He came, he was seen and he conquered his legion of fans. Hailed as the ‘box-office badshah’, he is also tagged the ‘king of romance’ with his stylised wooing. But versatile superstar Shah Rukh Khan who was born on November 2, 1965 in a not-at-all-rich middle class family 50 years ago and seemed destined to reign supreme in whatever vocation he chose. That’s because his name Shah Rukh itself means ‘face of an Emperor’. The charismatic SRK’s frenzied fan-following across the globe has to be seen to be believed. With a humble beginning in television in serials like ‘Fauji’ and ‘Circus’, the talented, ambitious actor managed to attain the zenith of cinematic glory with dozens of award-winning super-hit musical movies. Exploding the traditional myth, that TV stars can never achieve success on the ‘big screen’. Known for his outspoken candour, the suave, debonair Khan has often courted ‘controversy’. Despite being one of the richest actors across the globe, the exuberant billionaire ‘birthday-boy’ was ‘modestly’ clad in a simple white tee-shirt, a dark scarf around his neck and a pair of jeans as he chatted freely. Excerpts from the ‘Khan-versation’:
Frenzied fans and the entire media has been patiently waiting for long hours for your ‘darshan’ – you seem to have been badly delayed?
Yes, am aware and my sincere apologies for the unavoidable delay. But then I had arranged for some ‘live’ entertainment including a ‘mash-up’ audio-visual show by top international DJ Chetas until my arrival. It has been too hectic since last night as I have been interacting with my loyal fans outside ‘Mannat’ who love me unconditionally—they are all actually my ‘best friends’. Then I was also held up at the Sahar airport where I had gone this afternoon to see off my kids (Aryan and Suhana) who are studying in London. They had specially air-dashed to Mumbai to bring in my birthday.
Did your endearing kids give you any surprise B'day gifts?
No, they did not bring any gifts for me and I for one was not surprised. They feel that when our Dad has got ‘everything’, all we need to give him is a warm tight hug and a cheeky smooch.
Any ‘khaas mannat’ or resolutions on your 50th B'day?
All I want, that I should continue to ‘smile’ as usual and make my audiences smile and keep all my huge SRK fan clubs delighted until I turn 75. If you expect me to quit any of my bad habits (read ‘smoking’) then don’t expect that. After completing half-a-century, I guess I should get that freedom to indulge in what keeps me rocking. Work-wise I will try to accept only those quality lead roles which strike an emotional chord with me.
Does the ‘puray pachhaas saal’ tag make you more apprehensive?
Honestly, I don’t have any special attachment to a number, whether it’s an age or box-office figure. For me, my birthdays have been very much the same and there is not much difference this year. Work goes on as usual. In fact, my buddy director Farah Khan scared me, that when I get up in the morning I will realise what turning 50 means. But I have not felt any kind of mental or physical changes. Overall, my journey till now, has been wonderful and I have no regrets. Despite some of the extreme odds and downs I would certainly not choose an alternate life even if I got a chance. Although I have put in over 25 years in showbiz, still it feels I have just started 25 days ago and I am ready to be pushed all over again into complex roles.
What the SRK ‘secret’ of screen-romance which leaves even foreigner female fans swooning, although they don’t understand a word of Hindi songs?
Romance for me, means ‘dignifying’ a woman. Love is an universal language with an emotional connect that transcends all barriers. My fans insist that my eyes ‘speak’ when there is no dialogue. Basically I am chivalrous and genuinely respect all females. Interestingly, when I was in the eleventh class, I was shy and hesitant to speak to charming girls at parties, lest they snub me and break my heart.
Your candid ‘take’ on your mascot protégée Deepika Padukone’s movie ‘Bajirao..’ fiercely clashing with your ‘Dilwale’ next month …
It's unfortunate. But I am sure during the pre-Christmas season, there would be abundant scope for big business for both the mega movies. Both have their unique highlights and attractions. My love and best wishes are with them.
Since you attach immense importance to your interactions with SRK fans, would your upcoming movie ‘Fan’ have a bearing on your fan-cy fetish?
At this stage, I can definitely vouch that ‘Fan’ would definitely be one of my five landmark movies, as an ‘actor’, which I can proudly show to my family.
(This YRF movie directed by Maneesh Sharma has SRK playing a ‘double’ role of a ‘fan’ and a ‘superstar’ )