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Aditya Chopra talks about SRK

Here is Aditiya Chopra talks about SRK in a new SRK book ‘SRK 25 Years of A Life on Shah Rukh Khan’, written by Samar Khan.

I’ve made three movies with Shah Rukh, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Three movies mean three characters and three stories. But in my head, all three stories are actually one person’s story. They are just three different versions of the same person. In DDLJ, I made Shah Rukh play this adorable, rich, spoilt lover-boy. He is a bad boy but he has a heart of gold. He is the kind of boy that girls are irresistibly drawn to; the stylish rogue that every girl wants to tame. Initially, I had wanted to make a trilogy based on the character’s life at different stages. Over time, the stories evolved and changed, but yes, in a way, all of Shah Rukh’s three characters draw from each other and are interconnected. When I thought of how Raj would be 10 years after DDLJ, if he had lost the love of his life, the answer was Raj Aryan Malhotra. That was the starting point for his character in Mohabbatein. With Surinder Sahni, I was trying to portray the Raj that is hidden in each one of us. In our own love stories, we are all Raj and Simran. But just because we don’t have the paraphernalia ” the leather jackets and the Harley Davidsons ” is our story any lesser? It was a very sudden realisation brought about by a very everyday thing. I saw someone from my office buy flowers and chocolates for his girlfriend or wife. And it made me realise that deep down, we all try to be the Raj that we see onscreen. Surinder Sahni is that common man who is trying to bring a little bit of the magic of movies in his own married life. Just like the character of Raj, my relationship with Shah Rukh has also evolved over the last two decades. When we cast him for Darr, to be honest, neither dad, nor I really liked him. He was working on Rakesh Roshan’s King Uncle then and we had managed to get our hands on the reel of some footage. Neither of us were very impressed but somehow, maybe because everyone kept rejecting the negative part, we ended up signing him. Our first shot with him was the Holi song. I think that very day itself, I knew that this man was going to be a superstar. He had a strange kind of madness in his eyes that was very exciting. I was the first assistant director on Darr. We became casual friends, but it wasn’t like we were so pally that I’d hang out with him over beer. When I decided to make my DDLJ, I knew I had to have Shah Rukh. Mostly because in those days, Shah Rukh Khan was two people at once. There was the Shah Rukh the actual person and there was the image that he projected. Most of his roles were about this brash, arrogant and aggressive person ” all the things he isn’t in real life. A good boy was playing a bad boy. In real life, he was an honest, well-read, kind boy. And that is the side of him I wanted to bring out in Dilwale… I wanted to flip his image over. Also, I didn’t want someone who had done a love story before. I wanted the reel Shah Rukh to make the transition to the real Shah Rukh in Dilwale… So no one else would do. Initially, Shah Rukh wasn’t excited by the script. He was expecting an action hero’s role and I was asking him to play a soft, romantic character. It’s not that he didn’t like the story; it was just that it was very unexpected for him. I think being Yash Chopra’s son gave me an advantage here. His respect and reverence for my dad wouldn’t allow him to say no to me. But I think that mentally, he came onboard a 100 per cent while shooting Trimurti. Lots of fans would come to meet the stars on the sets. One day an old lady who had been waiting to meet him, told him, “Tum itne acche ho, acche roles kyun nahi karte?” I think the woman’s words changed something in him. By then, we had the kind of equation where I knew his dreams and aspirations for the future. I knew his ultimate goal was to become the biggest superstar in the country. I told him that he’d have to become every mother’s son, every sister’s brother and above all, every woman’s fantasy to realise his superstar dream. I told him that in DDLJ, there would be no fight sequences, no blood and chains. He would have just himself to tell his story. That was the day he said yes to the film. In retrospect, I think that old woman was an angel sent by God. By the time we started making Mohabbatein, I think I had started taking Shah Rukh for granted. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi happened under very strange circumstances. The company wasn’t doing well and I needed to make a movie to get the company’s finances rolling. But at the same time, I didn’t want to make a movie just for the sake of it. When I made Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, I could have made a far bigger film with a star-studded cast. But the only story that compelled me was that of a simple man and his simple life. That is when I had the extraordinary-in-the-ordinary epiphany about love. I went to London for three weeks and came back with a finished script. I called Shah Rukh and told him I wanted to start shooting in three months and he said yes instantly. When I narrated the role of Surinder to Shah Rukh, he got very excited. One day he walked into my office with a pile of notes and started telling me how Suri would walk, how he would speak, his clothes, his mannerisms, everything. I had never seen him do so much homework for anything. I think the contrast in the two characters he’s portraying in the film appealed to Shah Rukh’s own dual personality. Over the years, as a producer, a director and a friend, I have seen Shah Rukh perform multiple characters and portray all kinds of emotions. But I’ve always felt, and still feel that Shah Rukh doesn’t laugh whole-heartedly. His laughter never reaches his eyes. Somehow, it’s always a bit hollow, a bit fake. I think that maybe that has something to do with the fact that he lost his parents very early in life. I don’t think he ever got over that loss. As an actor, I think he is the best actor in the whole world and that we’ve seen only 10 per cent of his talent. That 90 per cent is still to come and blow us away. As a filmmaker and a friend, I hope that soon, he is offered roles that tap into the remaining 90 per cent. l hope I can give him roles that tell the world, ‘You’ve seen Shah Rukh the superstar, now see Shah Rukh the actor.”
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(13) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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A boys' school in Delhi, St. Columba's school was founded in 1941. It's run by diciplined catholic brothers. It has preschool to 12th grade. vast lawn school yards, a cathedral and abundant school buildings. For SRK, the school in Mumbai which children are attending seems far too small comparing with this school. He is very thankful and proud of the education he had here.

