Chennai, Feb 23 (IANS) The 36-year-old Resul Pookutty, who won the coveted Oscar for best sound mixing for the critically acclaimed film "Slumdog Millionaire" at the 81st Academy Awards, expressed elation and said the experience was "very fulfilling".
"I simply feel elated. I can't put my feelings into words! It is the highest recognition any film technician can ever achieve. To be the first from India to be recognised by my peers in the Academy in its 80-year history is a very, very fulfilling feeling," Pookutty told IANS from Los Angeles after winning the award Sunday.
He admitted to being nervous during the crescendo towards the denouement.
"The adulations and prayers of a billion people made me nervous. (But) I am sure they helped me win this award. However, I went in with an open mind to enjoy the show," Pookutty said.
Life for Pookutty has suddenly changed "immensely".
"I suddenly have become a celebrity. The attention is helping me to talk about the work of the best technicians in the industry. I have become one of its known faces. Else, nothing has changed as I will continue my 13 years' effort," he observed.
Pookutty had a special word for fellow winner and mentor A.R. Rahman.
"After we both won the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), Rahman said I should start a sound design school In India. I told him that his Oscar is the most deserving for all those 135 films for which he scored music. If anybody deserves an Oscar from India first, it is indeed him."
Sporting a special made-for-the-occasion Indian outfit, Pookutty had worked on his acceptance speech with the help of colleagues Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.
According to Pookutty, his wife Shadia applauded his laurel from her seat in the Kodak Theatre with tension writ large on her face - not only during the run-up to his receiving the award, but also for their two young children back home in Mumbai.