‘Slumdog Millionaire’ hero invited to visit Nepal

By Sudeshna Sarkar,IANS,

Kathmandu, : Dev Patel, the 18-year-old hero of Oscar-sweeping “Slumdog Millionaire”, says he is fascinated by Nepal and has received a standing invitation to visit the Himalayan republic.

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Patel, who won the Critics Choice Award and Screen Actors’ Guild Award for his portrayal of Jamal Malik, the tea boy at a call centre who joins a quiz show and becomes a millionaire, could visit Nepal on an invitation by a leading Nepali hair stylist and make-up specialist.

Maverick Neel David, who plans to open a chain of hair salons and already has three under his belt, including one in India, bumped into the rising star during his sojourn in London.

David is currently training in film and television hair styles and make-up at the academy of noted makeup artiste Christine. One day, to his delight, the lanky Patel walked into the training centre.

The two began a conversation and the chance meeting blossomed into friendship, Nepali daily Nepal Samacharpatra reported, carrying a photograph of Patel with his arm around David.

“Patel, being of Indian origin, has a fascination for Nepal,” David told the daily. “He is busy right now but I am working on bringing him to Nepal on a visit.”

Despite political turmoil, Nepal remains a favourite destination of Hollywood and other western celebrities.

Hollywood icon Richard Gere and “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Orlando Bloom visited the Himalayan nation recently.

So did Sting, former frontman for the band The Police, and Cher, who flew down to Nepal in winter to visit Tibetan children.

“Slumdog Millionaire” is currently being shown in Kathmandu’s best-known cinema, Jai Nepal, which recently stopped the screening of Bollywood kungfu comedy “Chandni Chowk to China”.

People here who have watched the video of Danny Boyle’s eight Oscar-winning film include Barbara Adams, who was the consort of Prince Basundhara, the youngest brother of late king Mahendra, and Charles Sobhraj, who has watched the film in his cell in Kathmandu’s Central Jail.