MUMBAI: On Saturday, November 2, 2013, thousands of his fans waited outside his palace, “Mannat” from 12AM onwards. And finally, Shah Rukh Khan appeared in the balcony…
And what happened later? The pictures speak! Such was Shah Rukh Khan’s 48th birthday celebration.
Truly, SRK Day. Here’s the making of this day; the making of this one man – who rules billions of hearts around the world. His weapon is love:
The Baadshah of Bollywood. King Khan. Young Dilip Kumar. King of Romance. Shah Rukh Khan, fondly known as SRK, has so many different titles bestowed lovingly upon him. Universally adored the world over, Shah Rukh Khan, the man himself, is nothing short of the Bollywood dream…
A rank outsider, Shah Rukh Khan came to Bombay to become a Bollywood hero, but ended up ruling the industry. Delivering back-to-back blockbusters ever since his debut film ‘Deewana’, there has been no stopping this energetic tour de force. SRK began his career with TV, acting in super hit serials ‘Fauji’ and ‘Circus’. Having a solid foundation in acting thanks to Barry John’s ‘Theatre Action Group’ or ‘TAG’ in Delhi, Shah Rukh was no stranger to histrionics.
From early on in his career, he was both applauded as well as criticised for having an exuberant, almost exaggerated screen persona. But nothing stopped Shah Rukh Khan’s boundless enthusiasm and visible passion for the arts. He made wise decisions from very early on in his career: for instance, he picked up negative roles very on; when he agreed to play the role of an obsessive lover in Yash Chopra’s ‘Darr’ in 1993, and an ambitious rookie who avenges the injustice meted out to his family in Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Baazigar’.
Going against the grain, SRK was appreciated for his portrayal in both roles. Having gotten action and villainy out of the way from very early on, SRK was left to play the role of a conventional romantic hero, the trope that has sustained throughout his career. His very first out-and-out romantic hero role, contrary to popular belief, was not the Aditya Chopra directorial ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ (1995) but a little known romantic dramedy ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’. However, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ admittedly did mark a turning point in his career and life.
Shah Rukh Khan was no longer the middle-class boy-next-door from Delhi, he became an overnight superstar! FUN FACT: ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ is also the longest Hindi film till date (17 years and counting! It still plays at morning shows in Mumbai’s famed Maratha Mandir theatre) Shah Rukh Khan replicated the success of ‘DDLJ’ in several of his subsequent films like Subhash Ghai’s ‘Pardes’, ‘Yes Boss’, Karan Johar’s ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus ‘Devdas’, Yash Raj’s ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’. He played a more intense, smouldering version of the Rahul/Raj typecast in Mani Ratnam’s ‘Dil Se…’, to much critical acclaim.
From 2004 onwards, Shah Rukh Khan really started experimenting with his roles, as if to say: hey guys, now that I’ve made it as a superstar, it’s time I explore what excites me as an actor! Probably one of his most challenging roles was playing a NASA scientist who returns to his village in India, in Ashutosh Gowariker’s sensitive homegrown indie ‘Swades’. Khan also gave the performance of his lifetime (cynical, brooding, inspiring, broken.. human) in Shimit Amin’s non-starry film about India women’s hockey ‘Chak De! India’.
To me, even his role in best buddy Johar’s ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ was equally worthy of note, as it turned SRK’s loverboy image on its head. In the film, Khan played the failed, bitter, extramarital affair-conducting sportsmen Dev with elan. Shah Rukh Khan’s two decade-long acting career has been chequered by more hits than misses.
However, he did go through a lull when his production company, ‘Dreamz Unlimited’ crashed and burned. Not one to let such failures bring him down, SRK inevitably bounced back from that setback too, as he did from his various injuries and surgeries.
SRK has also played the role of game-show host of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and ‘Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?’, returning to TV for a brief stint in the early noughts. Along with being an actor, SRK is also a producer: he runs the very successful, technology-driven, media savvy production house ‘Red Chillies Entertainment’ and VFX studio ‘Red Chillies VFX’. Khan also owns an IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders.
SRK’s personal life has been just as perfect and seemingly dream-like as his films. His marriage to longtime girlfriend Gauri Chibber aka Gauri Khan is the stuff of filmy folklore, with industry insiders swearing by their rock-solid union. Controversies and linkups aside, SRK has always been faithful to his lovely wife, and the blessed couple have three beautiful children together – Aryan, Suhana and AbRam.
The King Khan is every bit as courteous and chivalrous in real life, as he is on celluloid. Reams have been written about his incredible intelligence, razor-sharp wit, old-world magnanimity and pure grace and charm.
There never was, there never will be, quite another superstar like our very own Shah Rukh Khan.
He belongs to you, he belongs to me. Shah Rukh Khan belongs to us.