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It is about Shah Rukh Khan. What other reason do we need to read it?
“I AM A GREAT, FANTASTIC ACCIDENT OF BEING THE RIGHT PERSON, AT THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME. THAT’S THE DESCRIPTION OF MY SUCCESS.” – SHAH RUKH KHAN
We know them as the Pathans, a corruption of the word ‘Pakhtun’ perpetuated by the English. Shah Rukh was born to two beautiful people, Meer Taj Mohammad and Latif Fatima. Meer Taj Mohammad, a handsome, tall man stepped out of his mansion in Peshawar, at the age of 16, for a 942 km walk to Delhi. There was nothing that could stop him from being a lawyer. Shahrukh describes his father as an idealist, a well-read and well-educated man who could speak six languages- Persian, Sanskrit, Pushtu, Punjabi, Hindi, English.
Now, it’s really intriguing that the initial years of Meer Taj Mohammed in Delhi, were spent in a girl’s college studying law. How charming must he have been that he convinced the principal to no just give him a seat in the college but also a room in the hostel. What is absurd is that he left his home and family behind only to pursue a career in law even though he had a family business waiting just for him to ripe and become a man, big enough to make decisions. Was it passion? That drove him to move away and go after what he aspired?
This quality is distinctively seen in Shahrukh Khan, as there is nothing that drives him forward more than passion. It is not known exactly when Meer Taj joined the Khudhai Khidmatgar ( Servants of God) organisation of Frontier Gandhi, but shahrukh believes he was among the youngest freedom fighters to join.
During the partition of India-Pakistan, few of the members of this organisation stayed here, in India whereas the rest retreated to develop the newly-formed Pakistan. He met Fatima, a 16 year old girl who he would eventually marry in the late 1960’s. The dream of becoming a lawyer looked far-fetched now, with all the trouble with the partition and the politics.
The story about how Shahrukh’s parents met? It is the most fascinating one. Meer Taj Mohammad, with a friend found a car overturned on the road with a severely bleeding young girl in it. He rushed her to the hospital and due to heavy blood loss, she needed a blood transfusion.
Surprisingly, Meer Taj’s blood group matched hers’ and no, that wasn’t the end of his blood donations. A call came in, informing that Fatima’s mother had had a miscarriage and needed blood, and Meer Taj being a gentle giant, flew all the way from Delhi to Bangalore to donate blood again. He was a part of their family now. He asked for Fatima’s hand in marriage and they were gifted with two beautiful children.
Shehnaaz Lala Rukh, November 6 1960 and Shah Rukh, November 2 1965. Because of Meer Taj’s sheer honesty, the transport business was resulting in a loss.
With the allotment of open spaces around the World Trade Centre, Meer Taj persuaded the officials to grant him a small open space to start up a tea stall.
“My dad taught me that in the long run, honesty always pays.” – Shahrukh Khan.
Meer Taj was diagnosed with cancer, but the hope within the family members did not die. But as time passed by, they soon realised that this would be his last battle.
Shah Rukh was 15 when his father died.
It was his mother, Fatima who introduced Shah Rukh to the Hindi Cinema.
The most amusing thing about Shah Rukh is that he was very bad at Hindi. He would get around 1-2 marks on 10. Fatima would bribe him by saying that she would take him for a film every time he scored a 10/10. Shah Rukh topped in Hindi then onwards. His first film was, Dev Anand’s Joshilaa. It was his mother who insisted him on taking the admission for masters in filmmaking at NSD.
“It’s wrong to think that a star or an actor of my status or higher is in power. Whatever time one gets, one uses it in ass-licking.” – SRK
He had been exceptional at studies in school and had won numerous awards which he figured would give him a direct entry into the best college in Delhi, but turns out the principal didn’t give a second look at the certificates and was even harsh towards him.
He then decided that he would have to make the best of what he was offered and took admission in the first college that he was accepted into, Hans Raj College, Delhi University. As well as being good at studies, he was great at playing football, cricket and hockey but had to stop because of his severe back injury.
