Shahrukh Khan – The evergreen Badshah of Bollywood

In Don, Shahrukh Khan says ‘I am the King’ towards the end of the movie. It made me feel as if it was not Don the character, but the real Shahrukh Khan who was saying this because it is the summary of the aura that he possesses to dominate Bollywood for 21 years, despite the roadblocks that he has suffered in his personal and professional life.

Shahrukh Khan in Don 2

Shahrukh Khan in Don 2

Bollywood is like a see-saw, where every Friday the tables can turn with so many actors having that strong desire of making it big in the industry. There are two other Khans he has had to contend with – Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. Although both the actors have created a niche of their own, I have no hesitation in rating Shahrukh Khan higher than both of them and it is no surprise that those two have remained behind him for the majority of their careers in terms of popularity and box-office success.

‘King Khan’ was born on November 2, 1965 in Delhi where he spent his entire childhood in the famous area of Rajender Nagar. His parents were said to be of Pathan descent as his father, Taj Mohammad Khan was a freedom fighter from Peshawar which was in India at a point of time while his mother Lateef Fatima was from Rawalpindi. Incidentally, ‘Shah Rukh’ means the face of a king in the Persian language. He also has an elder sister whose name is Shahnaz.

His schooling took place in St. Columba’s school where he was an all-rounder, excelling in sports such as cricket, football and hockey being captain of all the three teams which explains the reason why he owns teams such as Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and the Mumbai franchise of the upcoming Indian car racing league . His record in academics was enviable, in which he scored above 90% in all subjects. While he also participated in several drama competitions, which can describe his initial affinity for films.  His success in school life won him the Sword of Honour, an honour bestowed to the student who best represents the spirit of the school as well as laid the roots for a fine career and thus lifestyle.

Shahrukh Khan college life was also sophisticated as he graduated from Hansraj College in the field of Economics and this was crucial in developing his outstanding business acumen. While for post-graduation, he wished to pursue a degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia which helped him in developing his infectious presentation skills and other parts of his speech. But he dropped out after he did a bit of soul-searching and decided to take up acting as his profession in the near future.

He then decided to enroll himself for acting classes to develop his talent, under the mentorship of the famed Barry John who owned the Theatre Action Group (TAG) in Delhi. Following that, he made his debut in the television series Fauji as Commando Abhimanyu Rai and won accolades for his performances. With his appearance in another series ‘Circus’ produced by Aziz Mirza, he was compared slightly to the legendary Dilip Kumar due to his looks and style of acting.

However, 1991 was the most eventful year of his life. He had to suffer from the trauma of losing both his parents (which perhaps played catalyst to his smoking habits) and moved to Mumbai with his pockets almost empty, in an attempt to make himself big in Bollywood while at the same time pursue his Hindu lady love, Gauri Chibber. He married Gauri in October 1991 despite being unemployed, but then the turnaround happened.

Deewana - Shahrukh Khan's Debut which Launched him in the Bollywood

Deewana - Shahrukh Khan's Debut which Launched him in the Bollywood

William Shakespeare had written in his play Julius Caesar that “You are the architect of your fortunes”. Shahrukh Khan  is a living example of this statement and he strived and struggled for close to a year in Mumbai before finally making his debut in the film Deewana as the character Raja Sahai, and the movie was a huge hit in the Indian box-office. This is what he needed to launch his career and for his performance, he was rewarded with the Filmfare Award for the best male debutant in the year 1992.

That year also saw Shah Rukh featuring in four more films, Idiot, Chamatkar where he was given due recognition for his role as Sunder Shrivastava who was an innocent, dim-witted man with Naseeruddin Shah and Urmila Matondkar also starring in the film, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman in which he was cast with one of his good friends Juhi Chawla for the first time as he played the lead role of Raju and lastly Dil Aashna Hai, which was not that big a hit. Yet, his first year in Bollywood made him the sought after actor in the industry and it was a prelude for Aamir Khan and Salman Khan to be put in the backseat, despite making their debuts in the late 1980s.

Shahrukh Khan in Baazigar

Shahrukh Khan in Baazigar

The films in which SRK acted in 1993 established his stature as a legend in the making, as he played the villain as a different role altogether, in both Darr and Baazigar. Darr was the first instance of Shah Rukh working with Yash Raj Films, a production company with which he was likely to build one of the most beautiful relationships with in the future. His role of an obsessive lover to Juhi Chawla won him many praises, and his dialogue ‘K K K Kiran’ is in the lips of film buffs till date.

