Yesterday, I witnessed the epitome of fan frenzy when I reached near Shah Rukh Khan’s grand mansion, Mannat in Bandstand, Mumbai. My cabbie said, “Today is Shah Rukhji’s birthday. The roads are going to be jam packed all day.” As I walked towards his opulent residence, the deafening noise of honking pierced my ears. And then I heard something that overpowered that noise. There was a sea of people standing right there, chanting ‘Shah Rukh, Shah Rukh’ as if catching a glimpse of the one and only is their sole wish in life. Mumbai darshan buses were stopping there and tourists were peeking out of them with their digital cameras and mobile phones to click pictures of the momentous occasion.
SRK fan club members from across the globe waited under the scorching sun, sporting tees with SRK’s photographs printed on them. Naturally, I felt a sense of pride when I entered the gate of Mr. Khan’s bungalow for a high tea party and conference that he had hosted for the media along with his entourage.
After gorging on some yummy delicacies in his lawn overlooking the Arabian sea, we settled down for a freewheeling interaction with Shah Rukh Khan. Being a hardcore SRK admirer, everything felt oh so surreal to me. While most media persons discussed how SRK is so great when it comes to treating his guests well, I just sat there, letting it all seep in.
Before addressing the media, Khansaab rushed to wave at his fans from the fence of his building. He stood there and thanked them for a good ten minutes before coming inside for the press conference. The paparazzi was already in awe of him and he wooed us all the more with his answers to each of our questions. SRK is always seen in plain white or black tees on his birthday and this one was no different. A black t-shirt and a pair of casual jeans made for his sartorial choice.
Here are 10 things about the superstars that made me (and everyone present at the event) fall in love with Baadshah Khan all over again.
1. He not only waved to his fans but also graciously accepted their gifts and showered them with affection.
2. He told us that he loves the paparazzi and interacting with media persons always makes him happy. (And that we can always feel free to ask him any questions regardless of his PR person’s instructions.)
3. And he said, “Main PR mein nahin, pyaar mein believe karta hoon.” It’s not even surprising anymore that SRK never runs out of impromptu witty one-liners.
4. He treated the entire media with a delicious spread of various cuisines from Blue Sea, Worli.
5. He wore the t-shirts that his admirers got for him and also posed for the shutterbugs.
6. When asked why he has never played a cop on screen, he joked, “I keep going around asking the directors to give me a cop’s role. But no one does. Maybe I don’t look that strong. But now that I have eight-pack abs, I hope someone would approach me.
7. He struck his trademark air hug pose for us. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop swooning over that.
8. He walked down the memory lane and recollected how he’d distribute Parle G toffees and samosas in school on his birthdays. He also shared how he never cut a cake during his teenage days as they could never afford anything fancy.
9. He credited his mother, wife Gauri Khan and all actresses he has ever worked with, for his success.
10. He revealed that he’s planning something special with Kajol for the completion of 1000 weeks of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. And how that movie is not just a movie or a box-office success but a lot more than that as it had inspired an entire generation to fall in love.
Our affection for SRK has only deepened now. All hail the king!
Pix: Viral Bhayani for MissMalini