It seems as if it happened yesterday. The year was 1992 and DEEWANA was released. Novelty cinema hall is a hall located next to Inter State Bus Terminal in Delhi and watching the movie in that hall, which is more frequented by those who have time to kill before they have to catch the bus for the destination or those who have to pass the time before attending to their chores or businesses, when Shahrukh Khan appeared on the screen singing ‘Koi Na Koi Chahiye Pyaar Karne Waala‘, the audience started clapping his appearance impromptu. By the time the movie ended, it was clear that the days of Rishi Kapoor as a romantic hero would soon come to an end, and a new star would arise on the firmament of the Hindi cinema who would not hesitate to exchange punches for his romance.
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It has been 20 years since that journey began and Shahrukh Khan still rules roost over the industry, and the creditable part of his journey has been that he did not had a lineage to talk about, but made his mark based on his acting, performance and his eagerness to etch out characters with shades of negativity to make his mark. The first such trait was exhibited by him with a rare flourish in RAAM JAANE where he was acting opposite Vivek Mushran, who was freshly successful with SAUDAGAR, but with his negative performance Shahrukh Khan made a mince meat of Vivek Mushran.
Shahrukh when he had spent days sleeping on roads, platforms, and on the benches on sea side had vowed to himself that one day he would rule this city and indeed, he rules the city of Mumbai from his bungalow Mannat which is bang opposite the sea beach, a metaphor about his struggling years and his resolve to make his mark.
Shahrukh was able to establish his acting credentials as he got an opportunity to work with the likes of Saeed Mirza, with whom he had worked in the television serial NUKKAD and this relationship culminated into a beautiful film RAJU BAN GAYA GENTLEMAN. He did not bother about his image even in his early days manifest from the role that he enacted in MAYA MEMSAAB of a lover falling in love with a married woman.
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But he really came into his element with BAAZIGAR and DARR and his famous style of stammer became his signature statement. For BAAZIGAR he won the best actor award and his honeymoon with Filmfare thenceforth continues unabated.
It took him just four years when he emerged as the favorite lover boy of the country and rewrite the cannons of romance in the annals of Hindi cinema with DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE, which still continues to run in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir. It also gave to Hindi cinema of the iconic pairs in the form of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol.
After DDLJ Shahrukh never looked back though he had his ups and downs in his acting career and he became a permanent fixture in the Yash Raj banner and his association with the banner still continues to flourish. DDLJ was followed by DIL TO PAAGAL HAI and with KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI he became a permanent fixture in another banner Karan Johar. It was with Karan Johar that he acted in an iconic film KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, where he stood up to challenge against Big B, he had already shown his mettle to share frame with Big B with MOHABBATEIN.
Shahrukh Khan has emerged as an institution which now dabbles into all aspects of filmmaking through his film company Red Chillies Entertainment. It indeed is fortuitous that his team in IPL Kolkata Knight Riders has won the IPL when Shahrukh is completing his twenty years in cinema.
He has had his controversies but he has never hidden them, be it his spat with Salman Khan, or the fight with Farah Khan after he produced MAIN HOON NA for her. But Shahrukh is entertainment personified, who does not think twice about making fun of himself or others and even going to the extent of using sexual innuendos as well, as he has done with Saif Ali Khan in Filmfare presentations.
He had the guts to produce a sci-fi film RA.ONE which may not have been a commercial success but for children of this country it indeed is a film to be proud about, and Shahrukh Khan had made this film for his son. My son swears by the characters and roams around in G-One’s hair do, what else is required as a benchmark to gauge his fan following. May he rule the roost for next twenty years.