Indian musical genius AR Rahman's sister Reihana couldn't stop thanking God and the prayers of millions of Indians on Monday for her brother's double win at the Oscars for his work in much acclaimed film
"It is God's blessing and all the accolades to Him (God)," Reihana said as she watched her brother stride towards the Kodak stage in Los Angeles to receive his second Oscar for Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches story.
"We are elated. Rahman has won, thanks to the whole nation's prayers," Reihana, a well-known Tamil music composer and singer, told IANS.
She had not yet called up her brother to congratulate him, but said she would speak to him soon.
"I don't want to disturb him in the middle of his glory at the function, right now. When he gets back, we will express our delirious happiness and much more? We are speechless," said the ecstatic sister.
Reihana had predicted two Oscars for Rahman during a chat with IANS on Sunday.
Rahman picked up the awards for his best original score as also the best original song "Jai ho" from the film with lyrics by Gulzar and Sukhwinder Singh as the lead singer.
Asked if she had any special gift in mind for her brother, Reihana said: "I haven't planned one as yet. But I think Rahman should give me a gift since I prayed so hard for him to win!"
She once again stressed that it was God's blessings that had made Rahman triumph at the Academy Awards.
"Once he returns, Rahman and I and the rest of the family will go on thanksgiving pilgrimages to several dargahs (Muslim shrines) to express our gratitude to God for blessing us so mercifully and in such magnitude," Reihana said.
"We hope this means more Hollywood offers for Rahman after this," the proud sister added.
Accolades for the music maestro poured in from his colleagues from the film industry here.
Tanvi Shah, who sang part of the Oscar winning number "Jai Ho", jumped with joy and said that Rahman had won the Oscars for the whole nation.
"I'm just so thankful to God for this. Rahman deserves every bit of this. This award is for India," said Tanvi, who watched the entire Oscar ceremony with her family.
"I was crying throughout the ceremony and praying really hard for him to win. The one person our team is missing the most is sound engineer H Sreedhar, the sound engineer who created the final copy. Sadly, he passed away recently," she added.
Madhumita, who sang "Liquid Dance" and "Millionaire" in the movie, is also elated.
"Jai Ho Rahman sir! You have done our country proud. I feel so blessed right now to be a part of Slumdog Millionaire and am on cloud nine," she said.