Shahrukh laid his eyes on Gauri, at a friend’s party in the year 1984, when he was only 18 years old. He, being a shy guy didn’t have the courage to walk up to her and ask her for a dance.
Later that night, he gathers all the courage he has and asks her where she turns down his offer because she wasn’t interested in him. That was the beginning of their lives together. Gauri soon fell for his wit, confidence and style but then, Shah Rukh, being possessive by nature started being very controlling which made Gauri take a break from this relationship and she decided to disappear from his life without telling him.
She’d decided to head towards Bombay. By 1990, Shah Rukh was dividing his time between Bombay and Delhi. When he approached his mother with his thought of getting married to her, she didn’t oppose him or even ask any questions. She put Rs 10,000 in his hands and asked him to go and get his love back home.
By this time, he had been approached by multiple TV projects. His first being Fauji.
Before he was approached for any show, he would borrow money from friends’ and travel up and down to the film city and audition, till his luck struck. He was spending a lot of time in Bombay for his second television series, Circus when he’d got a call from a friend having bad news.
His mother had fallen sick, a wound in her foot wasn’t healing and she’d been admitted to a near-by run-down hospital. Shahrukh rushed back home and immediately shifted her to Holy Family Hospital. He had to rush back to fulfil his major commitments and because he needed money for his mother’s treatment.
The doctor’s had told that her condition had become worse because of her diabetic condition and she had slipped into a coma and Shah Rukh had resigned himself of her fate and remained by her bed side for almost two months, without sleep, food, rest.
One day, when he goes out to buy medicines, Fatima passes away leaving him and his sister alone in this big world.
His sister, Shehnaz goes into depression and he stands up and takes charge to take care of his elder sister.
“And the closest you can come to being content is when you die. People say the only cure for life is death. Maybe, at the moment that one second, when all worries leave your mind, you die. I kept giving my mother a lot of worries, so she couldn’t die. I kept pleading, ‘Please don’t go’.” – SRK
It was never easy for him to make big in this industry. Not having any family background in the industry, he had really worked hard to make it big. His first Tele Series, Fauji had made him a heartthrob in the masses. This kick started his career in Bollywood. His life wasn’t always a bed of roses.
Most of the beginning of his careers was a total downhill. After the death of his mother, he wanted to pursue a full-time career in the film industry and so he came down to Bombay. He had been approached for four films, the first being Hema Malini’s directorial debut- Dil Aashna Hai.
The movie that kick started his career was Deewana, in which he played the second male lead. The audiences loved it. Shah Rukh Khan, the actor, had made it.
“The first day after pack-up, I was quite crushed. I felt I was the worst actor on earth. I kept thinking that maybe I was not cut out for this.” – SRK
Shah Rukh started the year 1993 with the release of Darr, in which he portrayed the role of an obsessive lover and a murderer in Baazigar, which both turned out to be great hit. He was acclaimed for his villainous roles. He brought in the trend of the Anti-hero.
The movies that turned out to be a big shot movie for him were actually the turndowns by other stars like Armaan Kohli, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.
Darr marked one of the first movies signed by Shah Rukh with film maker Yash Chopra, which lead to endless movies but everything is time bound and then, it had all come down to one last movie, Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Shah Rukh came back into the industry as a romantic hero which turned out to be his personal best genre. His biggest hit, being Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge till date. All of it seemed like a fairy tale but everything has its’ perks.
Life had become so hectic and Gauri, even after they both had married each other, there was no acceptance from Gauri’s family side, the issue being their different religions.
He would work for hours on the sets and then rush back to Gauri’s house to find ways to soften her parents. For his roles, even though he received a great amount of appreciation, he was also criticised based upon his acting skills. Even though they were poor, he worked hard, made sure he was good enough so that people couldn’t point out flaws that he couldn’t substantiate. Through the hardships, Shah Rukh Khan has conquered the world with his immense acting skills and powerful will.
“I saw my parents going through it. After I lost my dad at an early age, I equated poverty to failure. I just didn’t want to be poor. I signed films for the fear of poverty more than creative desire. Most of my initial films were discards of other actors.” – SRK