What Shahrukh Means to Me This Year: More an Idea Than a Man

It’s Shahrukh Day, which means it’s time for me to take my annual stock of where my fandom is at. It’s in an interesting place this year, a time when it is more about me and my feelings than Shahrukh himself.

Shahrukh has been distancing himself from us, the fans. He’s been putting up healthy boundaries, protecting his inner self from the outer world. And on top of that, he’s been holding movie releases hostage, few new ad campaigns, few new outer self items either. So we are left with more of an Idea than a Man.

And this has been a year of change for me, as well. Buying a house is an overwhelming challenge, everything from planting a lilac bush to cleaning up a sewage spill to dealing with the dang mice, it fills my days and also my mind and spirit. On top of that, buying a house with friends has drastically changed the space I have in my heart. I have a family all of a sudden, people to do things with and eat dinner together and coordinate holidays and all of that. Plus my grandfather died, and a new nephew was born. So now when I look around my living room I have all the photos I inherited from my Grandfather (all I asked for were photos), I have the snapshots of my nephews, I have the things my friends gave me, and buried in there I also have SRK.

He’s not gone, or less important, he just has to share space now that he used to have all to himself. When I close my eyes and think deeply about the core parts of me, the things that make me Me, Shahrukh is there. He has just taken a bit of a backseat this year. He will come forward again later.

This isn’t Shahrukh-the-Man. Or rather, it isn’t Shahrukh-the-Living-Breathing-Person. It’s more his Spirit. When I think about my family who have died, for instance, I don’t think about them as the human person they were the last time I saw them. I close my eyes and think about the feeling of them, the love and humor and sadness and strength and all those essential flavors that made them unique. I can feel that essence surrounding me and soothing me and reminding me I am loved.

And that’s what Shahrukh is for me this year, this particular year. He isn’t a clever interview or a new photo or even his movie appearances, he is what I feel when I close my eyes, the intelligence and morality and pain and fun and sexiness, all mixed in together. Looking back on this Shahrukh Month I was thinking it was a more distant one than in the past, few reviews, some watchalongs, some fun bracket posts, but nothing really deep or new. And then I thought “but, that’s how I am feeling this year”. Shahrukh isn’t about a movie he was in, or a thought piece I might right about him, he’s a spirit I want to spend time with, a person I want to remember, he is a photo sitting on my mantel, and a joke with my friends, and someone I can call on for strength when I close my eyes at night.

24 thoughts on “What Shahrukh Means to Me This Year: More an Idea Than a Man

  1. Pingback: What Shahrukh Means to Me This 12 months: Extra an Concept Than a Man - Zeerangi Entertainment

  2. While I watched some of his movies on return from India in 2019, I did not start following Shah Rukh until late 2021. This after watching Letterman Next Guest while surfing for programs. Started watching SRKs movies and got hooked. To date, I own 40 DVDs. Started purchasing when Netflix dropped some movies. In addition, I paid for streaming on about 10 movies.
    I also read many of your reviews before during and after watching a movie. I so enjoyed your perspective.
    I have not experienced distance because for me it has always been at a distance, but I realize your experience is much different.
    I finally saw him on big screen in Brahmastra – drove 250 miles roundtrip to see it. It felt like he joined me in the theater …
    Also caught his live instagram.
    And I follow Twitter and love to see posts from his fans. Have even become virtual friends with a couple of his fans.
    His parapet visit to his fans at about 1:30 IST this morning was great. Best film on YouTube by Bollywood Hungama: https://youtu.be/zfqCOHluLVI
    As an over 70 years widow who lives alone, Shah Rukh provides at least 3 hours of entertainment for me several times a week.
    And BTW, I will be in Jaipur when Pathaan releases.
    I predict he will be more available as these movies release.
    Many thanks for your hard work on the film reviews and for your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting! And Welcome to Shahrukh Fandom!!!

      Shahrukh is far more distant from his fans than he used to be, almost no social media presence (he used to manage his own twitter and post 20-30 times a day), and few film releases and interviews, so I love hearing that he is still attracting new people to him!!!! That essential SRKness still comes through.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Who schedules meetings for Shahrukh Day??? I just called each of my co-workers in turn and forced them to watch an SRK video, that was the “meeting”

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  3. Totally understand what you’re saying Margaret. As you know, I’m a fully immersed srk devotee. It, his presence, is always there, somewhere in my brain, whether I’m focussed on him or if life has annoyingly gotten in the way. Knowing he exists, his values, his kindness and all the other wonderful things he is, gives me one solid person to believe in, that humanity is actually worthwhile. (Apart from my gorgeous children of course 😊) In my mind he is the total package.

    Seeing the love and support for him around India and on social media yesterday was awesome, footage of people outside Mannat and in cinemas, reading social media, watching reactions to the teaser and the likes on twitter skyrocket. For one day I saw love and admiration everywhere. My son was having surgery for a sporting injury, so a stressful day, but I still managed to spend most of it basking in shahrukh’s ‘sea of love’. What a delight. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hm. I am not a devotee. I’m a fan. I see him as a human, BUT I became a fan later in life, I didn’t grow up with him. I don’t really understand the idea of a living human as a spirit that is more than himself, but I’m trying.

    When talking about his stepping away from his fans, I can’t help thinking his son being arrested for no reason and the fact that his existence puts him in political cross hairs is related to that self removal. I think he has had to step away to maintain that spiritual love, because the real human could well be going through stages of anger and grief.

