Well, MKY pointed out at in the comments on my Friday post that Shahrukh would never play a same-sex romance, or the father of a marriage age daughter, or a polyamorous man in 3 relationships. To which I said “well, that’s what fanfic is for!” So if Shahrukh isn’t going to give us these films in real life, I feel I have an obligation to give them to us in fanfic form.
Shahrukh in a Late in Life Same Sex Relationship
(credit to procrastinatrix for, like, all of it)
Shahrukh wanders through the empty rooms of his house, we see the signs of a long and happy marriage. A wedding photo of two very young people, photos marking the birth of their two children with them still very young, the children growing up, weddings for them, grandchildren, and all in a house that looks lived in, kitchen equipment neatly in cupboards, children’s art work carefully placed, funky little conversation pieces clearly purchased over the course of a long marriage with everyone having a special meaning. Shahrukh goes to the door and greets an old friend (let’s say Boman Irani) who has come to “check” on him. It comes out through their conversation that Boman is a psychiatrist and Shahrukh has been feeling deeply depressed. Boman asks him to talk some more about his life before his wife, he says he has nothing now that she is gone, but surely he was someone before he met her. And Shahrukh starts talking about his youth, he ran away to Goa to be an artist after a big fight with his father. He was sleeping under the stars on the beach, selling his paintings on the sidewalk. Well, trying to sell them. No one was buying until the prettiest girl he ever saw came up and bought one. That was his wife, they were married a week later and he never looked back. She got him a job in her father’s company, they had two beautiful children, she was his whole life. Boman asks if he has considered going back to painting and Shahrukh laughs, says no, his wife always said she loved his work but no one else did, including himself. Boman asks, well then, have you considered going back to Goa? And Shahrukh starts looking off into the distance and thinking.
Cut to Shahrukh walking out on a beachside terrace at a lovely little house in Goa. He is talking on the phone with his worried daughter (Konkona Sen Sharma), who is making dinner for her family while talking to him. She agrees it was the right decision to sell the Bombay house and let her brother take the business (he was running it anyway after Shahrukh went on leave when his wife got sick), but surely it would have made more sense to move in with her, they would have loved to have him, and he could spend time with his grandkids and she could take care of him. Shahrukh tells her again not to worry, he is very happy, he is all moved in to the rental house and he just wants to take some time by himself. He is going to keep busy, start taking lessons. Things he always wanted to learn, Italian cooking and yoga. In fact, his first teacher is arriving now.
The first teacher is the Italian cooking teacher, Bipasha Basu. She comes in, asks to see the kitchen, and immediately starts flirting with him. Shahrukh is confused and put off by her behavior, but she just keeps going, and he finds himself responding. She stands behind him to hold his hands and show him how to chop, whispers directions in his ear, etc. etc. And he goes from being stiff and shy to smiling a little bit, and eventually flirting back asking her if he is doing things right, getting into the dance of hand over hand and so on.
She leaves, and Shahrukh goes to talk to a photo of his wife (let’s say Juhi), telling her that he is beginning to feel alive again, he is doing what she said, not living in her memories but instead making new ones. Not looking for a new love to replace the old one, but looking for something different.
(We can use real old photos of them for his family photos in his house!)
Shahrukh goes for a walk to the local cafe and gets into a mild dispute with Irrfan Khan, the man ahead of him in line, over the source of a quote on the wall. Shahrukh says it is Rumi, the other man says it is Omar Khayyain. They ask the owner, it turns out to be Rumi after all, and the other man smoothly buys Shahrukh his coffee as a thank you, and shakes his hand and says good-bye. Shahrukh smiles and looks at his hand, and flexes it, and smiles again.
Next teacher to appear is his yoga teacher, Shilpa Shetty. This time he is the one who flirts, a little bit, and she more or less shuts it down. She moves behind him and maneuvers his body and talks to him about embracing the beauty of his body and so on. But when he holds her hand a little too long and suggests a coffee after the session, she smiles and tells him she’s sorry, but her boyfriend is picking her up, and she turns and waves at a very young very attractive man on a motorcycle waiting for her. Shahrukh smiles and goes back inside and calls the number of the card he spontaneously picked up at the cafe, for lessons in Urdu, the language of poetry. He calls the number, and arranges a one on one session, coincidentally the man has a cancellation this afternoon and can come by the house. And, of course, it is Irrfan Khan.
Irrfan and Shahrukh can’t stop smiling at each other, and Irrfan starts giving him Urdu lessons by reciting poetry to him and asking him to recite it back. Irrfan reaches out to gently hold his mouth and leans in and tells him to watch his mouth as he says the words. They lean close together and Irrfan says a line which Shahrukh repeats. Slowly they lean closer and closer until Shahrukh finishes the final line and Irrfan surprises him with a soft kiss. Shahrukh leans into it more, and then pulls away, and they smile at each other and Irrfan says softly “well, I think that was enough for today”.
