids Azharuddin Mohammed (who played youngest Salim) and Rubina Ali (who played youngest Latika). Young Azhar initially basked in the adulation waving to the crowd but soon got bored of giving innumerable bytes to the media. After hobnobbing with the Who's Who of Hollywood at the Oscar red carpet, these two young kids came back to the stark reality of their Garib Nagar slum residence in the suburbs of Mumbai. This time however, the whole mohalla was out to welcome them and cheer for them!
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