Shahrukh Khan modified the conventional role of a villain in a Hindi film by portraying his own style of negativity with panache in the movie Baazigar where he plays a man filled with revenge and in the process explicitly murders his girlfriend. This was his first pairing with Kajol, with whom he was to form one of the finest on-screen couples in Bollywood history. The Baazigar effort won him the 1993 Filmfare Award for the Best Actor for the first time. While he also won his second award which was the of the Filmfare Critics for the Best Performance, due to his role as Sunil, a young musician in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, which is considered by many die-hard SRK fans as one of the numero uno films he has ever acted in.

Earlier in the year 1993 he was involved in controversy for being involved in a passionate sex scene in the movie Maya Memsaab with Deepa Sahi, who was in real life the wife of the director of the movie Ketan Mehta. But the controversy died out during the course of the year, with SRK benefitting the most from it as he was in the Bollywood gossip for a long period of time. His other film, King Uncle was a damp squib.

He teamed up with the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit in Anjaam in 1994, in what was his third movie where he was seen playing a negative role, to be more precise that of a psycho lover. Despite the film not attracting cash counters of cinemas, SRK managed to win another Filmfare Award but this time for Best Actor in Negative Role.

But he bettered the year 1993 with an outstanding 1995, confirming that he was by far one of the top actors in the industry. It began with Karan Arjun, where he teamed up with his friend-turned-bitter foe Salman Khan and opposite SRK was Kajol acting. Rakesh Roshan’s film was a super hit as the idea of rebirth of a person to take revenge against his enemy seemed to capture the imagination of Indian audiences.

Shahrukh Khan's superhit romantic movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Shahrukh Khan's superhit romantic movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

But the ultimate movie of all, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge released in this very year with Kajol again starring opposite him. Aditya Chopra, the son of Yash Chopra had a fabulous directorial debut, as he made people change their perceptions of SRK, who proved that he was to become the ‘king of romance’ in the time to come. It was a perfect love story which has lasted for now over 15 years at the Maratha Mandir in Mumbai where the movie is still shown. Shah Rukh played the role of a young lover, who was yet cool and funny in his approach to life of the 90s to perfection, which won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award once again and the movie won as many as 10 awards in the same event. In the box office, it was easily the highest earning movie in terms of revenue.

His four other films in the year were average and it led to a disastrous 1996 with all his three films not being upto the mark. However, he was to shift into an apartment of his own in the posh area of Bandra in the year and in his personal life, he was to face joy with the birth of his son Aryan Khan. 1997 also saw a magnificent comeback with Yes Boss which was his first romantic comedy movie, with Juhi Chawla opposite him again. This was followed by a critically acclaimed performance as Arjun, a true lover in Subhash Ghai’s Pardes, who loved a woman for the Indian traditional values she possessed. There was more romance to follow with the movie Dil to Pagal Hai, another Yash Raj Films venture which was a superhit. Shah Rukh Khan won his third Filmfare Award for the Best Actor, for the role of Rahul, a stage director who is involved in a love triangle with Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor.

Shahrukh Khan with Kajol in hit movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Shahrukh Khan with Kajol in hit movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

The year 1998 saw his female fan following increase with the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which was Karan Johar’s first film as director, and Johar went on to become SRK’s best buddy. The movie starred Kajol, with whom SRK paired for the fourth time and Rani Mukherji, who was making her debut.

The film talked about falling in love in college life, which attracted the youth to watch it and one of his dialogues ‘Squeeze me’ is used often by boys in Indian colleges to show off their style to flirt with girls. Khan’s character Rahul Khanna proved that there can be no difference between friendship and love between a boy and girl if the feeling is strong, but since a huge difference does exist, it can destroy relationships. The movie was the first to be a pioneer in being a sell-out in international markets, having grossed USD $34.58 million.

But coming back to SRK, it had now been taken for granted that any of his top-notch performances especially with the movie being a hit, had to win him the Filmfare Best Actor Award and this was for the second consecutive time. He had now become a cult figure, especially amongst the youth and females going gaga with his cuteness; although by that time he turned 33.

Earlier in 1998 though, he returned to play the villain, but it was a double role in the film Duplicate, where he played the innocent Bablu and the gangster Manu. While his other acclaimed movie Dil Se which was directed by Mani Ratnam, was a hit amongst film critics in which SRK falls in love with a mysterious woman terrorist. The film will also be remembered for the song ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ where Shah Rukh dances with Malaika Arora Khan on the top of a moving train.

1999 was another tough year for him to contend with, following one release and that not faring well in the box office. Baadshah was a rare movie in which SRK played an uncharacteristic role of a detective, who was sharp but flippant which was comic. This was the movie which makes people call him the ‘Baadshah of Bollywood’ just like Amitabh Bachchan is called ‘Shahenshah’. However the 90s was definitely his decade with no other actor coming near to him when it came to having the maximum impact in the minds of the Indian and world audiences.

His daughter, Suhana Khan was born in the year 2000 which gave him the utmost happiness in an otherwise just above average year professionally. He starred in another Yash Raj film, Mohabbatein alongside the legendary Bachchan and several other debutants such as Uday Chopra, Jimmy Shergill and Jugal Hansraj. He played the role of an unconventional college teacher, who advocated the principle of enjoying life like a young boy or man, to spread happiness to others as well. It was both a box-office and critics’ success as SRK won the Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actor for the second time in his career, an award which then would not have attracted him so much as the Best Actor Award.

His other film Josh, again with the beautiful Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was an average grosser with Shah Rukh’s role of a tough Goa-based gangster reminding many of his role in Duplicate. His third movie of that year, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani was produced by his new production company Dreamz Unlimited. This was another average movie but as SRK says that whatever roles he has performed till date, he leaves a part of himself in it. This movie showed his patriotic side which he portrayed in a sweet and funny manner, with his business partner Juhi Chawla starring opposite him.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham - Shahrukh Khan's another hit movie with Kajol

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham - Shahrukh Khan's another hit movie with Kajol

Come 2001 and SRK was to collaborate again with KJo (Karan Johar), in his second directorial venture which was Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, a movie which is known over the years for an influential star cast as SRK was paired opposite Kajol, but had Amitabh Bachchan playing the role of his rich and rigid father while Jaya Bachchan played his loving mother.

He acted with his current pal Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor for the first time. SRK played the role of a man filled with class and maturity, yet with a heart to fall for a girl who was much poorer to him, with elegance. He was nominated for the Best Actor Award but the movie crossed over $ USD 19 million worldwide, making it a huge commercial success of 2001.

Shah Rukh experimented with Indian history by taking up the role of Asoka, the emperor with Kareena starring opposite him this time, the first of many such instances. In India, the movie performed below-average but it was internationally acclaimed, having been screened in Venice and Toronto film festivals respectively.

Shahrukh Khan in blockbuster Devdas

Shahrukh Khan in blockbuster Devdas

But 2002 saw his magnum opus performance as in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, which again brought up comparisons with Dilip Kumar’s performances in the old Devdas with some considering SRK’s effort far better.

The scene where he breaks a whiskey bottle on his head is a huge hit amongst fans, as he played the role of a depressed and rebellious man who was denied to pursue his love, played by Aishwarya Rai due to his family. It was not only a critical and commercial success in India and abroad, but also won the Baadshah another Best Actor Award.

The film ended with 10 Filmfare Awards and was nominated as India’s Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, not to mention a special screening at Cannes Film Festival.

Till the end of 2003, SRK was out of the wild until he came up with another role which would make even the most strongest of people weep. It was the role of Aman Mathur, a young, vibrant man full of life in the movie Kal Ho Naa Ho.

He had a perennial heart problem which made him sacrifice his love for Naina played by Preity Zinta and instead be her match maker to her best friend, Rohit played by Saif Ali Khan. His comedy with Saif was put beautifully, lightening the mood of what would have been a boring movie otherwise. But the important message his character gave is that it is important to smile and being happy living in the present, because you never know what tomorrow holds for you.

The following year though was one of the King’s very best as he revamped his production company Dreamz Unlimited which was not gaining much success, and renamed it as Red Chillies Entertainment which has existed till date and has produced some of the most high quality Hindi movies since the last eight years.

He produced the film Main Hoon Na, with his being the launch pad of his friend and noted choreographer Farah Khan’s directorial tenure. He starred in the film as well playing the role of Major Ram Prasad Sharma, which won him the appreciation of many critics although the movie was nothing great as such.

The same year though, saw him play the role of Veer Pratap Singh in yet another romantic Yash Raj film called Veer Zaara where he was paired opposite Preity Zinta who played the role of a Pakistani girl. This Indo-Pak love story was an indication that the strained relations between the countries had a scope to improve while ofcourse the main message being that love owes no boundaries, as SRK at the age of 39 was able to pull off the role of a lover in style.

