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February 13, 2010

I am a fan of Shahrukh's

All of us try to belong. We want to be accepted. And in this effort to be accepted, we tend to hide some of our interests, fears and feelings. Over the last few years, I have made many acquaintances and a few close friends. However, I have found that most of the time, I tend to agree with certain schools of thoughts just in order to belong. Yes, I have also had those moments, just a few though, where I express exactly what I feel, caring less about whether or not that thought of mine will be accepted. However, today’s post is not about the wish to belong or break away. It is about something else. Something that I have ended up hiding from people - even from myself, I guess – in order to belong. Today, I would just like to break away and tell you that I AM A FAN OF SHAHRUKH’S. Yes, the actor.

I am part of different kind of social circles, some formed by familial ties, some by society around, and others by choice. Now, there are circles where watching Hindi movies is not considered hep enough. And there are circles where commercial Hindi cinema is not cinema at all. Then there are those groups that think there is no better actor than Aamir Khan, and SRK is a ‘mere’ superstar. And there are those groups that appreciate SRK for his business acumen but not his acting prowess. There is also a small bunch of people who appreciate SRK for what he has achieved. But I have never been a part of a group that adores SRK. Yes, I do know people who love him, but I have never really tried to belong there. So, why I am saying what I am saying today. Because it is the truth. I AM A FAN OF SHAHRUKH’S.

No, I don’t drool over him or see him in my dreams. I like the guy. For more reasons than one. Is it the recent Sena-SRK controversy that makes me talk about him today? No. That statement from him is something that was not really unexpected. And I expected him to say all the things he said in those follow-up interactions with the media. I like the guy when he talks. Yes, I do hide behind my curtains when he cracks silly jokes at important conventions. But I still like the guy. He is intelligent and witty. (I will be getting brickbats for the ‘witty’ part.)

There are many reasons I like the guy and yet, there are many times, I look at the screen from between my fingers and go, “Why! Why on earth does he have to do that?” So, you know, I am definitely not his biggest fan. But I AM DEFINITELY A FAN.

Now, coming back to ‘why today’? Well, this post was in the offing. The other day, after a discussion on SRK, MNIK, Shiv Sena, the Thackerays, M casually remarked, “Didi! You’re a big fan of Shahrukh’s!” I was offended. Yes, ‘offended’ is the right word here. For long, I have tried to keep myself from accepting that I am his fan. And M said it on my face. And then lightning struck me. I wouldn’t shy away from accepting I am SRK’s fan, I thought. However, the opportunity of going all ahead with my plan could not happen until today.

Today, while roaming the streets of Bangalore, S, D, A and I decided to watch a movie. While S and D were game for any movie (they asked us if we wanted to watch My Name is Khan), A and I wanted to watch Rann. But soon we realized if there was any movie we could watch today at that time, it was MNIK. After a frantic drive to Fame Forum and realizing the movie was running houseful, we went to Innovative in Marathalli. Now, this is one place where you can buy a ticket the very last minute.

Had it not been for S and D, we wouldn’t have watched My Name is Khan today, or for that matter, any other day. I don’t really deserve to be SRK’s fan, do I? I had made up my mind about the movie. It couldn’t be good. After all, it was Karan Johar dealing with terrorism, Islam, 9/11, and autism. Not quite his territory. So, I was sceptical. I also wondered if SRK would be able to pull off a character that has Asperges syndrome. No, I don’t doubt his capability, and I would have been more than ok if he were acting in a ‘serious’ director’s film. KJo didn’t give me much confidence in the film.

So, how I liked the film? Well, I liked it. Yes, I did. Is the movie larger than life? Absolutely. Does it have Karan Johar moments? Many. And yet, it touches you. The movie or its characters never sermonize. That’s the biggest plus point in the movie. There are many typical filmy moments, and yet there is something that stays with you beyond the closing credits. My Name is Khan is a simple movie. I didn’t love every frame of the movie but I liked it overall. And I liked Shahrukh in it. I know many will tell me that he overacted or find a dozen of technical faults in his portrayal of the protagonist. But you know what, I really don’t care. I liked him.

I can talk about many things in the movie – its pluses and its minuses. But I won’t. Because this post is not a typical review. It is simply about me accepting the fact that I AM A FAN OF HIS.

Is Shahrukh god for me? No. Have I loved all his performances? Absolutely not. Do I think he can act? Absolutely. Do I think he overacts? Yes. Do I like him? Oh, yes.

1. While we were looking for a film to watch and a theatre to watch it in, S kept saying that he wanted to watch MNIK especially because Shiv Sainiks were causing a ruckus in Mumbai. S wanted to show support to SRK and the movie. He is definitely a bigger fan.

2. I write Shahrukh instead of Shah Rukh because I have always felt that’s what his name is.


Deepa said...

When I read this post, I didn't know what to comment. I felt it is all about your acceptance of being SRK's fan, so there was nothing much to comment about, except for saying that I've been his fan for years right from watching him on Fauji. Then, if I have to say something about being-a-fan, I would say it does not mean we have to idolize or fantasize him. Like you've said, there are times we appreciate the work & there are times we are embarrassed on the flip side. We definitely can be the simple fans.

As for the movie, WE liked it. I didn't know what the storyline was all about, so there were absolutely no expectations.

Anuradha Sinha said...

:) Yeah, Deepa... for most of us, it started with Fauji.

As per the movie, you know, I had expected the worst. :)

Sujatha Praveen said...

Not sure what was the exact message you like to convey. But for any reason, if this writing is inspired by SRK’s recent remarks against some anti state element (anti national will be too harsh) then I beg to defer. No no…..Don’t think that I am against his point of view or disagree on what he said. In fact I in 100% agreement but after seeing the support he received from people, that now I am a great fan of Indians and the changing mindset. Lastly I would like to admit that I watch all the SRK’s movie but that’s true for others movie as well:)
Good work Anu !!

Arun S said...

Now that you have announced that you are an SRK fan, can we expect posters of India's biggest film star on your wall?

PJs aside, I thought the post was incredibly well-writteb, with more than a window open to your now-liberated mind. I am sure you feel better after the confession, don't you?

I wonder why it took this long for you to admit that you arer a fan. If Shah Rukh lacks anything, it is certainly not charisma. I guess you were in denial because you wanted to belong, because you thought that being an SRK fan would make you look less intellectually endowed than you really are.

So, how does it feel to be out in the open as an SRK fan? Ten pounds lighter now that you have unloaded the burden of truth that you had carried for so many years?
I am yet to see My Name is Khan,. but I don't think the movie will convert me into a fan of the actor in him. For me at least, he is far too limited as an actor, and it does not help that there are many other actors around him that make him look shorter than he really is.

Do I like the man? I think I do. I like the fact that he is still with his wife after two decades and has been untainted by scandal of the heterosexual kind (that must take some serious restraint in an industry that throws up pretty faces at the rate of three a minute.) I like him for milking the limited acting talent that he has to the best of his ability. I smile when I think how successful he has been in making us believe, at least fleetingly, that style can sometimes be a substitute for substance.

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