Tamil Features

4 Oscars, and an Aascar: Award-Winning Indians From the Past

India was a no-show at the Oscars this year; with deserving nominees AR Rahman and Liar’s Dice failing to make it to the long list. For every patriotic citizen out there who wanted so badly to cheer on an Indian (other than Virat Kohli, that is) at the Academy Awards, here’s a consolation prize:

A list of the four amazing Indian artistes who walked away with the Oscars, and this one man who acted in an Aascar film. Same difference, really.

Bhanu Athaiya became the first Indian to win the Oscar for her work (along with John Mollo) as the Costume Designer for Gandhi, beating worthy contenders La Traviata and Tron. In her acceptance speech, Bhanu dressed in a sparkly blue saree, thanked director Richard Attenborough for focusing attention on India.

The designer returned her statuette to the Academy in 2012, because she felt that her family would not be able to look after it after her demise.

Satyajit Ray received an honorary Oscar from one of his favourite actresses, Audrey Hepburn shortly before his death in 1992. The seriously ill Ray could not attend the ceremony but did give his acceptance speech via live video feed. From his hospital bed, no less.

Resul Pookutty rode the Slumdog Millionaire wave all the way to the Oscars too. After being handed his statuette by Will Smith, Resul proceeded to win hearts the world over with this adorable speech in which he dedicated his award to India and to all the sound mixers out there.

AR Rahman has the best of both worlds. The music composer won two Oscars for his work on Slumdog Millionaire. Following this award winning moment, ARR also worked on two Aascar projects.

Vijayakanth‘s double role in the Vikraman classic Vaanathaipola (we suggest you read this brilliantly-written synopsis on Wikipedia) was a sure-fire Aascar (Films Pvt Ltd) contender. It did great business at the box office and even won a National Award for providing ‘wholesome entertainment’.