Slumdog Millionaire - Preface

Slumdog Millionaire (Illustration) Biographies Philosophy Social Studies World History Geography Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Poetry Film

This image depicts a poster advertising the film, "Slumdog Millionaire." In the film, a teenager from Mumabi—who grew up in "the slums" of the city—is accused of cheating on a TV program (India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”). The events of the teen’s life, however, explain why he knows the answers. Image Copyright © 2008 by Celador Films and Channel 4 Television Corporation; all rights reserved. Provided here as fair use for educational purposes.


Well, Madam, we poor can also ask questions and demand answers.
And I bet you, if the poor conducted a quiz,
the rich wouldn’t be able to answer a single question.

I don’t know the currency of France,
but I can tell you how much money Shalini Tai
owes our neighborhood moneylender.

I don’t know who was the first man on the moon,
but I can tell you who was the first man to produce illegal DVDs in Dharavi.

Could you answer these questions in my quiz?

From Q & A by Vikas Swarup
Novel basis of Slumdog Millionaire

In the so-called "slum" district of Mumbai, about a million people live in poverty.  Although poor, they are hardworking, and their products are shipped all over the world.  

In one of those districts, a young lad named Jamal Malik grows up. While in his teens, he has a chance to compete in a television game show. But what chance does this unschooled young man have to win anything?

As things turn out, not all answers to questions are learned in school.

Jamal knows some things about life.  He isn’t educated, in the school sense, but he knows about life in Dharavi -  his area of Mumbai (Bombay), India's financial capital.

People who coin descriptions call Dharavi a “slum.”  In fact, it’s known as the “biggest slum in Asia.”  To Jamal, however, Dharavi is home.*

During his life, the young man has seen more than a child (rich or poor) should ever have to see.  But from his experiences, growing up a Muslim lad in a predominately Hindu area of India, he has  developed “street smarts.”

Street smarts can often be put to good use.

*  In the book, Q & A, the lead protagonist in the story is “Ram Mohammad Thomas,” whose name embodies three of India's religious faiths - Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.  In the film version, he is “Jamal Malik.”


Visual Vocabulary Builder for this Story

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2008

Updated Last Revision: Apr 20, 2018

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Slumdog Millionaire" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2008. Feb 24, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips