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Dear uncle Oscar

india Updated: Feb 23, 2009 15:08 IST
Arif Zzakaria
Arif Zzakaria
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Greetings. It’s that time of the year when you arrive in our midst in all your pomp and glory. You must be done with starch-ironing your jacket and glistening your bald head.

Tonight, for the lucky few who meet you, your arrival heralds in their lives, a new era of prosperity.. a smirking shot at eternity. At the outset, I must confess that I’m your stalker.

Ever since I started out as an actor, I’ve devised ways and means to encounter you. I recall my college days when the first brush with stage success gave me a swollen head and I loudly proclaimed, “One day, I’m going to win the Oscar.” The intention was to impress the pretty girls in the dramatics club. But what began as a vain boast soon turned into a serious pursuit.

Recognising merit
To this day, I diligently wake up at 6 a m, switch on the TV, and watch in jealous rage as you grace the lives of the ‘winners’. I have imagined how it must feel to hold you in my palm, the sensation of cold metal and the heightened, inexplicable emotions you would evoke in me.

I enjoy listening to the acceptance speeches of those whom you choose.. their words reflecting courage, sacrifice, hard work, ingenuity and destiny. Hence I know you don’t come easy, do you?

I confess that I have my Oscar speech ready, in case you surprise me some day. I keep correcting it with the passage of time, depending on my state of affairs, my additions and subtractions in life!

In my town, there are a few who do not give you much importance. But I know they lie, because, whether they like it or not, you do recognise pure merit. You bless those with an original bent of mind, who have risked everything to produce a motion picture which is unique in its degree of creativity, skill and expertise.

Pursuing a dream
When the envelope is opened with the names of those whom you bless inside, I know these are men and women who have pushed that envelope hard to be there. Men and women who have spent their lifetime pursuing a dream not easy to understand and decipher.

Thanks for recognising our insanity, for no sane human being would ever be in the movies! We will once again celebrate your arrival with a red carpet. Beautiful women in their finery, smart men in suits and tuxedos will all vie for your attention in candescent reverence as if the Lord himself had cometh!

Have a ball
But then aren’t you the Lord, for often, have I heard the winner go on to the podium, hold you in his or her trembling hands and proclaim, “Oh, my God!”

Uncle, please grant me a small favour! Tonight, in the audience, will be an over-dressed, short, dark man from South India, with a funny name and a curly mop of hair, a shy smile on his cherubic face. Could you please make him your chosen one? He makes music, which stirs our souls, sounds that uplift us in these depressing times, hence no one will doubt it if you grace him.

So have a ball tonight uncle. I have to go now because my infant son and building watchman await my Oscar acceptance speech!