It was an altercation sure to grab headlines. Danny Boyle comes to India to reprimand the “greedy” children he plucked from poverty and catapulted to international fame.
But Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, the two child stars in question say that all is well between them and their ‘uncle’. Rubina’s family has already bought a flat in Santa Cruz as stipulated by Boyle and the British director has also decided to cast the nine-year-old in his next film with both the children promising to focus on their studies.
“We are not going to take any more holidays from school. We will take days off for work but we have promised Danny uncle that we will not let our studies suffer,” Rubina, who was in the city to walk the ramp at a fashion show organised by Unikid, said. She was seconded by Azhar, 11, who said that he has started going to school again after a gap of two months and plans to keep up the attendance rate. “I had not been going to school because my father died. But I am going to school now and I enjoy it as I get to play also,” said Azhar.
Both the children, who grew up in the Garib Nagar slum of Mumbai, had become internationally known faces post the success of Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire which went on to win eight Oscars.
The director and producers of the film had then set up the Jai Ho Trust to pay for the education of the two children.
On Boyle’s instructions, the trust has said that both Azharuddin and Rubina will not get any money if they do not go to school, a move many child rights activists had welcomed.
But the hatchet has been buried and both the children are excited about their next big project, a period romance titled Lord Owen’s Lady, with their co-star being none other than Hollywood legend Sir Anthony Hopkins.