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@Rakesh Agarwal

Even before the sunrise in most parts of the country on 12th March, the Indians were glued to their TV sets to watch the proceedings of 95th Oscar Awards Ceremony live to know the fate of the first Indian song “Naatu Naatu’ from the director S S Rajmouli’s magnum opus “RRR” released in 2022. It is a Telugu-language song composed by M Keeravaani written by Chandrabose and sung by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. The song was picturised on Jr. NTR and Ram Charan. It was released on 10 November 2021 (released on YouTube). The song was also released in Hindi as “Naacho Naacho”, in Tamil as “Naattu Koothu”, in Kannada as “Halli Naatu” and in Malayam as “Karinthol”. Within 24 hours of its release, the song crossed over 17 million views in Telugu (becoming the most-viewed Telugu song), and 35 million views in all five languages on YouTube. It also became the fastest Telugu song to cross 1 million likes. In February 2022, the song crossed over 200 million views in all languages. It is the first Best Original Song from an Asian film to win the Academy Award. The lyricist Chandrabose wrote the lyrics based on his childhood memories. He wrote 90% of the song in half a day but it took 1.7 years to write the remaining 10%. The director Rajamouli conceived “Naatu Naatu” as a kind of fight sequence in which the Indian duo outdance their British counterparts. He used the song as a foreshadowing for the climax sequence. “I think the biggest achievement for me was incorporating how the song comes into the film, without breaking the narrative,” Rajamouli said. The song was choreographed by Prem Rakshith. He choreographed 110 moves for the hook step. “Naatu Naatu” was shot in August 2021 in the Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of President of Ukraine in Kyiv, a few months before the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The song picturization took 15 days. The music video featured about 50 dancers and 300 to 400 extras. The song was not the official entry of India but was entered independently. It won the award leaving behind the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihana in the same category. Deepika Padukone looking stunning & gorgeous in black gown presented the dance group for performance at the award ceremony. By winning the award, it is now proved the Indian cinema has come onto world stage and we cannot be ignored any longer. Today the entire world is dancing to this peppy number. Composer Keeravaani and lyricist Chadrabose received the award, while the director Rajamouli applauded from the gallery. The song “Naatu Naatu” before winning the prestigious academy award had earlier won The Golden Globe, Hollywood Critics Association, and many more.

India had another surprise the same day, when director Kartiki Gonsalves 40-minute-long Tamil-language debut documentary “The Elephant Whisperers” won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film. The film commemorates the bond between an aging couple and a baby elephant and showcases how Indians love even animals. It is also the first Indian film to win an Academy Award in that category. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, film director Madhur Bhadharkar and other celebrities hailed the winning teams for their efforts to bring Indian cinema on the world stage and getting it globally recognised.