As the years rolled by, this little boy grew into a strong and tough human being, imbibing the qualities of excellence, exuberance and respect, which are displayed in his behavior and interactions with Bollywood and his fans.
Enter 1988, and this fully grown adult decides to pursue a career in acting. His father lost his battle with Cancer. Shahrukh was too shattered but vowed to take care of his mother and sister. He grew up and fell in love with a Hindu girl. He traveled to Mumbai to woo her and won her over. Mr. Fate intervened once again and he lost his mother in Delhi. Depressed and lost, he came to Mumbai and told his film maker friend, “One day I am going to rule this city.” The journey was tough, with twists and turns from all sides. He did not have a family background of acting, nor was he acquainted with the tough head-to-head competition in the world acting. He had chosen to tread an unknown path because he wanted to live his dream.
Two years minus the last decade of the millennium, Amitabh Bachchan had made his comeback to Bollywood with a monster hit Shahenshah and was looking on to make history with Agneepath in the years to come.
Shahrukh, who had started his journey just a year before, signed his contract with a retired Indian army officer Colonel R.K. Kapur to play the main lead of Abhimanyu Rai in a TV series, Fauji, which transformed him into an overnight celebrity. He gained instant popularity due to the charm, peppiness and the exuberance with which he essayed the role. The success paved way for Khan’s next series, Circus, and his foray into acting.
While people were relishing the antics of Angry Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor, one man dared to rise above the horizon and compete with these already proclaimed veterans. He knew he didn’t offer the best roles. He knew he wasn’t the best actor. What he did know is that he was driven by a passion yet to be matched by anyone in the world of cinema.
After the death of his parents, he’d moved to Mumbai and married Gauri Chibber, a Hindu, on 25th October 1991. They have two children, son Aryan (b. 1997) and daughter (b. 2000). At home, next to idols of Hindu gods he has the Koran. The most important thing is that “the children should know about the value of God”.
The decade of 90s began and it provided an opportunity for young stars to rise, one of them being Shahrukh Khan. He made his Bollywood debut with one of the best actors the film fraternity had to offer, Rishi Kapoor and Divya Bharti, and was able to make an immediate impact. He earned his first Filmfare, for Best Debutant that year.
His constant improvement on the big screen and his charm, coupled with the positive crowd reaction, propelled the industry to spotlight him. Shahrukh was giving constant hits on the box office in early 90s. Flicks like Chamatkar, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Baazigar, Darr, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Anjaam and Karan Arjun earned him Best Actor awards, Critic Awards and recognition on Cinema radar. Many people who question his ability as an actor need to watch these movies; especially Baazigar, Darr ad Anjaam. He played negative roles with such skill that he popularized the Bad Guys. During this time, he starred in a number of unsuccessful and controversial ventures too. These included the likes of Maya Memsaab, King Uncle and Guddu. Albeit of this, he still made the audience cheer for him.
Shahrukh continued his rise to the top and got the biggest push in 1995 with the release of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayengey (DDLJ). Earning over Rs 755 million in India and overseas, the film became the biggest hit of the year, as wells as one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time. The movie remains the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema, completing 750 weeks of continuous play in Mumbai theaters as of February 2010. It was also listed among the only two Hindi films in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list (the other being Mother India). The film bagged most number of awards that year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Dialog. The film created an eternal legacy and is considered one of the most romantic movies of all time. In 1998, Khan starred in Karan Johar’s directorial debut,Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which was the biggest hit of the year. His performance won him his fourth Best Actor award at the Filmfare.
His mainstream success continued with Aditya Chopra’s 2000 film, Mohabbatein, co-staring Amitabh Bachchan. In the same year, he set up his own production house, Dreamz Unlimitedwith Juhi Chawla. His work with Karan Johar continued as he collaborated on the family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. He also received favorable reviews for his performance as Emperor Asoka in the historical epic,Asoka. In the years to come, he’d cemented his stardom and was giving only good films. He gave award winning performance in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas and a tearjerker Kal Ho Na Ho which proved to be successful not only in India but also overseas. 2004 was particularly good year for Shahrukh, both commercially and critically. He was now widely becoming known as King Khanand The Badshah of Bollywood. He set up yet another production company, which produced a slobber knocker hit Main Hoon Na the very same year, Red Chillies Entertainment. He also starred in Yash Raj’s mega hit Veer Zara and Ashutosh Gowariker’s dramaSwades. He was nominated for Filmfare Best Actor Award for all three of them, winning it for Swades.
- Khan lost both his parents before he became well-known. His tenderness comes to the fore when he talks about them.
- “I do miss them a lot, especially now that I’m successful, because I would have liked them to see part of it.”
- He was very attached to them and says his way to avoid depression is to “get up in the morning, wear make up and be someone else”.
2006 saw him collaborating with Karan Johar for the fourth time, this time with the melodrama movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. It did well in India and much more so in the overseas market, becoming the biggest Bollywood hit in the overseas market of all-time. He played the title role in the action film Don: The Chase Begins Again, a remake of 1978 hit Don which starred Amitabh Bachchan. While people were busy comparing his role with that of Amitabh Bachchan’s, Shahrukh swept away yet another success.
In 2007, Shahrukh appeared as the host of the third season of the popular game showKaun Banega Crorepati which was a moderate success. His next attempt as a game show host for Kya Aap Panchvi Pass se Tez hain? was a failure. His success continues with his highly popular and successful films such as Chak De India, om Shanti Om, Rab Ne Bana di Jodi and My Name is Khan.
He started his career as a TV actor in his hometown, Delhi. But soon after moving to Mumbai (Bombay), home to India’s entertainment industry, he established himself as an accomplished performer with a fan following numbering in billions, greater than that of Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. Innumerable hits have followed.Shahrukh became Bollywood’s biggest romantic icon without ever locking lips with a co-star. He is one of the most coveted Bollywood actors today, winning all the awards the entertainment industry can offer. “King Khan”, as he is popularly known, is one of the most saleable faces in Indian cinema. He has also made commercials for more than 35 brands. This article stands as a tribute to the uniquely creative life and thoughts of a marvelous human being and truly iconic star.