At this school, SRK spent 13 years of golden school life. Diciplined brothers were very strict anb they scolded SRK and other students for the longer hair or finger nails when they found through sudden examination. SRK had several times sent to the local barbar shop to trim his hair. Early morning, yawning barbar was woken up to cut SRK's famous wired hair.

Sometimes students were bodily punished. Lower grade students were spanked and middle school onward were caned. SRK received some canes on his palm throughout his school life Still he loved the teachers very much. Teachers like Ms. Bala in preschool, Mrs. Rai Singh, the class teacher of 8th gradde was very gentle, Hindi Teacher Mrs. Hadam was idolized by all the boys. SRK studied Hindi hard to impress Mrs. Hadam. He also entered speech contest which could have nurtured his outstanding eloquence.

Among all those teachers, Eric DeSuza, the high school class teacher gave the biggest influence on him. Brother Eric was a monk and he was strict but at the same time he was an incredibly cool guy. SRK and his class mates often visited his room where brother Eric in shorts out of frock treated Nimbu Paani to everyone. He played western music and played the guitar well. SRK and friends sang to the guitar, listened to Rock and pop music. He even started to smoke in the brother's room.

One time, Brother Eric planned and directed a fundraising play for the new laboratory room. It was "Wiz" which is a musical based on the "Wizard of OZ". SRK played one of the main characters. He wanted to sing himself though Parash Sen in senior was chosen to sing. So he became SRK's first playback singer. Parash later became the lead vocalist of famous Indian rock band Euphoria. The performance "Wiz" was a big success. They could save enough money to build a new lab after one month of performance. This was SRK's first serious acting work.
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Euphoria
Euphoria "Tum"

If SRK steps into a time machine? [Songs & Scenes]

In this interview, he looks so exhausted. But when it comes to Old Hindi films, he is all smile. He must have a lot of good memories with his mother on old films.

2:56
Q. If you are to step into a time machine, which actress would you like to romance in Bollywood?

3:05
Lots of them. I think Madhubala. I think she's gorgeous, beautiful. Saira Banu, my all time favorite. Saira Banu ji."

3:21
And Rekha ji. You know I'd like to go and romance with her. Or whatever chance I got in terms of the role of acting with her.

I'll go and take some time machine and do one of the songs. "Pehle De Do Mera Paanch Rupaiya Baarah Anna" with Madhubala. I'd like to do that one, yeah. 
Here is the tune he'd like to do with Madhubala,

The song is from the film ”Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi ”. It was released in 1958 when SRK was not even born. Mommy's influence is huge on him..Saira Banu's bath songwas nice too. But this one is cute. I love singing, listening and watching retro filmy songs. Love the part "Panchee rupayaa bhala anaaa ahahaha". Sounds like yodel.

The hero of the film is Kishor Kumar. Retro filmy song lovers should know his name as a fantastic play back singer, You can tell that he was a great actor too. His move tells me what SRK' studied when he does "Dhoom Taana" in Om shanti Om.
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From 6:05, SRK and Rani are dancing to this song at Kishor Kumar's tribute concert. Enjoy!

