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Main Bhi Shahrukh Khan Banna Chahta Hoon
Today morning a young boy of twelve got up from his bed of stones and mud and stepped outside his jhopdi on a deserted portion of Bandstand in Mumbai. He stretched his arms and looked across his modest yet beautifully located abode, at the Arabian Sea in front of him. He turned to his left and saw the face of a man smiling at him. This face had graced him every morning for the last four years. The boy looked at the man’s hair and ran his fingers through his own greasy, unkempt hair hoping that they would comb his hair in a similar fashion. After a few seconds of readjusting his hairstyle, he took one last look at the man and walked towards the road to help his dad to pick garbage. Behind him the man’s face continued to smile on a large billboard. The billboard read, “Shahrukh Khan- The new face of Tag Heuer”.
More than 1500 kilometers away, in Bangalore, I was running on the treadmill in the gym in my apartment, watching the same man on TV dance to the latest hit song “One Two Three Four” from his movie, Chennai Express. I smiled as I watched the 48 year old effortlessly dance to the fast beats; his dimpled smile unchanged for the last 22 years, his energy as high as ever and every stand of his perfectly parted silky hair miraculously remaining in place through every move of his. I looked at my own hair in the mirror, which had undergone many a haircut and minutes of styling to resemble the man’s hair but falling short every single time. I had stopped trying. The 12 year old boy in Mumbai is still hopeful.
Yes, in today’s India, the Ranbir Kapoors, the Imran Khans and the Ranveer Singhs have become the new heartthrobs, the new superstars. But they will never signify the dreams of the millions of men seeping into the city of Mumbai in the wee hours of the morning at Victoria Terminus railway station. Men with dreams of making it in Bollywood. Shahrukh Khan came in without a godfather in the industry. His story has become somewhat of a legend which industry hopefuls recite to their friends with a strange sense of pride. The man who slept on a bench at Marine drive and cursed at the city of Mumbai in desperation, “One day I will conquer this city.”, and today looks over the city from his heritage mansion at Bandstand having apparently fulfilled his “promise”.
And that I think is the essence of Shahrukh Khan. When a young boy from a poverty stricken family living in the slums of Dharavi says, “Main bhi Shahrukh Khan banna chahta hoon”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants to become an actor superstar. It means that he wants to attain the fame and power of this man who has become the Baadshah of his city and commands the respect and adoration of millions of people across the globe. Shahrukh Khan has come to signify the epitome of a dream fulfilled, a rise from rags to riches, the story of reaching high and getting there. He makes a child believe that he doesn’t need a “Kapoor” or “Bachchan” attached to his name to make it big.
This is why Shahrukh Khan still towers above his contemporaries in sheer mass support. He was you, he is what you want to become and hence he always will be a recurring example of who’s success subsequent generations would want to emulate.
Why do I feel like I’m going to be one of those “started from the top and made it to the bottom” losers…
#it's no surprise that I am my best friend
I’m 5’10”. I can’t dunk on a standard basket.
I’m fully aware of that and also aware of the fact that my legs wouldn’t jump high enough for me to even get over a crawling baby.
So when I feel the sudden urge to dunk when i’m at home, I jump and slap the ceiling. I slap the ceiling to feel like I have made a monstrous dunk. The ceiling is quite low.