A teenage girl fell in love with Shah Rukh Khan in 1995 after watching Raj take his ‘Dulhania’ in DDLJ. Her world was never the same and love had a new meaning. Her cassette player played Side A to Side B of DDLJ songs back and forth.
Ever since then I have been madly in love with SRK, my room was like a shrine to him during my college days. I had posters of him all over the room and my cupboard was full of big and small postcards (identified so much with the FAN movie scene). Since I didn’t have digital media then, I would take every single newspaper cutting from the smallest picture to the longest article always leaving my Bombay Times with holes. From my pocket money I used to get filmy magazines from the old book shops to read about him, his journey, his wisdom, his wit and his thoughts.
People around me laughed at my madness but never did they undermine my love for him. I had friends who would wish me on his birthday, a brother who dealt with watching SRK first thing in the morning and last thing at night (we shared a room). And my father once celebrated my birthday with SRK theme… I got huge posters, notepads, cups, and pens with his picture on it, the SRK perfume that was launched and every little thing related to him… what fun for those mad days.
I went to London for a few years where family life and motherhood got me busy but I never have missed his movie on the first day. I remember watching Don2 only one week before my due date haha my husband called me mad!!! Twitter again gave me a chance to be close to him which I joined only for him …and started feeling more connected with him. I am also trying to pass on my madness to my children … my daughter and son could both recognise ‘Shah Kukh Khan’ anywhere from TV to billboards to magazines. I also have videos of my girl dancing to lungi dance and more recently both danced on Butterfly.
But all along my madness has pretty much been with me and I have celebrated his birthdays by cutting a cake myself or watching his movies. But this year was different and different how????
Some time ago I found SRKUniverse (wish I knew earlier) … Thank you Muhammed Bhai for creating SRKUniverse, you have no idea how amazing it is to have this group to share our love and passion for SRK. I followed them on twitter for posts and news about SRK but still believed it was only an online forum. Very recently I contacted them for FDFS of JHMS and am I glad I joined them or what. It was like a celebration with Dhol, freebies, performances and the total SRK fever. I was elated at finding people who share the same madness as I have since 22 years! It was a lot of fun and I joined some of them again for another screening of JHMS. And that’s when I knew that this year I can join them to Mannat for SRK’s birthday.
Yash, the Mumbai SRKUniverse Admin was kind enough to invite me for a wonderful birthday party organised for SRK. We sung his songs, did his dialogues and met with many of us who were crazy for SRK. I always knew SRK had worldwide audience and love from across borders but I was amazed to see so many people from Nepal, Malaysia, Austria and Toronto had turned up to celebrate his birthday. I also met a young boy who had saved up the little money he earned from giving tuition to come from Kolkata. Only the phenomenon called SRK can do this!!!
Well, after the party we went to Mannat and waited anxiously for darshan.
It might sound shocking but in these 22 years I never went to Mannat on SRK’s birthday… earlier my mom never allowed and then I went out of country for many years. But today was my debut and I admit I was nervous and excited both!
There was a sea of people right from his gate up to the seafront…nearly 2000 people I’m sure. With bated breath each and every person was waiting, holding their ground not letting them be pushed. I held on to the Japanese lady because she was mighty afraid. I assured her confidently that I would not let go of her hand but I was scared to death in my heart haha!!
And then he came…OH MY GOD …there was mass hysteria!!!
We all moved forward with the crowd shouting, cheering, hooting and clicking away. Seeing SRK there blew away all my worries and I was jumping like a teenager again! And is he the sweetest, he waved to each side, bowed to each side, did his trademark pose and then took selfies with cutie pie AbRam and the crowd. The crowd dispersed; some had a huge grin on their face and some cried but satisfied having seen their love, idol and inspiration!
In my already supppperrr happy state I got news that doubled my happiness… I was on the list for the meet and greet event at Taj Lands End 🙂
I waited for a few more hours but there was some confusion with the passes and like a fool I left the hotel premises to check at the gate. Unfortunately, the police were losing their patience and wanted everyone outside to leave. I was near to tears and had the void of ‘so close yet so far’. But I must say Yash came out looking for me and made sure I got inside …he kept his word and I will ever be so grateful. Yash, may you always get Yash in life 🙂
The Meet & Greet was so wonderfully organised with a beautiful back drop of ‘Happy Birthday SRK’ and had nearly 300 lucky fans. There were some performances by the fans and then a mashup of SRK was shown on the screen. The screen parted for him to enter and the crowd went absolutely berserk; all stood up on the chairs shouting and whistling. What a mind blowing entry… and was he a sight to see. The best part is that the other fans are not mean or jealous of each other, they totally understand and mutually respect each other’s fandom; I was helped by others to stand up on the chair and not fall off haha.
There was a cake cutting celebration for him and then SRK took a short Q&A session. I did not bother to take any video, coz I wanted to see and hear him live. He also did some dialogues and then icing to the cake was his Jabra FAN dance. We all thoroughly enjoyed his presence and yet again were floored by his energy, wit and persona. There is no one and just no one who owns the stage the way he does!!!
After that while waiting to get our pics clicked with SRK the DJ played songs of SRK and we danced and danced to our heart content. It was so awesome to dance with people who knew all the words, all the steps and we all were in such sync. All these years celebrating SRK’s birthday alone to celebrating it at a party with SRK himself and all fellow SRKians was another level of happiness.
Finally, the moment came when we were queuing to get to SRK. They didn’t let me take my poster but told me the gift would reach him and I hope it did. I got in the room and was in a state of awe being so close to him that I kept looking at him. I didn’t even realize that I didn’t hug him, touch him but just got sent to one side and stood for the picture. By the time I came to my senses and wanted to reach out to him the security told us to leave and although they didn’t push us out but the lady there told me “Sorry mam Aap aage chaliye… Sir abhi tired ho gaye hai”. After hearing that how could I rush back and trouble him more… so I went out happy that I saw him up close and stood near him.
When I saw the pic that came next day I can see SRK and me in one frame and the teenage girl has returned with the coy smile. From then to now I have been in the SRK zone watching his scenes, listening to his songs and interviews. I have animatedly told everyone about my entire day’s experience and when anyone says why did you not hug him or why are you not near him … all I can say is at that moment I breathed the air that Shah Rukh Khan was breathing ……