Over the last three decades, Shah Rukh Khan or SRK, with his work and fan following, has gone beyond the boundaries of Bollywood. With fans in South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and even Argentina, King Khan is as the dialogue in one of his films, ‘the King of the World’. In the month that sees his most-awaited release, Zero, SRK looks forward to travelling the world for not just promoting the film, but also ‘sneaking in some travel’ while working.
People, Before Places
It is but obvious that SRK is one of the most recognised faces in the world. But that this face craves to recognise as many of his fans as he can is something that one can expect only out of SRK. “I love meeting people. I even know the names of some, but at 53 all that is a tad difficult to remember. But I like the fact that I can feel the smiles on their faces,” he says.
“The first thing that impresses me about any place is the vibe, created by its people. I have experienced this in many places, but Malaysia and Dubai, outside India, top that list. People in Dubai are very warm and welcoming – they will go the extra mile to help you,” adds SRK.
Despite having travelled to many places in the world, SRK has a special connect with his place of birth, Delhi. “Woh Dilli ki galiyaan (The narrow streets of Delhi) – they gave me everything – from life to experiences, education to memories. Right from school to my first job, I am indebted to Delhi for everything. My most vivid memories are of the carefree life I led in Delhi. In fact, that is perhaps why I feel this city so much, because the part of my life I spent here was all about sheer joie de vivre!”.
Insisting on the fact that his alternate profession would be that of a travel guide in Delhi, SRK says, “Delhi is beautiful, the roads are wider and despite everything, it is still green. Even though it is far more crowded than what it used to be, I still feel comfortable there. The moment we cross that paranthe wala (stuffed bread seller) near Vikram Hotel in Lajpat Nagar, I have to muster all my willpower to resist getting off. I miss the street food of Delhi. The variety that you get there will leave you spoilt for choice. Whether it is the sheer-maal and korma that I feasted on during my college days in Jamia or the daulat ki chaat at Chandni Chowk. I don’t think I can do justice by listing out a couple of culinary delights, but these two are absolute must-haves.”
King Khan also has a fondness for beach destinations. “I have a natural affinity to seas and oceans. I feel I can tell them my secrets, my dreams and they will take my dreams all over and help me realise them. Maybe this is why I love vacationing in places that are close to the sea. Whether it is Mauritius, Goa or elsewhere. When I came to Mumbai, I had screamed my desire to rule the city to the sea that surrounded it,” reveals SRK.
As told to Aarti Kapur Singh