I am probably going to be busy at work again today, and I will definitely be sleepy because I woke up at 5am for no reason, so I am going to put up a post that will give me something interesting to read (I hope) while I try to stay awake and field phone calls. (don’t worry, there is also a Shahrukh themed TGIF going up later)
How did you become a fan of Shahrukh? What was your first movie, your first moment? This is open to people who aren’t “he is my one and only” kind of fans as well, if he is your 4th or 5th or 6th favorite, I still want to know when and why you learned to like him.
I can tell my story, this is the version that’s in my book (or close to it, I cut and pasted it from an earlier draft):
That was ten years ago [that I first saw DDLJ], and I’ve now seen DDLJ so many times that most of the viewings blur together. But there are three moments that I remember as clearly as the car accident I was in when I was 5, or my grandfather’s funeral, or the first time I held a baby. Life changing moments.
The first was the introduction of our hero, played by Shahrukh Khan. He is coming out of a rugby scrum, in the rain, and he looks terrible! I was so disappointed! His hair was all wet and stringy, his nose was huge, he had the beginning of a double chin, and his bare legs were hairless and chubby. But I had already bought my ticket, so I thought I might as well stay and tough it out.
I don’t remember the next hour or so in detail, just that I still wasn’t really sold on the hero. The heroine was great, respectful and caring about others, but still with a firm sense of self, and very loveable. But the hero was still kind of ugly, and also kind of a jerk. Worst of all, I couldn’t even really tell if he was in love with the heroine, or just faking it. She was torn between her own desires and her responsibility to her parents and her fiance, and he was just kind of joking through life and didn’t even really seem to care that the woman he might–maybe–be in love with was engaged to someone else. It was all very hard to relate to.
And then right before intermission, the hero and heroine are saying good-bye at a train station. The heroine turns away, then turns back and says “oh yes, you are coming to my wedding, aren’t you?” And there is this moment, where his face changes, he shakes his head, and he walks away and leaves her. And the song starts, “Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko” (“It has happened to you”), and it really had happened to me! She was standing there onscreen, unable to move or get past the moment that had just occurred, and I was sitting in my seat, in tears, feeling everything all at once.
After that, I went back to the dorms and asked my desi roommate and other friends for recommendations, I watched Main Hoon Na and K3G and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kal Ho Na Ho in rapid succession, and then I just started watching everything and anything. I traveled an hour and a half up to the Indian neighborhood every Friday after my last class and rented stacks of DVDs, and then spent the weekend watching them. I started reading rediff.com every day on the recommendation of my Desi friends. My social life revolved around watching Indian movies on my laptop with my friends. I watched the theater releases and was able to see every new Shahrukh movie from Paheli onwards in theaters. DDLJ was the first DVD I ever bought, and later the first blu-ray. I went to India in 2008 and saw it at the Maratha Mandir, the only thing I wanted to do on that trip. I bought the Inner/Outer World of Shahrukh on DVD and practically memorized it, and then did the same with Anupama Chopra’s biography of him. I decorated my first apartment with print outs of his posters. I made all the friends I have today through sharing his films. But it all started with watching DDLJ in the theater and having that moment when I fell in love.
Where did it start for you?