SRK is my favorite, amongst all stars. I’ll tell you why. While in Outlook magazine (my last halt as a journalist) I was told to interview him for a potential cover story (which never happened, btw:). Since he was not releasing any film just then and shooting for Badshah (that famous disco number where he leaps and cavorts) I knew it would be tough to pin him down. But someone told me he was shooting in Film City. So, I trekked off into that Bollywood wilderness and managed to reach the spot where he was shooting. Locating his make-up bus, I hung outside it, dispiritedly. By now I was getting disillusioned with journalism’s `glam’ tag (since it meant a lot of such meaningless waits). Luckily, five minutes into waiting, I saw him come out, his black jacket still on. I trailed after him, saying softly, “Mr Khan, I need an interview.” And without a word, or even wondering if I was a star-struck madcap, he just waved me on generously, took me into his crowded `green room', where the Filmfare journalist was also waiting and where Farah Khan kept popping in and out, asking him quiz questions from a game box as he multi-tasked with his incredible energy, nibbling into his sparse meal and going his usual motor-mouth at me, answering questions, hardly eating. I have known lesser mortals, including myself, treat lunch hour as sacrosanct, but here he was, idol to many, superstar, putting up with me during his lunch hour not so much for publicity, I was sure, but because for a minute he felt sorry for me, a rank stranger, but sitting there dispirited, uncertain… I love him to death because of this one gesture and even today, will die for him!!He returned to that grueling dance, bringing so much energy into each shot (the particular one when where he leaps up in the air; so the song still means so much to me:) I was even more charmed that he had enough energy left over to fit in an impromptu interview, of indeterminate fate. And anybody who has had a brush with SRK will tell you the same story about him: his innate humanity and empathy for where you are at that moment and his complete lack of stardom that makes him reach out…
So, whenever he comes on screen, I am whistling and cheering for him loudly, much to the embarrassment of my teenaged daughter:)
So, to revisit the topic on my blog title and the picture I have put up: I have noticed this sudden activism in SRK, whether it be a Chak De, or a social-message in government films against spitting (despite his Don making it seem fashionable): he is suddenly into making subtle statements. So, here is THE pendant (how come none of his stills from OSO have shots of him wearing this pendant??) that he wears in the first half of the film as the junior artiste Makhija, with all the emblems of the three major religions of India in them: Om, crescent and the cross. More power to him. And greater power to this unity he is promoting!!!