Exactly 26 years ago, Shah Rukh Khan first appeared on the silver screen in Deewana and we can safely say, that was the first step of his historic journey.
1992 was a different era. There weren’t any social media platforms to showcase a newcomer’s journey, one had to go to the theatres and a film had to actually be successful for a newcomer to get noticed. For Shah Rukh luckily, he had caught the audience’s attention with Abhimanyu in a TV show called Fauji that made him the boy to watch out for. But even back then, nobody had the slightest idea that a boy from a modest background would one day rule the Hindi film industry.
Shah Rukh made his silver screen debut with this Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharati starrer but strangely for a debut, his introduction song “Koi Na Koi Chahiye” appeared after the interval. Rishi was the reigning star of the day and Divya was already labelled as the most successful newcomer as she had just gotten introduced to the film audience with Vishwatama earlier that year.
So SRK was, in many ways, battling star power in his first movie. And while all of them bore the fruit of the hard work they put into this film, it found a special place in the history of cinema just because it introduced us to the charisma of Shah Rukh Khan.
Not many know that SRK’s role in Deewana was first offered to Bigg boss fame actor Armaan Kohli. Kohli had even shot for a few scenes and the makers had even printed a few posters featuring Kohli and Divya Bharati but somehow that did not work out. It was a blessing for SRK and for us as well. Shah Rukh had even once candidly mentioned in an interview that he owes his stardom to Armaan Kohli.
Deewana was just the first milestone and Shah Rukh famously won a Filmfare award for his debut performance. When he came up on stage to collect that award from veteran actor Rekha who addressed him as her “favourite”, Shah Rukh gave a sweet emotional speech. He raised his arm up in the air and dedicated his award to his late mother. He recounted how when he won his first ever medal in the third standard, he came back home running to show it to her but she wasn’t home and many years later when he was winning the first major award in the film industry, she wasn’t there again.
4 years ago, on this very day, Shah Rukh had tweeted, “I have till date not seen ‘Deewana’. I have a notion that I don’t want to see my first or last creation. They are bookends, the story is between.”
The last bookend is still many films away and with the way his career is still rising with every subsequent film, the end is nowhere in sight. Shah Rukh Khan had once said, “My biggest achievement is that I can make a lot of people smile just by my presence,” and nothing could summarise his beautiful career in a better way.