27 FEBRUARY 2009

There was partying in the streets of Mumbai this week as the child actors from Oscar triumph Slumdog Millionaire returned to India. In the Mumbai shanty town of Behrampada nine-year-old Rubina Ali, who plays the young Latika in the film, was lifted up and carried along on the shoulders of cheering relatives as she made her way home.

Earlier their were more scenes of excitement as the youngster and other cast members - who are to be given free homes by housing officials in recognition of the pride they have given the nation - were greeted by hundreds of well-wishers at Mumbai airport. There, the children displayed their newly-acquired red carpet skills by blowing kisses to the crowd.

Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail – one of the actors who portrays Salim in the rags-to-riches tale - was still buzzing about his time in America. "It was amazing," enthused the ten-year-old. "I didn’t understand much, but it was fun. I did not know what the Oscars were before I went."

"I was asked to sign autographs and everything. I felt like Shah Rukh Khan," he continued, referring to one of Bollywood’s biggest stars. "Danny uncle (Danny Boyle) took us all around America. It was great to see him again. We went to Disneyland. I loved it so much."

Photo: PA
Hundreds of well-wishers flocked to greet little Rubina Ali, who plays a young Latika in the film. The thrilled youngster was carried on the shoulders of cheering relatives through the neighbourhood of Behrampada after returning from the Oscars