Mumbai, June 12 (Calcutta Tube) Rubina Ali Qureshi, the little girl from a Mumbai slum who shot to stardom with the Oscar winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘, is set to release the Marathi version of her autobiography even as she continues to live in the same squalid surroundings feeling ‘unsafe and insecure’.
The book, titled ‘Majha Taryankade Pravas’, has been translated from an English version, ‘Slumgirl Dreaming’, by Mumbai author Maitreyi Joshi and published by Mehta Publishing House, Pune.
‘We plan to release it all over the state at a function in Mumbai June 27,’ Mehta Publishing House proprietor Sunil Mehta told IANS.
The book, originally penned in French by Rubina in collaboration with a French writer Anne Berthod, and later translated into English and published by a New Delhi-based publishing house, details her courageous journey – from the squalour of the Dharavi slums to the glamour of the Oscar stage – all when she was barely nine years old.
‘It is ironic that foreign writers found her a fit subject for a book, but Indian writers ignored a good, inspiring story of the Mumbai girl who worked her way from the slum gutters to the world stage,’ Mehta remarked.
He said he wanted to bring her story to the commonest of people of Maharashtra besides the slumdwellers of Mumbai and decided to bring out a Marathi version of her autobiography.
The original French book was titled ‘De Mon Bidonville A Hollywood’.
‘It was indeed touching and amazing how a slumdweller reached so high in such a short time in her life. Rubina’s positive outlook and her sheer grit as she traversed the entire journey from Dharavi to Oscars can inspire many others,’ said 52-year-old Joshi, who is also a well-known Marathi writer for the print and electronic media.
Rubina’s publicist and mentor, Dinesh Dubey, said the original French book received tremendous response everywhere in Europe, but the English version was barely noticed in India due to lack of promotion.
‘The book is essentially her memoirs, living as a child beside the gutters of Dharavi to the Oscars stage where she went live before the whole world with the movie team led by Danny Boyle,’ Dubey said.
Despite the name, fame and the fact that she is a household name everywhere, Rubina, now 11, continues to live in the same temporary ramshackle dwelling in Garib Nagar slum, close to Bandra station.
Expressing concern, Dubey said as Rubina grows up into a young girl in the wicked surroundings, young boys and men in the neighbourhood are blatantly eyeing her with evil intentions.
‘Rubina feels insecure and unsafe there. The flat promised by the Maharashtra government has not yet been allotted, while the budget sanctioned by the Jai Ho Trust is falling short given the spiralling realty rates in Bandra,’ Dubey told IANS.
Presently, Rubina commutes daily from Dharavi slum to the posh Bandra west area to the Pali Chimbai School where she studies in Class 3.
Simultaneously, she is preparing to work in an important role in a forthcoming Hollywood movie, ‘Lord Owen’s Lady’, in which she will work with American actor Anthony Hopkins.