When we think of child actors, it's easy to think of rich, overly indulgent scenarios like the one Don McKellar outlined in Childstar. But that's not always the case -- especially for the tykes of Slumdog Millionaire. It only lost two of its ten Oscar nominations, but for the young Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and Rubina Ali, post-Slumdog life isn't coming up roses.
On the heel of news that the kids were getting trust funds and school funding, The Telegraph reports that they are reeling after their whirlwind taste of luxury life at the Oscars. Azhar has been suffering from a 103 temperature and vomiting since returning home, a condition which isn't helped by the fact that he doesn't have a physical home to rest in (although neighbors are trying to build a metal structure for the kid to rest in out of the sun). Meanwhile, Rubina still wears the now-stained gown she wore to the Oscars, wishing to live in America and sleep in "a proper bed and live where the air does not smell of poo."
The piece, which includes a lot of heart-breaking words from the children, points out how challenging it is for these kids to see and experience the absolute opposite of their lives, only to return to it and feel forgotten. So far, there have been no flats for the families to move to, and reports say that Azhar has even been beaten for wanting to sleep rather than talk to a journalist offering his family money.
I can only hope that the promises of money and flats comes to fruition soon, because this story is just heartbreaking. It's also a good reminder that there is a world outside of Hollywood, and as much as we watch films like Slumdog for entertainment, there is a reality behind it. I just hope that in the future a little more thought is put into how children are used on the big screen -- especially when they're plucked out of poverty for the chance.