‘Naatu Naatu’, a foot-tapping number composed by MM Keeravani for SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster ‘RRR’, created history by becoming the first song from an Indian film to win an Oscar award in the original song category. When Keeravani and lyricist Chandrabose got on to the stage to receive the Oscar statuettes, it was a goosebumps moment for all Indians as the Telugu song reverberated at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles. The electrifying track, which became an international rage with 124 million views on YouTube and counting, had the momentum going for it after bagging the Golden Globe award for the best song in January. Its success proves that music brings various cultures together and this should spur many wannabe musicians across India to dream big. Naatu Naatu was widely considered the frontrunner in this year’s field of Oscar nominees, which included Lady Gaga’s ‘Hold My Hand’ (from Top Gun: Maverick), Rihanna’s ‘Lift Me Up’ from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Sofia Carson’s ‘Applause’ (from Tell It Like a Woman) and Son Lux, David Byrne and Mitski’s ‘This is a Life’ (from Everything Everywhere All At Once).
With an unprecedented three Oscar nominations in the same year – ‘All That Breathes,’ ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ and ‘RRR’ – Indian cinema has grabbed wider global attention. And, on the day of reckoning, it savoured one of the biggest moments of glory when ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ won the prize for the best documentary short film along with ‘Naatu Naatu’ for the best original song. Kartiki Gonsalves-directed ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ is a heart-warming tale about a couple in South India belonging to an indigenous tribe who look after orphaned baby elephants named Raghu and Ammu, forging a family like no other. Both the achievements have made nation proud. This shows given the right platform India can compete with best of the world.