To King Khan, with Love!

Many, many moons ago, when cable TV was not that common in households, when studies were the only thing on my mind and when watching a movie at home on VCR was a good idea, came a movie that changed not just the luck of the stars that were a part of it but also the way people looked at romantic movies. Yes, 16 years ago came Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and it marked the launch of a new romantic hero who became the heartthrob of a millions. DDLJ, as it began to be known, saw the entry of Shah Rukh Khan in a romantic role and romance was never the same again.

That was the first SRK movie that I watched and I watched it in the theatre. I would be honest to say that I have lost count on the number of times I have seen that movie since then. I fell in love with his portrayal of Raj and to date somewhere, I still keep looking for a guy who is like him! I am sure that the character swept so many girls off their feet. I loved every scene, every frame of the film. I remember imitating many scenes from the movie with my cousins and friends. So not surprisingly, I remember every dialogue by heart. Since then, Shah Rukh Khan became my favourite actor.

I religiously followed every movie of his, I guess like every girl growing up in the 90s and madly in love with Shah Rukh did. For a very long time there was no other actor for me than him. Few of his other movies that clearly are my favourite will be: Swades, Devdas, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Pardes, Don, Chak De India, Dil Se, Baazigar and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.

The characters that he played in these have been etched in my memory for good. Since I have not seen the earlier versions of Devdas and Don, I loved SRK’s work in both. Now, I am so looking forward to the sequel to Don, more so because of the stunts, the style and the depth he brings to the role. I have also devotedly sat through Om Shanti Om, Main Hoon Na and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, despite my friends warning me against the films. However, my love for him was bigger than a few flop movies.

Of late, though I would admit that the craze is kind of slowing down and I don’t like it myself. He has been my favourite hero and I don’t feel nice when I see him in every other TV commercial selling almost anything and doing movies, which are way off for what he stood for some time back. There is this problem – ‘excess of anything being bad’. Then there is that aggressive and ‘in-your-face’ promotion of his movies.
I feel SRK must trust the stature that he carries and the goodwill he has built over the years.

He has a huge fan base and not just in India but across the globe, and those fans are mad about him. They lap up very movie that he doles out. The movie sells not so much because of the promotion that he does but because he stars in it. He has to know when to just do his job and let it follow its way into people’s hearts. He is always brimming with energy and that shows in his work. He has to let that flow and do the talking. He is going to be around for a long time and his work is enough to give him a lifetime of respect and adulation.

As the King Khan of Hindi movies turns a year older, this was my way to wish my hero a very happy birthday!! To sign off, what better way than to end it with the beautiful lines from Om Shanti Om. I love this scene in the movie when he comes to collect the Filmfare award and gives this speech:

“Ladies and gentlemen kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to poori kaynat use tumse milane ki koshish main lag jati hai. Aap sab ne mujhe meri chahat se mila diya…thanks very much. I feel like the king of the world. Aaj iss baat ka bhi yakeen ho gaya ki hamari filmon ki tarah hamari zindagi main bhi end tak sab kuch theek ho jata hai…happys…endings. Aur agar theek naa ho to woh the end nahin hai…picture abhi baki hai mere dost.”

Naina Madan

The author is a qualified Chartered Accountant but veered away from the profession some time back to find her true calling. Has worked in online marketing, public relations, copy-editing and now it is advertising that keeps her occupied for five days a week. She likes sitting at Cafe Coffee Day, sipping a cappucino and looking at people. And she can do it all day! She loves Hindi movies, is an FM addict, likes solving Sudoku and is a huge F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan.