Words fall short when someone asks me why I revere Shahrukh Khan. I have on many occasions tried to explain but in vain. Most of the times the words have failed to translate the emotions to ‘T’. On other occasions I was sure that the person I was rambling in front of just would not be able to comprehend from where I was coming from. So, in true filmy fashion I will try to pen down my reverence for the man, who I have on many occasions gone as far as comparing to the God almighty.
SRK is God by the definition that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. This said, I believe that everyone has the right to choose their Gods. In form of human, stone, energy, Is, One. Circumstances in my life were such that only SRK came close to fitting the description of God, as I understood the Supreme.
To begin with, a self-confessed ‘maa ki pooch’, I liked SRK just because my mom liked him. Then some 11 years ago, in November of 1998, my father was admitted to the hospital for 19 days and he succumbed to Hepatitis B and passed away on December 7. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, was released on October 16, 1998. Piracy was rampant and the cable wala had dutifully showed the film within two days of the release. I had seen the film on TV several times before seeing it in theatre.
The atmosphere in the house was something I don’t want to even remember. With death looming in the corner and the air thick with depression, it was dark and tense. Smiling was not an option that was even considered. There were days when as a 15 and a half year old I would cry my eyes red. Then there were days when tears would not come but grey tear marks on my cheeks could be spotted by friends and family from miles away.
The only time, I smiled was when SRK would tell Kajol, “ladkiyon jaise mat chilaoo” or “Excusez-moi”. I would feel “everything would be alright” when Rahul, played by SRK, would assure his eight-year-old daughter that "everything will be alright". I saw the sadness I was feeling in SRK’s eyes and by the end of the three hours he would give the scared teenager sobbing soundlessly late into the night, assurance of hope that something better would come.
I am no more a teenager but that positivity, which he still exudes through the screen, has the power to make me smile in the darkest hour. And thus as far as I am concerned SRK is God
As God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.