April 29,2009


Mumbai: With ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ doing wonders at the Oscars, young Rubina Ali and Azhar Ismail attained instant recognition while basking in the limelight. However heady it may seem, fame is not easy for both Rubina Ali and Azhar Ismail, child actors of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, who are struggling to find their rhythm in the Garib Colony of Bandra Nagar while trying to come to terms with life post the astounding success of the film.

With news pouring in that Rubina’s father Rafiq Qureshi reportedly trying to sell her off to a rich Dubai couple for a whopping amount of Rs 1.8 crore, the young Azhar gets irritated by the news and his mother says, “Pata nahin kaun kya kar raha hai. Duniya bhar mai bahut naam kamaya hamare bachche log ne. Par humko bahut mushkil bhi uthani pad rahi hai.”

For Azhar’s mother, she never lets her son go out of her sight even to the boarding school and says, “He is my only hope. No packing him off anywhere. And no adoption business here. I will see that he gets the best education and become somebody big.”

Young Azhar just loves Salman Khan and dreams of becoming a huge Bollywood star like him. Azhar says, “I love bikes and biryani, just like Salman. All macho men love bikes. When I grow up, I will become a film star like Salman and own lots of bikes.”

Post the ‘Slumdog’ phenomena; a lot of things are stored up for the young star. A documentary and a small movie are being made on the life of Azhar by an NRI filmmaker wherein Azhar will play himself. Besides this, a French writer is penning Azhar’s biography.

Dinesh Pujari, a slum kid, who acts as a catalyst for the underdogs of Garib Nagar by helping them through endorsements and public functions said, “Everyone wants to sponsor these kids’ education but no one’s coming forward to help them improve their basic living. Perhaps that is why Rubina’s father reportedly attempted to sell her off.”