Shahrukh on the eve of his birthday
By Lata Khubchandani, India Syndicate Monday, 01 November , 2004, 16:58
The 1965-born Shahrukh Khan starts his fortieth year on the 2nd.of November. With one-and-a half decades of films behind him, the actor has achieved far more in terms of popularity than many, who have been around for decades. It might be safe to say that SRK is dubbed by one and all as the only real star today.
In this age of TV, the idiot box has performed one great function. It has taken away the starriness of all stars. So today we have the elusive Lata Mangeshkar and the exclusive Amitabh Bachchan mouthing trite inanities on every one of the 100-odd channels.
With the stars sitting in your living room all the time where does star charisma go? It disappears. Shahrukh has this unique quality of being consistently inconsistent. He hates it if you predict anything about him and unlike other stars who mouth clichés all the time, one rarely finds this Khan repeating himself - even if a horde of journalists ask him the very same question. they can be certain they'll get different replies. That makes for the fact that Shahrukh's interviews are never boring.
Every other actor has become a "type" but not Shahrukh Khan. Under that slightly abrasive exterior is a furiously thinking mind - a quality that is so rare among people as a whole and actors especially that it is wholly charming in a star who could well wade through life with his eyes closed.
He has such an abundance of everything and doesn't require to be thoughtful but Shahrukh Khan has consistently shown that success needn't mean thoughtlessness. And that his stature today comes not from success which cuts off the height of the best in the world, not from fame and money but from his capacity and willingness to think.
Just recently he stated in a television interview a truism which is worth discussing, To a question by a journalist about the failure of Aamir Khan's marriage and the success of his own, he replied that a relationship like that couldn't be commented upon by an outsider, but added that perhaps one has to learn not to be quite so spontaneous in relationships.
One could see that the interviewer didn't get his drift and it was allowed to pass. But it is a comment worth considering from every angle. And that shows Shahrukh Khan's growth as a human being. he has turned altogether more gentle as a person. This may be attributed to his severe neck injury, the pain he underwent but that would be simplifying it. He shares it with the needy, he doesn't stop earning and living off the fat of his past work but continues his work and spreads his wings instead. In other ways too he has made himself available to people he cares for in "true friend" fashion.
While notching up for himself the highest position in Bollywood he makes sure his feet are on the ground. There is about him an innate arrogance, which goes well with his status and gives him that charisma that makes a star. So he's doing something right.
If other stars become "down to earth" they fall so low that their very small beginnings show up, but with Shahrukh his growth as a person shows up. At just on forty it is an enviable balance to have achieved. Here is wishing him a marvelous new year. Happy birthday Shahrukh.