"Was hoping this would happen."
A picture of Bomman and Belli, who were seen as elephant caretakers in The Elephant Whisperers, smiling with the Oscars trophy is going viral on social media.
Taking to Instagram on March 23, 2023, director Kartiki Gonsalves shared a photo featuring the duo.
Kartiki wrote: “It’s been a long four months since we’ve been apart and now I feel like I’m home….. @theelephantwhisperers.”
Reacting to the picture, Vishal Dadlani said: “Easily my favourite #Oscars picture ever (clapping emojis).”
Esha Gupta posted red heart emojis while Niharika Konidela dropped her face holding back tears emojis.
Mini Mathur said: “Love their smiles. Hugs and more hugs.”
Aahana Kumra wrote: “Oh my god.”
Meanwhile, fans too expressed their happiness in the comments section.
A fan wrote: “Good to see @kartikigonsalves turn the spotlight on those who deserve to shine brightest at this moment.
“That’s what makes you such a wonderful storyteller, Kartiki!
“Hope it’s just the beginning for you.”
Another comment read: “Was waiting to see the Oscar in their hands!”
Another user said: “Was hoping this would happen. Thanks for finally placing it in the hands of these beautiful people.”
One more fan wrote: “I think now we need a photo of the Oscar with Raghu and Ammu.”
The Elephant Whisperers depicted the care and love showered by caretakers, Belli and her husband Bomman, in rearing abandoned baby elephants at the government-run Theppakkadu Elephant Camp in the Nilgiris District.
The short film was on two elephant calves, Raghu and Ammu, and Belli and Bomman’s strong bond with them.
The Elephant Whisperers created history at the 95th Academy Awards by becoming the maiden Indian production to win in the Documentary Short Subject category.
In her winning speech, Kartiki said: “I stand here today to speak on the sacred bond between us and our natural world.
“For the respect of indigenous communities.
“For entity towards other living beings, we share our space with. And finally for coexistence.”
“Thank you to the academy for recognizing our film highlighting indigenous people and animals…”
Further, on March 15, Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin felicitated Bomman and Belli and presented them cheques of Rs. 1 lakh each, a shield, and shawls to honour them.
Recently, he congratulated and presented Kartiki with a memento, shawl, and a certificate of commendation and gave her Rs. 1 crore cheque, a government incentive, at the Secretariat.