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Potholed road fit for a Slumdog

PUBLISHED: 17:36 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 August 2010

DISGRACE: Saroj Chakravarty stands beside one of the many potholes that make his avenue 'worse than the slums of India'.

DISGRACE: Saroj Chakravarty stands beside one of the many potholes that make his avenue 'worse than the slums of India'.

AN INDIAN resident wants to rename his road Slumdog Avenue after the Oscar-winning film because of potholes, rubbish bags and discarded furniture marring it.

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY: Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire.

AN INDIAN resident wants to rename his road Slumdog Avenue after the Oscar-winning film because of potholes, rubbish bags and discarded furniture marring it.

Saroj Chakravarty, 72, of The Avenue, Beckenham, has even invited Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle to come and see the potholes in the street to compare them to the ones he filmed in India's slums.

He says he is too embarrassed to invite his friends to his home and claims the roads in the eight Oscar-winning film, set in Mumbai, are far superior to his own.

Mr Chakravarty said: "I organise a polo match for the Prince's Trust which Danny Boyle is coming to. I said to him 'Come and see something even worse than what you saw in India' he said, 'You must be joking.'

"It makes you feel horrible. It's absolutely unbelievable. I'm too embarrassed to bring my friends here because when I did they looked at the road in disbelief.

"People think the road is so lowly that they have started dropping bags of rubbish in it. I have to beg my friends to visit. One said: 'How do you keep your car clean?' I said 'I don't.'.

"My niece came from India to study in London in the early '90s. She came to see us and I picked her up from Beckenham Junction station. As my car was entering The Avenue, I noticed her face develop an expression of disbelief. I said: 'I know why you look so surprised dear but the answer is very simple.

"'The people living in The Avenue are very kind-hearted and friendly. They keep the road so dirty and full of potholes so that people like you coming from the third world countries don't feel a stranger, but feel at home.'

"Four years later after she finished her degree she came to our house to say goodbye. Once again I picked her up from Beckenham Junction and as my car was entering The Avenue, she looked at me and said: 'Uncle, when I first came here you said the people of The Avenue keep this road shabby, dirty and full of potholes because they want people like us to feel at home. I didn't say any thing because I didn't want to sound rude. But I will tell you the truth. Even in the worst slums of Calcutta, you won't find a shabby dirty road like this.'

"Today, 15 years later, The Avenue is much worse than what my niece saw when she first came here. People living around Beckenham have been dumping their broken furniture here for a long time. If my niece comes back now, I know what she would say - 'Why don't you ask your council to change the name of the road. Call it The Slumdog Avenue.'"

The road is owned by Bromley council. At the time of going to press, a council spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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