I love classic Hindi films. However, there are too many films to choose good ones. I don't know what I should watch. I am trying to follow what SRK mentions. I watched "Hum Dono (1961)" for he sang the song "Abhi Naa Jao" and I enjoyed the film very much. I wouldn't have boring life when I'm older. A lot of Hindi films to watch. I'm looking forward to retirement.
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《Note》
He clearly said that he is not lip-lock kissing with Kareena in Ra. One. Relieved to hear it.

(12) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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Shah Rukh stopped writing poems after Meer's death. He lost motivation without father pleasantly recording his work. However, Shah Rukh could eventually manage to get over the loss of father while Shehnaz never could. He could get by mainly because of the presence of one exceptional woman, mother Fatima.

Meer's medication literary emptied the family's humble savings. Fatima continued to work day and night to make ends meet. What's exceptional about Fatima is that she kept the seemingly hard life enjoyable in a lighthearted manner.

Aunt Fatima was charming, mad and cheerful. Eccentric, energetic and always relaxed. She laughed, joked and worked hard. (SRK's old friend Divya)


She doted on Shah Rukh and by all means worked hard in order not to let him feel inferior being fatherless. She was willing to do anything for her son. Later when Shah Rukh wanted a car to drive to collage, she worked hard to make sure a car to be delivered before he entered the collage. It must have been expensive for a middle class household to own a car back then, though Fatima wanted to give Shah Rukh whatever he wished to have. It shows contrast to Meer's attitude toward materials in life.

Another thing which supported Shah Rukh's recovery was his school life at Saint Columba's. He was, as very much like he is now, energetic, flamboyant and hard working. He did great in academic subjects as well as sports because he hated to lose in any field as he does now. He was especially into sports and was a captain of soccer, cricket and hockey teams. In a boys' school and three most popular sports among boys, how a single student could be the captain of all three clubs is hard to comprehend. But apparently, Shah Rukh was such student. His body is small unlike his father but he has extraordinary reflexes. He was especially great at hockey and he could hit the goal from anywhere in the field. He was dreaming to become a representative athlete for the country.
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(11) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

Meer Taj Mohammad Khan, the youngest freedom fighter, a never actually inaugurated lawyer, an unsuccessful businessman and a poet who didn't leave his work, died at the age of 52 on 19th of September in 1980. He could not see the son's stupendous success when he was alive.

Meer's silent body came home and Fatima made Shah Rukh go to Lady Sri Ram Collage to fetch his sister. Shehnaz was staying in a dormitory upon father's wish. She was puzzled and anxious to see her brother but they took rikshaw home. Shah Rukh looked away to avoid her asking eyes. He was told by Fatima not to tell her Meer's death until they get home for she would definitely get overly upset.
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When they arrived at the house in Safdarjung, there were many people coming in and out. Shehnaz stepped into the house and the first thing she had glanced was the body of her beloved father, wrapped in white cloth lying in the middle of the room. She was devastated and completely shattered. Then slowly fell down just like an axed tree. The impact Shehnaz had at that time was so strong and she hasn't really recovered even now. It had changed the life of a healthy, intelligent, dreamy and laughter girl's life forever. She became silent and depressed ever since.

Shah Rukh did not shed tears. The eighth grade boy was made to become one of six pallbearers and he felt grown up all of a sudden. In the patriarchal society like India, losing father is undoubtedly the worst thing happen in a family. Shah Rukh was angry with the destiny who took Meer away and also felt responsible for he was the only male in the family.

When they lowered the long coffin of long Meer to lay in the pit, it rained silently as if trying to ease Shah Rukh's fury.


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《To be continued》


《おまけ》 iamsrk@Twitter
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30 yrs ago this day my dad died. never said wot i should be.i want to be a gentle & funny father more than any other title. miss him lots. 4:11 PM Sep 19th, 2010 via web

on days when issues surround me that need strength..i wish he was here to beat up all.my dad was the strongest...& the handsomest. 16:16:11 via web

i dont remember my dads skin...his touch or his voice anymore. only his eyes...& his smile..full of promise that he will always be there.16:19:25 via web

one last thing before i miss my dad even more. all of you go & give a hug to ur dads once a week, without reason. fathers like that. i know. 16:27:14 via web


(10) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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"Friends, doctor says I have cancer."

I knew what cancer was. I'd heard of people die from cancer. I just never had related the disease with myself or my family. I couldn't possibly think of cancer with my father. People never really think of things until it actually happens to them.


A persistent and annoying blister on the tongue took Meer to a doctor. There he was diagnosed for cancer. Advanced and malignant. It was some weeks after they came back from Peshawar. The blister worsen and badly suffered Meer. It caused horrible pain and frequent bleeding from the mouth. Meer became unable to eat. Then eventually unable to talk. He communicated by writing notes.

