IN OTHER WORDS
Originally, the Chatrapathi Sivaji railway station was just an ornate backdrop in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” But now the cinematic images on-screen are ringing with urgent realism: The station is one of the sites in the Mumbai attacks over the weekend that left at least 188 dead. After giving hardly a thought to India’s “Maximum City,” Americans are being bombarded with impressions all at once — through the award-winning film as well as through news footage of the three-day terrorist siege. It is sometimes hard to say which picture is more true.
But “Slumdog Millionaire” — the story of an uneducated Mumbai teenager who improbably knows all the answers on the quiz show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” — also is Hollywood homage, and at times comes perilously close to romanticizing the deprivation. In any case, it is the wealth, not the poverty, that the terrorists aim to disrupt.
India has been a nuclear power since 1974, but it is only recently penetrating the popular American consciousness. Now India is comparing the assault on its financial center, perhaps strategically, to the Sept. 11 attacks. That’s probably a stretch. Still, the globe’s perils can no longer be contained by mere time zones. On screens large and small, images this week of a bleeding Bombay are a reminder. — The Boston Globe