Everyone said I should celebrate Shahrukh Month however I wanted, and today I feel like telling stories. Just little moments that help build up the whole picture of my relationship with him (a one-sided relationship, but still a true one).
12 years ago I was in a DVD store a few days before Diwali. This was back when DVD stores were at their peak popularity. DVDs were cheap and plentiful and people were excited about being able to just drive to the desi neighborhood in their city and buy all the movies and soundtracks and everything from their youth. So the store was packed, children running around and begging their parents to buy the latest Hrithik movie, older folks browsing the Amitabh shelf, everyone very loud and very happy. And a little TV sitting on a shelf (this was before flatscreens on walls) was playing the latest songs DVD.
I was browsing and eavesdropping on people and half watching the TV screen and very happy. The TV started to play the final song from Mohabbatein, “Pairon Mein Bandhan Hai” and I kind of half watched waiting for my favorite moment when Shahrukh comes out hitting the drum. It’s towards the end of the song, Amitabh arrives to interrupt the dancers and the song stops and it is all quiet for just a moment, and then Shahrukh starts singing and drumming walking towards the camera.
I was waiting for it and caught up in the song so it took me a moment to realize that it wasn’t just the sound from the TV that went quiet for a moment before Shahrukh came out. The store went quiet too. Everyone, 8 to 80, paused in their chatting and browsing and selling and turned to look at the little TV screen. We all stood still and focused while Shahrukh walked from the back of the screen towards us singing, just like the characters in the movie were doing. And then when the spell was broken, when the other characters took up the song and started dancing as well and Shahrukh’s face was no longer the focus of the camera, the spell was broken in the store as well. The owner went back to making change, the kids went back to begging their parents for DVDs, the older folks went back to chatting in Hindi about which movie to buy, and I went back to browsing. And it didn’t even strike me as an odd experience until hours later, on the bus on the way home. Of course when Shahrukh is on screen everything else will stop for just a moment, the world will freeze to one focus point, and then start up again.