Song! We see Shahrukh go through his cooking classes, flirting and exchanging smiles with Bipasha. With Shilpa, who is picked up by a different man every time, greeting each with a kiss, and one time by a woman who she also greets with a kiss while Shahrukh watches with slightly raised eye brows. And then his lessons with Irrfan, along with long slow walks on the beach, coffee, hands brushing, smiles, and occasional kisses. Until one day Shahrukh sees Irrfan walking through town, he starts to follow him, and sees him greeting another much younger man with a kiss. Shahrukh hesitates, then goes forward trying to smile with a “who is this?” The younger man (let’s say Saqib Saleem) introduces himself by his first name and asks who Shahrukh is. Irrfan says “my new student”, Shahrukh shoots him a slightly hurt and confused look, but Irrfan doesn’t clarify. Shahrukh excuses himself and goes home. In a fit of confusion and pique, when Bips shows up for his lesson, he spontaneously suggests that she come over that night for a meal, he will cook. She agrees and kisses his cheek as she leaves.
That night, Shahrukh serves a meal by candle light. Bips compliments him, they trade bites and share a dessert on the same plate. And at the end of the meal, Bips goes over to sit next to him, drags her hand across his leg, and leans in to kiss him. And Shahrukh moves back and says “I can’t do this”. Bips is all “what?!?! What is this then?” Shahrukh tries to explain, but she is furious, 8 weeks of lessons and leading her on, and then making her into a fool, leaving her disappointed and unsatisfied. Shahrukh tries to explain, says he is sorry, but she storms out.
The next day Shilpa arrives for his yoga lesson to find him not ready, or even fully dressed. She takes in the signs of the dinner the night before and the late night of drinker that came after, and suggests they just talk. Shahrukh explains that he doesn’t know what is happening, he spent 40 years of his life completely in love with one woman, he couldn’t even see anyone else when she was in the room. And now he just doesn’t know, suddenly he is finding himself seeing all sorts of different people. Only, when he tries to do more than just “see” them, he finds himself holding back. Shilpa listens, and then tells him that is okay. You can enjoy some people as an appetizer, but only one person as the full meal. He is waking up to his body, stretching himself, learning new positions. But if he is uncomfortable in those positions, he shouldn’t push himself too far. Shahrukh nods, and then asks “what if the position that feels most comfortable is one I have never tried before? The opposite of the position that used to feel the most comfortable?” Shilpa nods and says “well, sometimes the position doesn’t matter so much as the teacher.” Shahrukh looks at her, she smiles and says “I saw you with Irrfan at the beach. You look good together.” Shahrukh looks worried, says “I thought we did. But now I don’t know.” Shilpa takes his hand and says “why don’t you find out?”
Shahrukh nervously waits for Irrfan to show up for his lesson that day. Irrfan comes in, casual, and Shahrukh blurts out “I don’t want to be with anyone else”. Irrfan looks confused, asks “were you with anyone else?” Shahrukh gets flustered, says he wasn’t, but he thought Irrfan? That young man??? Irrfan smiles and explains. That young man is like a son to him, he showed up in Goa, homeless, 14 years old, thrown out by his family. Irrfan took him in, Irrfan and Naseeruddin. Shahrukh is confused, Naseeruddin? Irrfan sighs and explains, he doesn’t like to talk about him, it still hurts too much. Irrfan and Naseeruddin were together for over 20 years. And then Naseer got sick, and everything changed. He was with him through the end, and after that, he just kind of felt lost. Until he met Shahrukh. He feels alive again now. Shahrukh listens to all of this and by the end of it they are holding hands. Shahrukh says he understands, and there is someone he would like Irrfan to meet. He takes out his photo of Juhi and tells her “sweetheart, I’d like you to meet a new person in my life. He makes me feel happy, and alive again. Just like you told me I should after you were gone.” Irrfan smiles and says “I am happy to meet you ma’am.” And then he pulls an old photo of young Naseeruddin out of his wallet and shows it to Shahrukh, saying “Naseer, I’d like you to meet a new man in my life. As you said, I always go for the big noses.” Irrfan and Shahrukh both smile at each other, and then softly kiss.
Happy love song! More holding hands, more kissing, also romantic dinners, and sleepovers, seeing them making out on the couch and then slowly moving into the bedroom and falling onto the bed, then having breakfast together the next day. Everything seems perfect, until one morning when Shahrukh and Irrfan come laughing and kissing out of the bedroom to discover Shahrukh’s kids and grandkids standing in the living room, looking stunned.