Meer was hospitalized. He was in a common room with three other patients. Shah Rukh often visited him. Shehnaz could hardly visited for she was in a dormitory of Lady Shri Ram Collage. Shehnaz was 20 years old and adored her father more than anything in the world. She inherited his fair skin, gray eyes and slender figure. She was also as dreamy as Meer. For Shah Rukh and Shehnaz, Meer was literally someone to look up to. They never had a slightest doubt about his victory over the illness.

When Shah Rukh opened the door, Meer's eyes caught his. While he lost his voice, his eyes were so talkative. His rolling eyes were saying,
"Hi son! Well, it's hard. But I'm bearing up somehow".

Sometimes, one of the four beds was empty. It meant the patient finally lost his battle with illness and left the physical body behind. It frightened Shah Rukh to death when he saw Meer's bed was empty, but it was when Meer was taken to the chemo therapy. He never lost his hair from the therapy like other people.

Treatment cost them fortune. Meer needed over 10 injections a month and each injection cost 5000 rupees. Fatima worked hard round the clock to earn the money. She worked as a local magistrate during the day, and as a co-owner of a restaurant at night.

In spite of her effort, Meer's strong Pathan body gradually perished as the days go by. It took six months to completely conquer him. He became weak and thin as a skeleton. He couldn't pick up a pen to write notes anymore. He then gestured to tell people what he needed. Shah Rukh also gestured back. Their sad silent game continued in the quiet room in the hospital.

Shah Rukh's hope did not die despite the obviously critical condition of Meer. He thought that Meer could create miracle for he was a real superhero to him. In fact, Meer did show a sign of recovery and he was allowed to visit home shortly. Meer went home and shaved after a long time. He even ate some icecream and made Shah Rukh relieved.

Meer went back to the hospital next day. By then, his battle and medication in the hospital had become a daily routine for Shah Rukh. He didn't visit hospital on the day Meer went back.

After the midnight, a phone call awoke Fatima. It was from the hospital. It was telling Meer's death. Fatima woke Shah Rukh up saying,
"Come on, daddy wants to see us."

Meer was laid in the middle of the morgue. His body was already cold as ice. Shah Rukh rubbed his feet vigorously wanting to bring the warmth back. Eyes without gentle teasing light, a drop of blood from the ear... Shah Rukh marked the details of Meer's final presence in his memory forever.

The day broke and they had to go home for now. Driver had already gone leaving their Fiat parked. Shah Rukh naturally sat behind the wheel and let Fatima get in and drove off. After a while, Fatima said, as if she had just noticed
"Since when have you known how to drive?".
Shah Rukh answered,
"Just now."

Shah Rukh Khan, 14 years and ten months old. Amidst of the adolescence. It was too heavy for a rite of passage.


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(9) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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Meer had been long denied for Pakistan entry because he used be acting against the separation. He could not go home dacades. When his sister died and when his favorite brother who had a nickname "Brhamachari" died he applied for visa but rejected.

Brhamachari is one of four vedic periods of life and it's the phase from adolescence to pre-marriage period. The Brhamachari in Meer's family did nod marry for life. He sang, mimic and dance sometimes even in drag. His unique personality stood out in his Pathan family members. Meer and relatives thought SRK took over his genes.

Past mid 70s, Meer's plead of coming home before all the family would be gone was finally granted. He'd finally got the Pakistani Visa. 1978, Meer went back to the hometown tracing the road he walked over 30 years ago., this time by train and with his 12 year old son. They went to Amritsar first and then to Attari, a small border town. They walked the no-man's land to Wagha in Pakistan to enter. It was the only route to cross the border at that point of time. By the way, this border is now famous for the elaborated daily closing ceremony by the both armies.

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Qissa Khawani Bazaar


Shah Rukh was warmly welcomed by the relatives in Peshawar. Generations of relatives were living together in a Haveli, residence including cousins in Shah Rukh's generation. He had good time frolic around like singing and dancing wearing Kajal and flowers. Female cousins hid themselves when they go out but in the Haveli they emerged their beautiful fair skinned faces with make up. Shah Rukh wen to bazaar, Kyber Pass or Kabul in Afghanistan for excursion with relatives. They spent one enjoyable month with their Pathan relatives.

