Over the years, the Bollywood film industry has introduced us to actors who were talented, rich and had inspiring rags to riches story to tell. The year 1992 arrived, and with the release of Deewana we got more familiar with Shah Rukh Khan, a rare combination of everything. The man who came to the industry with empty pockets, now owns an IPL team, his own production house Red Chillies Entertainment which is headed by his wife Gauri Khan, is the brand ambassador of Dubai and West Bengal tourism, in a nutshell, he basically stood as an exemplar of success. He was not fortunate enough to be born in a well known filmy family, but it did not stop him from becoming the King of Bollywood… The ‘Badshah’ as he is fondly called!
When SRK first stepped in Mumbai, he lived in an office in Bandra. Now, his mansion, Mannat, stands as one of the landmark buildings of the city. The actor has worked in over 50 films, and with most of his movies, we found new reasons to love him more.
With superhit performances in films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Mohabbatein, Kal Ho Na Ho, Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Dil Se he created his own fanbase making several generations go head over heels.
Nevertheless, as a neutral observer, a few questions often tend to cross ones mind. How was the Rahul in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, any different from the one in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? How is this man, who is popularly known as the ‘King of Romance’, any different from each of his films? Is he a good actor at all?
Then Swades and Chak De India happened when he managed to shun such thoughts. Since then, he had raised a viewer’s expectation in him like never before. His performances reflected that he hails from a background that is more theatre focussed.
But somewhere, in the middle of Chennai Express, Happy New Year, Dilwale and Ra.One, we often questioned ourselves, where has the Shah Rukh Khan gone, who never stepped back from taking a challenging role? In 2016, with announcement of projects like Raees, Fan and Dear Zindagi, he dropped hints of giving us a chance to see the actor in him again. During a media interaction with indianexpress.com back in 2016, we asked him was he trying to change his image from being the King of Romance? As expected, witty Mr Khan was ready with his comeback.
“And.. become king of acting?” he said, while slightly raising his eyebrows. “Not at all yaar, I just do the films I feel like doing. Fan is very very special to me, because at the age of 50, I wanted to revisit a moment, an experience that I have not ventured before. And I also wanted to know if I can do something like this or not. It was physically very tiring but I think I pulled it off really very well,” he added later.
For fans, Shah Rukh Khan was more than a Raj or a Rahul. He became a running emotion. Like mentioned in Fan, “Connection is a strange thing. Once you have a connect with someone, you give a part of yourself to that commitment.” Most people in the country felt a certain bond with SRK, the self made actor, who always had something witty to say when he met his haters.
But while SRK, is busy doling out to mediocrity lately will it only be a matter of time before people forget his films that had meaningful content? Or will they act like an album of good memories, stored somewhere in a folder in our hard disks or in between the dusty shelves.