His next film, Swades which was directed by the talented Ashutosh Gowariker made many respect him and not just love him for his acting. He went one step further to play the role of Mohan Bhargava, an NRI working for NASA, who gradually developed the love for his country and was moved by the plight of the poor people in the villages. This performance won him the Best Actor Award for the sixth time, which was way ahead of his contemporaries and resurgent competitors. This film could have been responsible for Shah Rukh funding a power project in five villages in Bihar in real life.

2005 was another dampener of a year for him as he turned 40, but his movie Paheli in which he was cast for the umpteenth time opposite Rani Mukherjee, was an international success with there being an Oscar’s nomination for being India’s official entry.

Come 2006 and SRK defying age found his prime. He starred in yet another KJo directed melodrama called Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, in the role of Dev Saran, a promising football player whose career comes to an end with an accident and as a result he becomes bitter towards his wife (played by Preity again) because of her success professionally. It was a commercial success abroad more than India and one of the highest grossing films of the year, as SRK had now made a name for himself across the globe with his work.

It was followed by the movie Don – The Chase Begins Again in the Diwali of 2006, with Shah Rukh Khan playing Don, the same role that Amitabh Bachchan played in the 1978 version of this movie. And SRK proved why he is the ideal No.2 to Bachchan when it comes to the list of Bollywood actors of all time, as he played a double role of the simplistic Vijay and the high profile international criminal Don equally well. The movie captured a significant mindshare in the star-struck India and SRK fans across the world, which prompted the producers to make a sequel to the movie and consequently, Don 2 released in December 2011.

His performance was even better than what it was five years ago, with this being his latest release. He made the Amitabh Bachchan dialogue ‘Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, naamumbkin hai’ (It is not just difficult to catch Don, but it is impossible) famous amongst many in his own style, especially kids even below the age of 10. Both the Don movies show his glamorous side and it kept his critics’ mouth shut who believe that he is still not a versatile actor, since he hesitates to perform action on-screen. Don 2 especially saw action scenes of international class, which were reminiscent of Hollywood movies such as Prison Break with SRK jumping off a building from a height of approximately 300 feet.

He decided to return to the television screens to connect to a wider audience, by accepting an offer to host the popular game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati which is a Hindi adaptation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’, in January 2007 replacing Bachchan once again. He did not have the charisma as him, but his way of being humorous as a TV presenter and his oratory skills won him appreciation from many. This lasted for three months, as he wished to discontinue following Amitabh wanting to return to the show.

But the channel Star Plus signed a contract with him to host the show ‘Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hai’, a copy of USA’s ‘Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?’ It was another quiz show but of a different kind. This stint lasted for another three months span with the channel wishing to shut shop off the show mainly due to SRK’s date problems. But come February 2011 and he was back on the small screen but with a different channel and show. On NDTV Imagine, he hosted a show called Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout, an adaptation of USA’s Wipeout. It was a 24-day show. The last of Shah Rukh’s stints on Indian television was on his buddy and director Karan Johar’s popular show on Star World called Koffee with Karan where he appears once every season to talk more about himself and present the truth of the events in his life to Indian viewers, who want to know so much about him.

Coming back to the movies, 2007 was the year which earned the King the maximum of commercial success as well as critics’ nods. In the summer, Yash Raj Films produced an unconventional themed movie as per their production. ‘Chak de India’ was a movie based on the lowly ranked Indian women’s hockey team which rises from the bottom to become world champions against all odds. SRK plays Kabir Khan, the suave looking and unselfish coach of the team. The passion with which he approaches the sport was effortless, and so the performance was energetic considering the fact that he was reminded of his youth when he was the captain of his school hockey team. Besides, he equaled the record of being the only lead actor in a movie with 16 girls to act with, Rishi Kapoor being the first to do so in Bollywood. All these factors combined in his seventh Best Actor Award victory.

The other movie was Om Shanti Om, again during the Diwali of 2007 which has now become one of his lucky dates in the calendar year. It was typically a past time, entertainer-type movie with the theme of reincarnation once again discussed about, as in Karan Arjun. This was Farah Khan’s second directorial venture and the movie was a huge commercial hit with Shah Rukh playing the role of a junior artiste Omprakash Makhija and the superstar Om Kapoor in style. His performance celebrated the evolution of Bollywood over the years and was versatile enough with there being enough drama, comedy, romance and action. SRK had specially built 6 pack abs due to a promise he had kept to Farah for appearing in a song with them, in one of her films since he could not during Main Hoon Na because he was injured. The item number “Dard-e-Disco’ was a revolution, topping the song charts for weeks.

