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Actor Shah Rukh Khan recounts the horror of the bomb blast during his performance in Colombo on Saturday night

To say that what happened on the night of December 11 in Colombo was unfortunate would be stating the obvious. A throng of 25,000 people had come to watch the show. I was completely overwhelmed with the love of the people of Sri Lanka.

Around the time, I performed my grand finale, which was Bole chudiyaan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham , I heard the sound of firecrackers bursting. Initially I thought it was part of our pyrotechnics. It’s only when the lights came on, I realised that someone had hurled a bomb.

The bomb landed some twenty feet away from where I was performing. Yes, it was a close call. It landed on the second row. Suddenly there was pandemonium, the security had a tough time controlling the crowds running helter skelter. I could see the panic. For a moment I was numb. It saddens me to think that innocent children and adults who just came to have a good time at the show were victims of some disgusting, Machiavellian mind. I immediately huddled my costars like Priyanka (Chopra), Celina (Jaitley) into waiting cars. The enormity of the situation hit me when I was finally in the plane. Everyone was shaken up. It upsets me that someone could use my show as a platform to commit the most heinous crime. I feel ashamed that the miscreants behaved like jallads or animals. I sincerely hope that they get their comeuppance.

The protest by the Buddhist leaders was a separate incident. Once I spoke to them that we didn’t mean to offend religious sentiment, they were gracious and let us perform.

Please don’t politicise the event. It could have happened in any country or state. Why, it could have happened here. Why must these elements target the innocents? And us actors and artistes bridge the gulf between nations through entertainment. In fact, all art is above politics and religion.

Right at this moment, my heart and thoughts are with the bereaved families in Colombo. Besides reaching out to them, I wish I could just comfort and soothe their pain. As a person who loves to spread smiles and happiness, this has been the lowest ebb in my career. It could have been my family or me, who were sitting on that second row on that fateful night.