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SRK wished his grown-up kids would believe in fairy tales again. Aryan needs one now

Shah Rukh Khan's tweets or interviews with Simi Grewal, Karan Johar, David Letterman or Ted Talks have assumed an afterlife of their own. They keep his kingdom of fans going.

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On 22 May 2016, Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: “Today the only negative is that my kids have grown up… now to wait till they start believing in fairytales again…”

As Shah Rukh Khan walked into Arthur Road jail to meet his son Aryan Khan this week, we can only imagine what ‘happy forevers’ he would have promised his son.

Long after his movies stopped setting the box office ablaze, Shah Rukh Khan’s tweets and interviews are what keep his kingdom of fans going. They have assumed an afterlife of their own, whether it is an interview with Simi Grewal, Karan Johar, David Letterman or a Ted Talk.

“I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India,” Shah Rukh Khan wrote in his article for Outlook Turning Points 2013.

As his son languishes in jail and images and videos of SRK visiting the Mumbai Central Prison to see Aryan go viral, one cannot but notice the modesty and the grace with which he meets and greets the public even as media persons surround and hound him. He folds his hands and walks away towards his car.

Whether or not Aryan Khan is in this situation because he is Shah Rukh Khan’s son or a Muslim, or both, what’s certain is that SRK has long been aware of what it means to be a Muslim in India.

“Whenever there is an act of violence in the name of Islam, I am called upon to air my views on it and dispel the notion that by virtue of being a Muslim, I condone such senseless brutality,” he had written in his 2013 article, where he also mentions that he gave his children “names that could pass for generic: Aryan and Suhana”.

“The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it. I pronounce it from my epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquire,” he said.

Also read: Of all Bollywood Khans, Shah Rukh’s life & career were built on the Nehruvian idea of India

Patsy boy 

“I am an employee of the myth of Shah Rukh Khan” (David Letterman show).

Shah Rukh Khan’s self-deprecating humour is perhaps one of the rarest things seen among celebrities of his stature. From calling himself ‘not-so-good-looking’ to accepting that he lied about his height and opening up on his life — the man has done it all.

In his 2012 speech at Yale University, he said, “I have understood that the measure of my life lies in the expanse of my heart’s experience and nothing else matters. If you take anything out of it, good, otherwise I have been told by the master, I can put on music and dance for you on Chammak Challo.”

In an interview to journalist Barkha Dutt that same year, Shah Rukh Khan said, “I am a nuisance, a troubled child to my children.

“I just want to tell everyone I am not a role model, I never chose to be,” he said, “because role models play a role according to the perception of the people.”

Khan, in almost all his interviews, has keenly acknowledged his flaws. In one podcast with All India Bakchod, he accepted he is a “patsy boy”.

“People who make fun of themselves are most confident… The real macho guy doesn’t need to beat up anyone… I am a patsy boy.”

Also read: Aryan Khan is the second in Shah Rukh Khan family to be embroiled in a court case

A family man

“The decision to have a child is the decision to let a piece of your heart walk outside your body” — Koffee With Karan, Season 3.

“My biggest fear is my fame onto them. I hope they can live out of my shadow. My name could spoil their lives and I don’t want that to happen.”

Shah Rukh Khan has always been known as a doting, playful and protective father. In his interview with Barkha Dutt, he makes it clear that the celebrity aspect aside, he can go as many miles as any common person would to protect his children.

Not many would remember the names of his parents, but SRK has time and again explained how difficult times make one stronger.

“I do remember the night my father died. And I remember, the driver of a neighbour who was driving us to the hospital, he mumbled something about dead people not tipping so well. And walked away into the dark. And I was only 14 then. I put my father’s dead body in the back seat of the car, and my mother besides me, I started driving back from the hospital to the house. And in the middle of a quiet crying, my mother looked at me and she said, ‘Son, when did you learn to drive?’ And I thought about it and realised, and I said to my mom, ‘Just now, Mom’,” he said during a Ted Talk.

On losing his control in the Wankhede stadium, SRK accepted it was wrong to have a public outburst but said, “Next time I will do badtameezi and beat up inside a public washroom. Itna aap mujhe allow kar dijiye.” When the controversy came up during the interview with Barkha Dutt, he said he wouldn’t repeat what was told to him by the security guard, but mentioned it was “unsecular”.

In the Aap Ki Adalat show, SRK mentioned how Aryan and Suhana told him that his behaviour was a bit too much as a celebrity.

Shah Rukh Khan was clear he didn’t think what he did was wrong as a “secular person and a father”, but only as a public figure by whom others might get influenced.

Today, people on social media stand in solidarity with him, and are recounting moments or instances when the beloved star touched their lives like nobody else could.

The author tweets @MainaBismee. Views are personal.

(Edited by Prashant)

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