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Kyber Pass


Two years later, Meer and Shah Rukh visited Peshawar again. Long dusty local train ride, staying at uncomfortable hotels without reservation, trip with Meer was far from luxury. Besides, the second visit was not as carefree and delightful as last time. Relatives in Peshawar made Meer come to sign the contract stating his abandonment of the family assets. Shah Rukh noticed his father had been unusually grim but didn't know why until someone told him later. After decades of longing home, Meer was claimed to separate from his own family.

Cousins in Peshawar are proud of SRK now and some of them name their child after him. SRK treats them well when they see each other. He often comments his father is from Peshawar and he is half Pathan proudly. However, he has never visited Peshawar since the last time he went with Meer.

Coming back to Delhi brought back the daily routine. One day, Meer came home and said.

"Yaara, doctor saab kah raha hai mujhe cancer hai"


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《to be continued》

《appendix: see 0:50》



(8) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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Feeling thrilled in the queue for tickets, dark theater, squeaky chairs and big screen. Movie theater completely fascinated Shah Rukh. His idols were Mumtaz and Saira Banu. He danced with swiveling hips to the tunes of their films from the All India Radio which was the only radio station back then.

I like Saira in the "Bhai Batur" number from "Padosan". I would get into a bathtub and perform that song.


I loved Mumtazji in the film "Brahmachari".


Shah Rukh's mimic was popular even at school. He performed Raj Kapoor at a school function upon the request of teachers. He performed drama on his balcony with friends using Fatima's sheets as curtains. He wrote, acted and directed the play there.

When he grew up a little more, he was enchanted by Amitabh Bachchan. There were long struggling disputes in Indian politics when SRK was a child. India had war with Pakistan and the dispute lingered for years and years. There were food shortages and severe poverty. Anti government movement escalated and from 1975 to 77, India imposed a state of emergency nationwide. Fatima supported President Gandhi and she attended several rallies.
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Under such circumstance, Bachchan's "Angry Youngman" figure dominated from 70s to early 80s. Shah Rukh, sister Shehnaz and her class mate Amrita Singh who would become a Bollywood actress later fled to cinema halls after school. They sat on the cheapest front row which cost 1 rupee 75 paisa and watched Amitabh films. After the movie, they go to Amrita's house and talked about the film, mimicked Bachchan's lines.

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Shah Rukh wanted to be like Amitabh and copied his panther-like walk and cool talks, while Amrita wanted to romance with him. These are just normal teenage dreams but what's special about Shah Rukh and Amrita is that they actually fulfilled these dreams.
タグ:Classic Amitabh

(7) Shah Rukh Khan Story [Shah Rukh Khan Story]

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Meer's upbringing was totally spiritual. Even though they were not quite poor, he never bought SRK toys or took him to a Zoo. Instead, he took Shah Rukh to a round-about of the road and let him watch cars.

We will sit here. Just watch the cars passing by. If you see it the way I see it, it's very enjoyable.


One day he gave a 5 paisa coin to little Shah Rukh and let him ride on a crowded bus.

Don't be afraid. Just get off at the 10th stop and wait for me.


How thrilling it was for little SRK. He learnt from Meer how to enjoy the simple daily matters and chores with altered status of mindfulness. And how to observe things thoroughly. I believe it affected to his acting skills.

His mimicry talent is reputable and it owes to his observation skill. He unconsciously mimics the people around him superbly when he refers to what they say. We can see Amitabh Bachchan, Yash Chopra, Karan Johar, his father or mother through him like a medium. He could observe the common people closely at the quiz show KBC and it contributed a lot to his acting of Suri in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

Meer also said that...

If you always look at salts and peppers, how can you conceive the idea like going to the Moon.


Shah Rukh and Meer was a good team. Early in the morning, Meer used warm some milk for Shah Rukh. He stopped from some point and instead they started to take a walk to the milk stand and SRK drank milk from the tap.

In the evening, as soon as the dog they kept started to bark, Shah Rukh rushed out. He ran to the corner to see the tall silhouette of Meer coming back. He snatched father's bag and they walked home together.

How he wished to become like his calm, gentle and humorous father.

Fatima's upbringing was much more practical. One day when SRK was in the first grade, he had a terrible grade on Hindi. Fatima said,

If you get a full mark, I'll take you to see a movie.

SRK was not keen to study Hindi for he thought English was much more cooler than his mother tongue as a child. But Fatima's word set fire on his competitive spirit and he started to work hard on the subject. Consequently he not only got full marks but later was honored for the excellency in Hindi.

The first cinema little Shah Rukh saw at a theater on Fatima's purse was "Joshila". It's an early work of Mr.Yash Chopra who would direct numbers of legendary films with SRK later.

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《to be continued》

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