However, since 2008 SRK has changed his style of working in films. He decided to be involved in only one release every year on an average, with two being the maximum limit. This is so that his films have more impact on the audience, who would be dying to see him on screen. As a result, he featured in only one movie, i.e., Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which was Aditya Chopra’s third film as director and another Yash Raj piece.

Anuskha Sharma and Sharukh Khan in Blockbuster Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Anuskha Sharma and Sharukh Khan in Blockbuster Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

This was a typical love story, but based in Punjab. Anushka Sharma the debutant, was paired opposite SRK who is close to twice her age. The movie was well received by many, with the Baadshah’s role as Raj, the fun-loving guy attracting the young male lovers while Suri, the simple and shy geek was a resemblance of a pure heart which had nothing but true love in it for his partner, who did not care for his love until the end of the movie! It was a blockbuster, bettering Aamir Khan’s Ghajini which released some weeks later. In both Indian and international markets.

Sharukh Khan owns Kolkata Knight Riders

Sharukh Khan owns Kolkata Knight Riders

The year also marked Shah Rukh buying the Kolkata franchise of the BCCI’s Indian Premier League for a massive $USD 75.09 million.

He named his team ‘Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) in order to appeal the youth to support the team. The auction followed where the best T20 Cricket players in world cricket were in this team, making it one of the pre-tournament favourites. The likes of West Indies’ Chris Gayle, Australia captain Ricky Ponting, the Kiwi Brendon McCullum, the Australia duo of David Hussey and Brad Hodge as well as the then upcoming Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma were picked in the squad, with the local hero Sourav Ganguly declared as captain and icon player.

The first season, though ended in a damp squib as the team finished sixth out of eight teams in the competition despite a 158 by McCullum in the curtain opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore as SRK danced if he had never done in a movie. Yet, KKR was the most profitable and successful franchise, with more than $USD 3 million as profit unlike the other seven franchises who struggled to break in the very first year.

Shah Rukh Khan and Sourav Ganguly seemed to be having issues with each other in terms of man-management and other administrative decisions. Which is perhaps the reason why Ganguly was removed as captain the very last minute to be replaced by McCullum for the second season which was to be held in South Africa, as SRK believed that the coach’s role was important in guiding the team to better performances. Kolkata finished at the bottom of the table but again were the most successful of all teams, as they were rated the highest in terms of brand value. It went to show SRK’s intelligence when it comes to marketing and the brand that he is in the eyes of Indian consumers. Currently, he has 21 endorsements which is the highest for any celebrity in India, with MS Dhoni, the Indian captain being second with 20. This shows that Shah Rukh is the man most Indians relate to, better than anyone else.

Kolkata’s commercial success continued in the third season but the reverse was happening on the field as the team again finished sixth despite Ganguly’s return as captain. This is where his patience was tested, and fortunately he had the option to revamp the entire roster for the 2011 season. SRK faced huge flak for not picking Ganguly in the team, but it was a successful marketing strategy for Kolkata to top the popularity charts again. Gautam Gambhir, incidentally from the area in Delhi where Shah Rukh used to live in his childhood, was appointed as captain of the side and by the end of the auction, KKR had the record of picking two of the most expensive players officially ever in IPL history. Gambhir was picked for $2,400,000 while the hard-hitting Indian all-rounder Yusuf Pathan was picked for $2,100,000. The other popular players in the side are South African legend Jacques Kallis, Australian Brett Lee, Englishman Eoin Morgan and Bangladesh’s Shakib al Hasan.

And the turnaround began. Since SRK’s focus was 60% on the on-field performance and 40% off the field, the vision of KKR changed. Eden Gardens in Kolkata did see predominantly empty seats for some of the matches at the beginning of the tournament perhaps in protest of Ganguly’s absence from the team, but the stadium started to fill up again as the team begun to win more matches than they lost. For the first time, the team had qualified into the last four only to lose to Mumbai Indians in the knockout match. Although the team earned lesser profits than in the first three years and losing out to Chennai Super Kings in terms of brand value, it was a small price to pay for a good performance for audiences to appreciate.

Kolkata somehow qualified for the Champions League 2011 as the fourth Indian team out of the ten teams from across the world playing. The team was unfortunately knocked out of the first round due to a low net run-rate, despite staging an impressive comeback in the last two games. But it gained more appreciation with SRK playing a double role here too, being KKR’s owner as well as the brand ambassador of the Champions League. It is expected that the team has a better 2012, and perhaps go on to win the IPL first.