    I can’t wait for Pathan.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like your comment. He was also getting a lot of hate tweets, including bots. While he espouses being tough enough to take it, he is very sensitive, and I feel it must hurt him.

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    • Absolutely. I think the decision to be silent and isolate himself was both the wisest and hardest choice he could make. And now we are left with this lovely library of movies and photos and quotes that we can pour over instead of focusing on the human person. Kind of like those writers who chose to use maintain total privacy so their work can stand on its own.

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  5. There was a brief time when social media connected people in a positive way and provided precious communication with celebrities like ShahRukh. Sadly it has become a vehicle for cruel and destructive behaviour so I totally support his stepping away from it. I believe most of the negativity is political, very sad.

    I didn’t grow up with ShahRukh, was well into my 40s, but he came along at a time when I needed him and although I’ve moved to a different phase of my life he has stayed on as the construct that gives me love, inspiration and comfort.,I have so many good things in life he is the source of, I can’t thank him enough.
    Sorry for the rant, feeling very emotional and so happy to see him back.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m happy to see him back too 🙂. This moment is so tricky to navigate as a public figure but I do believe the love he attracts and gives back to his fans will win through.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, same. I go through periods of being more or less obsessed, but there is always that warmth I found when I really needed it which is still there. It’s funny to think of a person as embodying that, but then everyone has their favorite book, or song, or religious text, that they love through out their life in the same way. I think my Mom’s father felt that way about Kipling, he loved all his poems and read them over and over, and it was the sort of spirit that inhabited them which gave him strength. I have another friend who feels that way about Stanley Kubrick movies.

      So why not have a Star, an actor/producer who puts a distinctive stamp on everything he touches, be a touchstone for my life just like any other artist or piece of art might be for anyone else?

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  6. Pingback: What Shahrukh Means to Me This 12 months: Further an Idea Than a Man - Zeerangi Entertainment

  7. On some level I know that he will never fully be a living, breathing person to me. He will always be part man and part myth. Everything that I think I know about him is something that he has consciously decided to share, and I consciously choose to believe that the things he shares with us are true. I love him dearly for those things that I do know, and I keep that love alongside the knowledge that I don’t know everything. (I hope that makes sense.)

    All of the things that I love about him; his remarkable sensitivity, his respect and reverence for women, his immense kindness and generosity, his sharp mind, and his impeccable sense of humor have won him a permanent place in my heart. I also care much more deeply about him than I ever expected to. The tears in his eyes when he told Simi Garewal about his mother, the hurt in his voice when Bal Thackeray called him a traitor, all the pain that he has shared with us in the past makes me feel very protective of him. It also adds a great deal of joy to seeing him smile. His happiness means so much to me. All of the comfort, and strength, and courage, and inspiration he brings to me just by existing as himself; I want to give it back to him. I want to see him smothered with love and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I hope the rest of his fans can keep that energy I saw yesterday all the way through the release of Pathaan so we can show him and the rest of the world just how much he means to us.

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    • Lovely sentiments. I was so happy to see him smile from his parapet at 1:30 a.m. IST on his b.day. Have not seen that smile before, except in movies.

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    • Oh, this almost made me cry! That’s it exactly, that’s how I feel, you said it just right. And the positivity he gives to us, when we can give it back, it feels like putting a little light in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think my attachment to him has always been about the feelings he evokes in me rather than him as a person. Guess that’s normal when you’ve been watching someone almost your entire life. It may sound bizarre, but I can still remember how I felt when a 6 year old me first saw him in Baazigar or a 10 year old me saw him in KKHH. Those feelings of falling in love, stirrings of desire, chatting with friends about him, his love story with Gauri (for many of us kids he was a real-life example of love being above religion), Shahrukh vs. Salman debates on the school bus, and so on. Even during the period when I wasn’t actively looking forward to his movies, the idea of him was always precious to me.

    So lovely reading all the comments here. It always amazes me when people discover him well into adulthood and get deeply attached or when people from other cultures do that. Such different lives yet one thing that’s common to all!

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  9. Hi! Remember me? Nearly 4 years go I was very active on your blog, and I am a fellow SRK fan-atic. Since then life has kicked me in the ass a lot and I am finally settling down a bit, so came back to gush about SRK again. I have recently moved to Mumbai and am going to Maratha tomorrow. I have been following his quiet detachment from public life slowly and gradually, something that I believe started when Fan didn’t do well (I think he put his entire heart and soul into it) and of course, the detachment reached its peak with the Aryan saga recently. But I still wish him the very best, I sit hoping and praying that Atlee is the new Karan Johar for him (I am tamilian and very familiar with Atlee’s work and I personally know the wonders Atlee has done for Vijay’s meteoric rise down south) . and I am just back on your blog to enjoy the SRK gushing.
    Hope you are well!

    P.S. I am now off to go through 4 years of your blog’s archives. I hope you covered the AIB interview. One of the best SRK interviews in recent times and I Cant wait to read your breakdown.

    P.S.S Is this still your most active blog or should I be looking at something else? Twitter? Tumblr?

    Like

    • Hi!!!!! So glad you are back!!! Great timing, it is 67 days to the new SRK release.

      This is my most active everything, I slowed down posting a lot a few years ago (after 5 years of blogging, I was tired), but I’m still here!

      Like

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