Shahrukh awkwardly introduces Irrfan as his “friend”, the kids play it off through frozen smiles until Irrfan leaves and the grandkids have gone off for a walk on the beach, and then there is a grand old family fight. The son doesn’t want to hear anything. Shahrukh is disgusting and wrong, his mother was a saint and he is betraying her memory. The daughter is more worried, how long has Shahrukh known this man? What does he know about him? Is this safe? Both kids agree that Shahrukh needs to leave immediately and come stay with either one or the other of them and give up on this foolish life in Goa. Shahrukh tells them “no”. He says Irrfan is the person who makes him happy right now, and that is not betraying Juhi’s memory, it is honoring it. She wanted him to be happy after she was gone, she wanted him to keep living, and that is what he is doing. Stalemate. The son takes off, refuses to hear any more, along with his wife (who seems mildly sympathetic and whispers “sorry” in Shahrukh’s ear when she kisses him good-bye) and their confused kids. The daughter (Konkona Sen Sharma) sends her kids home with her husband but decides to stay for a few days because she doesn’t trust Shahrukh with Irrfan.
Shahrukh meets with Irrfan the next day, and explains the situation. Irrfan offers to remove himself, says that he knows how much Shahrukh loves his kids and he would never want to take that away from him. Shahrukh says not to worry. His son talks a big, but it is his daughter who really matters. Whatever she decides, she will convince her brother to go along with it and their families will fall in line. They just have to make her see Irrfan for the wonderful person he is, let her spend time with him.
It doesn’t go well. Irrfan tries to charm Konkona, but she resists, answers him in one word responses, looks suspicious about everything. He and Shahrukh take her to all their favorite spots in Goa, and she is polite but uninterested in all of it. Finally in desperation Shahrukh mentions something about Irrfan having a child as well, an adopted son, and it turns into an invitation for a family dinner.
Shahrukh and Konkona and Irrfan and Saqib Saleem all have dinner at Shahrukh’s place, along with Shilpa Shetty, Italian food that Shahrukh cooked. Shilpa teases him slightly about how pretty his cooking teacher was, and that is the catalyst that sets Saqib off, he bursts out something about “classic, of course there was a woman involved. You are just marking time until you can find another woman to marry, aren’t you? I know Irrfan shouldn’t trust you!” Irrfan tries to silence him, but Saqib is going strong now, starts talking about how Irrfan and Naseer were so in love and had the perfect relationship, and now Irrfan is just looking to recreate that with anyone he can find, and Shahrukh is clearly just going through a phase before he will return to his safe respectable life, stringing Irrfan along, as he has no doubt strong along any number of men and women. Konkona surprisingly bursts out that her father has never been false in his life, if Irrfan and Naseer had the perfect relationship, so did her parents! How dare Saqib imply her father is anything less than honest in his love! It turns into a big fight back and forth between the two while Shahrukh and Irrfan helplessly try to make peace until finally Shilpa steps in. She tells Saqib and Konkona that she has been in love and seen a lot of love, and she has never seen love like Shahrukh and Irrfan have. She met Shahrukh when he was lost and searching and has watched him blossom. She can’t promise they will always be happy together, but she can promise that they make each other happy right now, and isn’t that all anyone should want? To be with someone who makes you happy? For the people you love to be happy? And she can also promise that if Saqib and Konkona force Irrfan and Shahrukh to break up, it will kill any chance for any of them to ever be happy again, the Gods do not look kindly on those who stand in the way of true love.
Later that night, Shahrukh and Konkona finally have a serious talk. She asks him if Irrfan really does make him happy, are they really in love? And Shahrukh gently says yes, they are. But it doesn’t mean he loves Juhi any less. Juhi was the love of his life, most of his life, the woman who made him into the man he is today, the woman who gave him two wonderful children. She taught him how to love and he can’t stop loving just because she is gone. Juhi will always be there in his life, just as Naseer will always be in Irrfan’s, but that doesn’t mean they can stop living or stop loving. He hopes she can understand that. Konkona tells him she thinks she can.
Cut ahead 6 months later. A housewarming party, Irrfan and Shahrukh are moving in together. Shahrukh’s grandkids are running around, Irrfan is casually giving them decorations to help put up, clearly a large part of their lives. Shahrukh’s son and son-in-law are doing last minute furniture arranging, his daughter and daughter-in-law are in the kitchen, Bips arrives, she and Shahrukh seem to have made up, she has brought dessert, Shilpa is there with another new man, just generally everything is crowded and happy, Shahrukh and Irrfan find each other in all the madness and share a quick kiss, and the camera pans up to show Juhi’s garlanded photo smiling down on them.
Phew! That was a long one, but I think a really good one!
What do you think? any changes or alterations?