Mumbai, India - Still laughing and smiling as they were all during their whirlwind trip to Hollywood, California, walking the red carpet on the night of the Oscars, bumping elbows with international movie stars instead members of their overpopulated impoverished village.
There at the Academy Awards, where their movie won multiple times, they met with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Hugh Jackman and even Mickey Mouse, taking a once a in thousand of their lifetimes visit to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.
Now back home in their native land, the "Slumdog Millionaire kids" (as they have come to be known), gleefully answered a battery of questions from a firing squadron of reporters, only this time at the disembarkation gate of the International Airport in Calcutta, India.
Somehow, however, the usual welcomed upbeat mood of Slumdog Millionaire kids seemed to sharply contrast against a montage of photos of cheering faces from their deplete village in Mumbai placed on a makeshift billboard made out of cardboard that reporters held up behind them.
"How does it feel to return to your humble home after visiting the morally and now financially bankrupted West?" poignantly asked an Indian reporter of one the children movie stars. His question coming up first among many that set the mood of the impromptu press conference.
"After all," continued the Indian reporter somewhat smugly. "Their [The West] only hope of ever achieving nirvana is if they went out and bought the album by the rock group bearing the same name."
The reporter's quip drew laugher and jeers among the pool of Indian reporters who were so poor they could not afford a pen and paper to take notes, but piously took down dictation by writing on a black slate tablets with pieces of white chalk.
"Although I can't honestly say its good to return to conditions of such absolute squalor," replied one of the children as the self-righteous mood of the pool of Indian reporters was quickly dampened by the answer. "I can say it's good to be back home among people with a highly shorted life expectancy like mine."
"By the way," added another Slumdog Millionaire kid. "While I was in Hollywood, California, I googled our village from space and believe me we need way more than a well if we ever hope to join civilization by the end of this century."
"I see," cried out another Indian reporter, looking visibly upset. "So now you're questioning authority as well, are you? What do you think you are? A bag of chips and all that too, do you?"
"We're just saying," explained another Slumdog Millionaire kid. "Maybe it wasn't such a good idea for the village council to have gone with the Starbucks first. But the well for our village instead."
"So that's what the West has taught you," replied yet another irate reporter. "You have only been a few days away from your mother country and already you turn against her? Betraying your rich traditions like the timidity of your elders, abject poverty and your slummy village? A curse on all of your houses, should you ever get one. May none of you ever rise above the poverty line and move into the upper-class, working at an outsourced calling center."
Suddenly, the pool of nationalistic reporters turned into an angry mob, rushing the children, carrying them off to the village square where a funeral pyre was quickly being erected to burn them alive for publicly shaming their parents, countrymen and fellow villagers.
As the Slumdog Millionaire kids were carried down the street lined with protesters on both sides, the children were chastised for their newly acquired desire for material wealth. Then the protestors began throwing imaginary fruit and vegetables at the kids, as they were so poor to afford any real fruit and vegetables to throw.
"You see?" said one of the Slumdog Millionaire kids to the protestors as he was being tossed in the air. "That's what I'm talking about, we are so [censored] poor we can't even afford real food to throw."
"Shut up, you!" yelled back a member of the crowd that lined the street. "You can't talk now, I just hit you in the face with a giant imaginary mango. And it was very, very ripe too."
As the mob turn a corner, there before the Slumdog Millionaire kids laid their destiny: a funeral pyre.
As the mob was about to toss the kids up in the air one last time before tossing them on the pile of burning wood, an Oscar that one of the Slumdog Millionaire kids had smuggled through customs fell to the ground.
An Indian reporter bent down and picked it up. Then he made an announcement to the angry mob that was still flinging the children wildly into the air one final time.
"Look everybody!" said the reporter, holding the golden statue high into the air. "It's Oscar!"
Momentarily the mob paused to look. But just as quickly they returned to tossing the children, moving them ever closer to the funeral pyre as tall the flames leap up high into the air.
Then the reporter picked something else one of the Slumdog Millionaire kids dropped to the ground and he held that up into the air too, yelling out: "Look! An autograph color photo of Angelina Jolie too!"
Slowly the mob stopped tossing the children as they stood and stared in disbelief.
"What are you doing?" asked the reporter of the mob while holding both the Oscar and autograph color photo of Angelina Jolie in the air. "Keep tossing!"
Almost immediately the mob's mood changed. Soon they resumed tossing the children just as haphazardly as before, but now out of joy. Not anger and wanton destruction.
Soon the angry mob and protestors disseminated into a cheering crowd, now throwing imaginary flowers at the Slumdog Millionaire kids as they were tossed up in the air throughout the night and well into their adulthood.