In a continuing series of guest blog posts, carries the opinion of a self-confessed die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan, who has been put off by her favourite star’s PR drive. And what’s more, she has a kind word or two for Salman Khan. Read on…

Shah Rukh Khan, Veena Malik, Kolaveri, Salman Khan: PR & Its Pitfalls

There was a time when Shah Rukh Khan didn’t try so hard.

He would just be himself and the world would swoon.

It’s become rather obvious by now that the “bike ride with Suhana” was a PR stunt, one that I thought was totally unnecessary.

I am a die-hard SRK fan. Like DIE-HARD. But that doesn’t mean I blindly accept whatever he does like some members of The Crazy Fandom.

Shah Rukh Khan & Suhana

PR is out of control these days everywhere. There’s some weird notion that you can manipulate the masses into “liking” you. This is true not only in celeb-land, but also, for instance, in the publishing world where authors (a notoriously anti-social bunch) are encouraged to participate in social media and promote themselves.

For what? Is my question. For effin WHAT?

If your work is good, PEOPLE WILL FIND IT.

That’s how word of mouth works. That’s how stuff goes viral.

It never happens because you “planned it”.

Like in the recent Veena Malik hoo-haa (coz hoo-haa is the only appropriate non-word for it). What did it accomplish? It got her a little burst of publicity over an “issue” that fooled no one as to its veracity. I mean, c’mon.

We’re not a bunch of morons. Are we?

Veena Malik

Well, are you more likely to tune in to her Swayamvar show because of the ruckus?

And clearly that wasn’t something Veena herself masterminded. It must have been the PR crew behind Swayamvar.

Cheap controversies = great TRPs.
That seems to be the Indian media’s mantra these days.

The correct way to do PR is without trying (which admittedly makes it a  catch-22). That’s how Kolaveri di happened. Whatever you may think of Dhanush’s “soup song”, it went viral in a way the kids could not have foreseen. They’re just hanging out, recording a song, being silly, having fun.

Kolaveri Di Song

Which brings me back to SRK. I mean, I don’t even think if it’s fair to blame him because I’m fairly certain he’s at least partially influenced by the PR people in his life. He’s not just a man anymore, or even just a star – he’s a brand. And a lot of people have invested in that brand. And when other people try to manipulate the brand, the human being in you sometimes gets lost.

Just ask MJ.

You simply can’t win when you try to manipulate how people perceive you. That’s a losing battle not just for celebs but for all of us. The best you can do is be true to yourself, be authentic, and let the pieces fall where they may.

That’s what Shah Rukh did at the beginning of his career, when he defied every rule from playing the villain to openly flaunting his marriage (at a time when other star heroes were busy preserving their “single” status).

Salman Khan

“Be yourself” is Salman Khan’s forte today, and boy does he know how to work it!

When he says “That’s why I’m Salman and he’s Shah Rukh” it breaks my heart. Shah Rukh was way more bindaas than Salman back in the day. Now, Salman’s the one who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him.

And the result of how that “strategy” is working out for him is plain for everyone to see.

How else can you explain Bodyguard?

Shakila Hashem is a Bollywood buff by birth. When she’s not obsessing about the Khans at, she freelances as a writer and script analyst in New York City.

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