“The first two rows have been crying throughout because SRK (playing Gaurav, the fan) is crying,” I was informed in the interval of the film Fan by a member of the Delhi chapter of SRK Universe, the fan club of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Watching the film first day first show were fan clubs across nearly 35 cities in India and 18 countries, informed Chaitanya Sharma, who put together the event, titled Misaal, that collaborated with NGOs for a joint screening for women who had battled the odds. The 150-seater hall at TDI Mall in Rajouri Garden was booked entirely with contributions from SRK’s fans, comprising mostly students. The women included acid attack survivors, domestic violence victims and hardworking financially dependent women living in rural areas who have fought their way to empowerment.
SRK fans talk about Shah Rukh Khan
One woman, part of Navjyoti Foundation, confessed she had walked into a cinema hall after nearly 35 years, when she had seen the film Jai Santoshi Maa. Meanwhile, Anis Fatima, president of Right Way, a women and children welfare organization spoke about visiting SRK’s home Mannat during a trip to Mumbai and being impressed by the way she was treated, despite the star not being present. “I mentioned it to the guard and he said the staff had been instructed by Shah Rukh to treat visitors well.” Mohini, an acid attack survivor, made a statement with her confidence and well turned out personality. She said it took her two years to emerge from her home after the attack. She’s inspired by her husband, she says, who she met a few years after the attack, to put her best foot forward in the world, make up and all!
There was a tinge of regret as someone announced that those who wanted to dance could sit in front, followed by a comment that the film had no songs. However, the fans were happy that their hero had finally acted after six long years of My Name is Khan. One fan, asked how he liked the movie, responded frankly, “We even liked Ra One; we like all his movies.” The 50-year-old star is also favoured over the younger Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor, considered too new and “still boys”, when it comes to SRK’s “romantic charm”.
The fans have their own way of expressing their love for their star. While one operates the Facebook page with a following of over six lakhs, others keep a lookout to counter hate posts and trolls online, they are all inspired by his story of making it big through sheer hard work. Many have become friends, even roommates, after meeting online. And, just like the star who considers himself the best, because he refuses to compare himself with anybody, each of them state they’re his “Number One” fan.
The countdown has already begun for their next outing, Raees, Shah Rukh Khan’s next release.