Everyday, at any point of the day, hundreds stand outside his Bandra house in Mumbai, just to catch one glimpse, one shadow or one silhouette of their favourite star. I wonder what must it feel to stand in that balcony and witness them waving, to feel the weight of this intense love and fame- must it be exhilarating or burdening?
The helicopter stops, the wind blows, an actor runs through the screen into your souls. 30 years ago, on June 25, a Delhi boy was launched on the silver screen in a film titled ‘Deewana’. While many millennials may not remember this particular film, Shah Rukh Khan has emerged as a phenomenon.
Right when a new trailer of his film pops on YouTube, thousands start praying for its success for it has one important element that has already made them love the film- Shah Rukh Khan. Many actors have been successful in Bollywood, but few have achieved what Shahrukh Khan has- a fierce love.
In more ways than one, it is a strange love one harbours for SRK. Be it on screen or off screen, we want him to do well. While growing up, I found it easy to make friends with people who were SRK fans because it brought us into one fandom. Cut to many years later, a very close friend advised me (very seriously) “You must never date a man who doesn’t like Shah Rukh Khan, you know, that boy has no sense of taste.” Moreover, many including myself strongly support KolKata Knight Riders during the IPL despite having little or no connection to cricket or the town itself.
A fan on social media once said, “For many years, I could not decide whether it was Bollywood I loved, or just Shah Rukh Khan.” Aptly put, with an era of memorable films and roles, SRK defined Bollywood and became the heartbeat of those who were moved by the power of Hindi romance and drama.
If I begin to think, it is not one but many factors that make people sworn fans of SRK not just in India but globally. Not conventionally good looking such as some of the other Bollywood stars, the man exudes a charm that sets him apart. His charm is visible in everything- the way he runs, smiles, acts and dances.
The king of romance always seemed respectful to all his leading ladies, on and off the screen. With an era of YRF superhit romances, he was responsible for the youth appreciating romantic love. A recent viewing of his films makes me realise that the actor beautifully brought out the vulnerabilities of his characters. Rahul from K3G was forever under the weight of being the adopted son and thus never felt secure in returning back to his parents. His eyes speak and his face appears warm as fans immerse in his characters.
Apart from romance, SRK has proved that he knows his craft through characters such as Kabir Khan from Chak De India or Mohan Bhargav from Swades.
To understand the secret of the ‘SRK fever’, CitySpidey talked to some of his fans-
Samra, a fashion buyer from Mumbai says, “The kind of charm he exuberates is magical. You can see everything in him, be it a common man, a father, a lover, a mentor and a larger than life figure. I think what makes him unique is his humility and sense of humour. The legacy that he has created for himself is unmatched.”
Bhaumi, a social entrepreneur and student from UttaraKhand says, “SRK is what has defined cinema for me as a kid and it has just gotten better with time. His charm, his wit and most importantly his natural acting made me a forever fan. No one can beat him when it comes to charm and witty replies. He is a man of many talents. Not just acting, his aura is so captivating that I can't help but fall for him more each day. Long Live Cinema, Long Live SRK!
Another reason for the Shahrukh fever is the actor’s wit and sarcasm.
Rakesh Sharma, a retail professional from Dubai says, “My appreciation for SRK is not only limited to his acting skills (which are extraordinary as we all know ) but rather his off screen charisma in anything he does, his insane wit and sly sarcasm are just a treat for the audience. Despite this, he is as down to earth as one can be. The man’s a gem and also a role model.”
As the megastar announces three big releases in 2023, fans are once again ready to welcome him in the cinema halls. One thing appears clear despite his last few films not working that well- the love for SRK has not and will not fade anytime soon.