As 2nd November approaches, so many of us start getting ready on our journeys to land outside Mannat. The throngs of people just keep getting bigger and bigger every year. As a Shah Rukh Khan fan, I have often wondered what it is about him that makes so many millions go crazy. It cannot be just his films. Yes, of course it is his films that have brought him to us. And yes, the Raj or Rahul personality may have very have redefined (and spoiled) romance for us. Also the Mohan, Kabir or Gaurav we have held within our hearts with pride. But when you see the amount and the kind of overwhelming love that he receives, it definitely is something else—much beyond these characters—that strikes a chord with his admirers.

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I am intensely inspired by him on so many different levels. His brilliance, his wit, his humor, his determination, his thoughts, everything. With his each and every public interaction, he gives me something new to think about. He not only floors me with his acceptance of his own human attachments, but also lifts me up with his philosophical musings.

But then again, is all that enough to justify the number of people outside Mannat on any given regular day?

And then I realized what it is. It is the sense of ownership that he makes us feel about him.

As a legit SRK fan, I can safely say on behalf of others like me, that we feel we own him. And he respects us enough to allow us that luxury.

He still gives off enough of the “outsider” vibe for us not be intimidated by his royalty. He has created such an endearing persona off stage, that we feel he is ours. He is like a buddy, a mentor, a parent, a child, a friend, a love, to us.

He has made it into our hearts so much and so deep, that I can actually imagine him sitting in my living room, watching television, drinking tea. He has entered our houses through our hearts. He has made Shah Rukh Khan into an accessible, normal entity. We feel we can reach out to him. We feel that sense of ownership.
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He has made it into our hearts so much and so deep, that I can actually imagine him sitting in my living room, watching television, drinking tea.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that he is millions of galaxies away from us. His world is something that we can’t even begin to fathom. In reality, our paths can never cross in any significant way. He seems like one of us, and yet is so supremely detached from us. The people he is surrounded with, the minds he interacts with, the conversations that he is a part of, the brains that he can share with, all of it is on a different existential plane altogether. There is no place there for us.

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There is a strange dichotomy here. I want to meet him and if at all possible, work with him. (Yes, dreaming big is another lesson learnt from him). But I am shit scared of doing so. He is in a different universe altogether when compared to me. How will I ever stand a chance even to be with him in the same room without landing crashing back into the reality of my level?

How will these two universes possibly collide? They are just too different.

On one hand, with all my heart I want to work with him, and on their hand, there is nothing that I can offer him that will be different from what he must already have. There is nothing I can do or say that will impress him. He has indeed lived a lifetime or even ten lifetimes in his years.

So dear Mr Khan, as I set off from my home to be a part of that crowd of overwhelming love outside Mannat, I just want to wish lots of love to you. The one whom I think I own and the one whose existence is in a galaxy far far away from mine.

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