Reihana hopes her brother Rahman brings home two Oscars

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By Rinku Gupta

Chennai, Feb 22 (IANS) She is hoping her brother will bring back at least two Oscars for "Slumdog Millionaire". Music maestro A.R. Rahman's elder sister Reihana, a well-known Tamil music composer and singer, says the family is very excited and deliriously happy at his super success.

"We are hoping he will win at least two Oscars. We trust in god and have surrendered to him," Reihana told IANS here. Rahman has been nominated for three Oscars - Best Original Score, for the song "Jai Ho" and for "O Saya".

Though Rahman's bagging awards is nothing new for the family, an Academy Award will of course be special.

"Awards may have become commonplace for Rahman, but we are deliriously happy on every occasion. The mood now is similar to that on the eve of his maiden honour for 'Roja'. We are excited, but not nervous about the special honour," Reihana said.

Reihana has yet to wish her brother luck. "I will, when everybody else has finished doing that," she said with a chuckle.

Tanvi Shah, who crooned the Oscar-nominated 'Jai Ho', is optimistic and proud of her mentor.

"When Rahman Sir wins the Oscar, it would be for the whole nation," Shah told IANS.

"Two weeks ago when I congratulated him breathlessly, he replied, 'Congrats to you too!' This shows why we have a proud sense of belonging as he values our team work. He may be thousands of miles away, in a different continent, but to us he is virtually next door," Shah said.

Shah has also rendered another number 'Gangsta Blues' in the movie.

Young Madhumita, another singer in "Slumdog", is sure Rahman will bring home at least one Oscar.

"I have a very strong feeling that he will come home with an Oscar. I want to catch every second from the moment when Rahman's name is announced," Madhumita told IANS.

Already in celebration mode, Madhumita is all keyed up to watch the big event and the man who, according to her, "unleashes the creativity in every singer".

"I will always be grateful to Rahman Sir for the 'Slumdog...' opportunity. I only came to know how big it was when I saw the album with Mia and Sukhvinder's names on it too," she recalled.

"The 'Liquid Dance' number was a challenge because Rahman asked me to rap with 'jathis' (notations), which are normally used only in south Indian classical music," Madhumita added.

P.A. Deepak, one of the main sound engineers for the movie and its songs, other than 'Jai Ho' and 'Dreams on Fire' which were done by the late H. Sridhar, has expressed his 'wish' already to Rahman.

"He called me from LA for some work and asked me what I wanted from the US. I said to him 'I want an Oscar'. With intricate knowledge of the pluses of each technician and singer, Rahman brings out the best in us without pushing us too much. Working with him is indeed an inspiring pleasure," Deepak told IANS.

If 'Slumdog' wins even one Oscar, its Tamil dubbed version "Naanum Kodeeshwaran" may get a windfall, according to Sunil Narvekar, who is currently exhibiting the movie here.

"The publicity generated during the run-up to the Oscars is a win-win situation for the movie. And when Rahman is given the gold-plated Oscar statuette, it would be our crowning glory," Narvekar said.

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