“There’s a little bit of Shahrukh in each one of us”
It all began in the middle of the yellow mustard gardens when the tunes of the Mandolin witnessed a million people skip a heartbeat. It was the year 1995, a boy had promised to love and a star was born.
At an age when cinema was playing a counter-productive role defining the parameters of manliness and manhood, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was the epitome of love and family. Raj with his charm, set new meaning to a lot of words which had lost their worth and Chivalry was just one of them.
An entire generation, growing up, went to movie theatres and came back trying to canvas a hero who not only made us believe that men can be soft, express affection and also give us hope. Shahrukh triggered a revolution in the generation’s minds and hearts with the message of love.
In an interview to the news channel Mirror Now in 2018, Shahrukh said, “I believe it’s a fuller, more complete word for respect. If I respect your space and still encroach it, if you can respect my individuality and can still be a couple with me, then that’s love. And the beauty of love is that you don’t need to ask for it, demand it or beg for it, it flows naturally”
Shahrukh is everyone’s, we all love him alike. He has been a teacher to us when we were stuck, a parent when we looked for a shoulder, a friend to do ‘there there’ to us, criteria for me to choose a friend and why not, he defined being ‘best friends’.
As a kid, I loved writing essays on the topic, ‘My idol’, in English papers because while everyone wrote about Scientists and Presidents, I wrote about him thinking he made me a better person. I remember how in boarding school my friends would cut out his pictures from newspapers, magazines or even a Frooti pouch to gift me and I would paste them on my almirah. I wrote my first story keeping him in mind and cried alone when the publishers said that the actor would later turn a villain. He was Shahrukh, I thought, he could never be a villain in my story.
Shahrukh Khan did not establish himself as an angry young man. He was not motivated by violence. He was not even trying to be a legend. He just stood there with open arms waiting for the beloved to ‘turn’. He defined romance in such a way that a family of all ages and genders could watch an entire movie without shooing the kids to get a glass of water.
Shahrukh Khan’s charm has been so unconventional unlike the stars of that era. He has so easily portrayed human emotions that the fan in me rejoices at how he broke the stereotypes. Unlike other actors whose tears were zoomed in at to showcase the miracle, he revolutionised the way men were looked at. He said that they were human too.
Delivering what the critic call ‘negative’, Shahrukh as Devdas and Rahul in Darr told us that its alright to be obsessed, as Sunder of Chamatkaar he told us its ok to have self-depreciating humor, to be conniving as Ajay in Baazigar for our passions, the stubborness to conquer as in Raees, as Khan he told us its ok to be challenged and still be hopeful. As Rahul in Yes Boss, he said that it was okay to want it all, as Jug in Dear Zindagi, he told us that it is alright to be young and stupid because he was always there.
People ask, which is your favourite SRK movie? How do you choose if it was Raj or Rahul, Veer or Aman? All of them made him the Shahrukh, we know and love. All of them stayed behind with me. In a world full of glamour and societal pressure, he brought us closer to home. He, the actor, the lover, the poet, the dreamer. Shahrukh Khan, the king of Bollywood. And hence I say, “There’s a little bit of Shahrukh in each one of us”.