This was all about cricket. Returning to Shah Rukh’s movies, there was not much of him in 2009 with guest appearances in Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance, his home production Billu where he played Sahir Khan the superstar, who was the reflection of the real life SRK to some extent and lastly Dulha Mil Gaya.

But come February 2010, and he was reunited with Kajol on-screen by Kjo in his directed ‘My Name is Khan’. SRK made it look like he had natural talent in his acting when he played the role of Rizwan Khan, a liberal Muslim who suffered from Asperger’s syndrome and yet inspiringly travelled across the USA to meet the President of the country only to tell them that Muslims are not terrorists as they were projected to be, after the September 2001 World Trade Centre attacks in New York.

Shahrukh Khan in My Name is Khan

Shahrukh Khan in My Name is Khan

Once again, his brilliant marketing skills came to the fore as it seemed like he was purposely detained at New York Airport in real life during a promotional tour because of his surname ‘Khan’ which was the same as some terrorists in the US watch list.

While in India, he used the IPL to promote the film as the issue going on those days was that of permitting Pakistani cricketers to play in the tournament. Since this issue contained Islamic sentiments, SRK said that they should be allowed, although he did not pick any player in the IPL auction due to pressure from the Indian government or as a compromise with the other seven teams. It created a huge uproar with Shiv Sena, a radical political party in Mumbai threatening SRK, but the issue died down after the film’s release. In India, the film did reasonably well but internationally the thoughts portrayed through the film were given accolades and the King’s portrayal as an autistic man was given huge approval by autistic centres across the world. The role also won SRK the Filmfare best actor award for the eighth time, equalling the record of one of his idols Dilip Kumar.

Following this film, it seemed as if the actor had taken a sabbatical but returned with his most ambitious project till date, Ra.One which he promoted vigorously during the Champions League T20 2011 as its brand ambassador.

Ra.One - Shahrukh Khan's dream project

Ra.One - Shahrukh Khan's dream project

The movie attempted to match up to international standards with SRK leaving no stone unturned in making it atleast a commercial success, by working day and night with the best available technicians, scriptwriters, directors to name a few.

It is the most expensive film ever made in Bollywood and the second most in Indian cinema, as it took close to $USD 25 million, with shooting taking place in London and Mumbai and in the Red Chillies VFX Studios with the maximum of special effects. But only SRK seems to have the money, desire and the class to make Indian cinema go global in its approach, unlike his competitors and this is his unique selling point (USP).

The movie did extremely well across the world as profits were made from day 1 itself, which was again Diwali in the year 2011. The song ‘Chammak Challo’ was one of the few Hindi songs sung by an American, i.e. Akon and is a blockbuster song till date. Ra One easily beat Salman Khan’s Bodyguard by being a higher grosser in foreign markets. While 2011 ended for SRK with another superhit, Don 2.

Besides his professional life, it is said that he is arrogant, which is a misperception. He has been involved in immense charity work but never talks about it much in the media. He is one of the members of the Board of Directors of the Make-a-Wish foundation in India and has helped the Indian government in several health campaigns such as polio, AIDs and the National Rural Health Mission. In Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital, he created a children’s ward in the memory of his mother. Last year, he collaborated with Amitabh Bachchan and James Bond’s character ‘M’, Judi Rench to promote Oscar-winning sound mixer Resul Pookutty’s foundation which helps in improving the living conditions of underprivileged children in India.

While in his personal life, he is a loving husband and a doting father to his children. He has had no major link-ups with his co-stars and his squeaky clean image makes him dear to all. Despite being a staunch Muslim, he does worship Hindu gods due to his wife being a Hindu. He owns one of the biggest mansions by a Bollywood actor, ‘Mannat’ which is again in the posh Bandra area of Mumbai

He made it big in the industry in tough times and he had nobody’s favours unlike Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, two of his biggest rivals. Besides, Aamir has the intellectual capacity while Salman has raw talent, but SRK has proved it for 20 years in the running that to be successful in your profession, it is not talent but attitude that matters the most. He is an all-round actor, despite not being the best in terms of both looks and skills.

And this is a reason why Shah Rukh Khan should be a role model for everyone, especially for youngsters who aspire to become something substantial in life on his own ability. The motto to his success is simply ‘Hardwork and intelligence’. When these two combine in a person, he can do wonders to the world in whatever he chooses to do.

Therefore it is no surprise that he is also known as a ‘global Indian’.

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