Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
We all knew Shah Rukh Khan had surgery 24 hours ago and yet there he was before us — dressed in T-shirt and jeans, only the sling over his left arm revealing he was in hospital till this morning.
If I were him, I wouldn’t like to talk to anyone, let alone face a hundred television cameras and photographers screaming, “Shah Rukh bhai, ek shot please!”
The actor said he was feeling fine, but admitted there was some pain. Khan would not be able to work for a month or two.
He gave me a refreshingly honest answer – “I am here to be a successful commercial film maker, and those are not the kind of films I will make. I want to play it safe for now.”
He’s a face in the crowd — an ordinary government clerk. She’s a young, bubbly girl. They get married because of a twist of fate. The girl says she can never love him. But, he’s madly in love with her and sets out on a mission to woo her. That, in a nutshell, is the story of Aditya Chopra’s “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”.
The problem is he takes all of three hours to tell you this, when the end is blatantly obvious in the first ten minutes. Along the way, the audience is subjected to meaningless songs, fight sequences with sumo wrestlers, lots of corny dialogue and references to past Yash Raj films.
A few years ago, my brother Jose met a girl at an acting workshop in Delhi. He was surprised to learn of her name and couldn’t stop himself from revealing that our neighbour’s dog was also called Sheena.
I missed the first episode of ‘Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain‘ – the Indian version of an American reality TV gameshow – but millions in the country tuned in on April 25 to watch actor Shah Rukh Khan and a bunch of kids torture contestants with questions lifted from school textbooks.
At work the next day, a colleague kept distracting me by bursting into giggles every few seconds till I couldn’t take it any more.