Koimoi’s loyal reader Titas Chowdhury, who grew up on a staple diet of Bollywood, writes to us yet again. Writing and Bollywood are Titas’ passions and now she writes an open letter to the King Khan, the Baadshah of Bollywood – Shah Rukh Khan.
Dearest Shah Rukh,
Darr, Baazigar, Swades, Chak De India,Don, Ra One, My Name Is Khan. These few films out of your colossal filmography scream just one thing about you, that you are the King of Versatility. Yet, they have restricted your genre to romance and love, and they call you the King of Romance. Yes, I know that that’s your forte. DDLJ, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Or my favourite Veer Zaara. Time and again, you have made us believe in the magical charm of love and its sagas. Time and again, you have made us realize about how beautiful the rain is. Time and again, you made us believe that yes, larger than life love does exist; Raj does exist.
You and your films are that bright spring of light and colour that fill up our lives and paint them an eclectic hue on a gloomy day. You, for me and for many like me, are much more than a mere actor. You’re a phenomenon, an institution, a belief, a religion and an emotion. You are who you are for the simplicity and humility that you possess. It is incredible as to how you have kept calm and remained down to earth irrespective of the love and respect that is showered on you. When you achieve something and climb the Jacobian ladder of success and glory a notch higher, you make us feel proud. You represent a billion of us globally. You have been and still are a constant source of eternal happiness. You epitomize love and inspiration and aspiration.
“Itni shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai, ki har zarre ne mujhe tumse milaane ki saazish ki hai… Kehte hai, agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho, toh poore qaayanat usse tumse milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai…” I’m sure you do know the substantiality of this particular monologue in our lives. Yes, you say something and that becomes our anthem. You indulge in a brutal and gory fight with the villain to get your girl. We curse the villain. We pray for you. We believe. You jump across buildings and busy roads as a superhero. We believe. You go to save your girl from the fire almost burning yourself. We get scared. We believe. For you have taught us to believe, conceive and achieve. You have instilled in us the ambition that the canvas of our dreams should be larger than our lives. I, intrinsically, realized the essence of this particular monologue when I received the golden opportunity to meet you.
You were exactly how I thought you would be like. I could feel the kingly yet grounded aura that you carry. No sooner did my eyes catch you than my vision was cut down to mistiness. I realized that I was crying. I was star-struck. The feeling hasn’t sunk in yet. It still feels like a celestial dream. I wish I could capture and freeze the moment for posterity but I was star-struck. I remember every bit of it. How distinct things are down the memory lane! You turned around your chair every now and then to fly a kiss at us, to flash your million dollar dimpled smile at us, to wave at us inadvertently implying that no matter what and no matter, who comes and goes, you will forever be THE ONE. Yes, you’re the last of the stars. All I could do was to sink down in my chair and cry; and thank God a million of times.
You kept your word. You didn’t walk away post the shoot. You came to us who have been awaiting your touch with bated breath since eternity. I was happy that I wasn’t crying anymore. Your dimples made me beam a wide a grin. As you were at a distance of a foot from me and blessed a look at me, I remember breaking down yet again. It was a moment to cherish. And I’m going to cherish it for a lifetime. You saw me. You came closer. You caressed my left cheek and told me something that I heard you telling me only in my dreams; that I always considered a pipe dream in reality. You dimpled, “I love you too, my dear.” And all of a sudden, I was the chosen one. Time stopped. Things turned blurred. Yes, that was perhaps my version of the Raj-Simran moment. That was my SRK moment. That was my Bollywood moment. Yes Shah Rukh, dreams do come true. All I could do post that was to get an autograph from you and to go even closer to you and to plant a kiss on your left dimple. You indeed made my life. You gave many of us memories to last us a lifetime.
I have been hearing stories about your humility from your fans and worshippers. To experience it live was a golden moment that has left an indelible impression within me. I finally know, much like your fans who have been fortunate enough to meet you, about what is the ‘happiest moment’ of my life. Though happy is too small a word to describe the wonderful moment.
You made me flush with optimism yet again. Realization struck yet again that behind all the gloss and glam, you have remained a person, realistic and grounded. It was amazing and magical to see how you gel with your fans, how much you love them. I noticed every meticulous thing about you that day. The way you talk; the way you smile; the way you laugh; the way you cut a joke; the way you dance; the way you walk; the way you smirk; the way you utter “Inshallah”; the way you cast fine spells of utopia and romanticism; the way you make the whole audience drool over you; the way you respect, acknowledge and reciprocate the love that we shower on you.
Bollywood wouldn’t be Bollywood without you. You have redefined every genre in your own way and created a genre that might appear to conform itself as “larger-than-life”, but deep down, becomes a genre that is closest to life. Be it the nagging, jealous, ego-centric and possessive husband in Hum Tumhaare Hai Sanam, an innocent insouciant in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, a middle class employee trying to impress his boss in Yes Boss, a young man who is suddenly lured by the higher class living standards in Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman or the rough and tough hockey coach in Chak De India, among others – you have made every character come reel to real. You have played your reel characters so convincingly that we do believe in the existence of a Raj or a Rahul somewhere. Running around the trees, draping a cashmere sweater around the neck or playing a violin to woo the ethereal lady love or visiting the President of The States to state that your surname doesn’t make you a terrorist has never appeared unrealistic. When you cry, we cry. When you laugh, we laugh. When you dance, we lip sync along with you. When you, as Aman, lie on your deathbed breathing your last, we cry buckets. When you are trying your level best to get the girl of your choice who doesn’t even know your language or culture and that too in a train, we pray for you that you get your girl. Trains today have become objects of romanticism. Thanks to you. If a train reminds us of DDLJ or Chennai Express, then a metro reminds us of Jab Tak Hai Jaan. An airbus reminds us of Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh. A bullet reminds us of Major Samar Anand. True that, life for us, your fans, wouldn’t be the same without your films. They have enthralled us so much so that now you are an inseparable part of our existence. Naturally, we keep waiting for that one film that you release in a year.
We, as fans, wish only the best for you. You deserve to get all the love, respect and success of the world. We believe in you because you believe in us. You deserve to be up there at the pinnacle of glory. You deserve to remain the uncrowned reigning king of Bollywood. You deserve every joy in the world. All of your films deserve to touch the 1000-weeks margin at the box office. You are the King of our Hearts. Your fans cannot thank you enough for the impact that you create on us. Yes Shah Rukh, we believe you that life not be a bed of roses, but at the end of it, everything turns perfect. We wish that your inspiring interviews, your beautiful films, your witty and sometimes dirty jokes continue forever and ever, and we keep falling in love with you every moment. On behalf of all the SRKians, let me reverberate this once again: “One Life. One Love. Team SRK.”
PS: This is just a small piece of tribute to you as a fan on behalf of all your fans. I might have not been able to be articulate enough. But this is just to let you know that along with the actor that you are, along with the trendsetter of Hindi films, who has decided to place the lead actress’s name before his own as the credits roll, that you are, along with the true supporter of the Mard campaign that you are- we love you for the wonderful and impeccable human being that you are. Right from your speech at Yale to Stanford, right from your charming look at Cannes to our very own IIFA, right from the work that you have rendered to the underprivileged to the happiness that you bring to our lives, we have, we do and we will love you. A heart full of thankfulness and gratitude to you.
Titas Chowdhury tweets @dhunki_titas