Mumbai, Aug 8, 2023: Crowds were thin on the ground at Mannat—home of legendary Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan—on Monday morning. However, this is the norm rather than the exception, apart from the occasion of Eid or his birthday, according to a security guard, who refused to mention his name.
A team from Spice Enquirer visited the landmark property to find that fans still come from all over India. On this day, the team met fans who had traveled from states like UP, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Assam. Out of the 10 people interviewed, some said they would just be happy to shake his hand, for others even a glimpse would suffice.
Interestingly, the most frequent visitor to be interviewed was not a fan. Tiwari ji, as he preferred to be called, is a tea-seller who displays his business acumen by making sure he profits from King Khan’s fans. Originally from Allahabad, Tiwariji declares that he doesn’t have any affinity for films or filmstars. “I’m not a fan of any celebrity, I’m a fan of god,” he said with a straight face.
When asked if he’s ever had the opportunity to see Shahrukh Khan, he said, “I’ve met him many times when he’s coming and going in his car.”
“He hasn’t tasted my tea yet,” added Tiwari ji.
He is not interested in letting his children become film stars or be associated with the film industry. He said, “I have two children but I’d rather not bring them here to meet anyone. Let them study and become doctors and earn good money.”
Tiwari ji certainly earned some good money on the day by taking advantage of our sub-par math skills while selling us tea worth Rs 220 instead of 170.
On the other side of the spectrum was Sarwar Khan, a diehard fan and an SRK wannabe. He said,” I love everything about Shahrukh sir, right from his hair to the nails on his feet. God willing, I’ll be able to meet him. I want to touch him once.”
Amongst the other fans, there was a general consensus over which films are considered to be Shahrukh Khan’s best works. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kal Ho Na Ho featured high on the list, Mushtaq and Viraj Ghosh can attribute to that fact.
Pathaan got some mentions too, specifically from school kids Abdul Rehman, Mohammed Zeeshan and Mohammed Farid.
The common theme in most interviews reflected the simplistic nature of his fans, encapsulated in statements like, “I pray that every film of his is a superhit, so that he can go on and make even better films.”
Alas, all of us who were gathered there weren’t lucky enough to get a glimpse of the superstar.
In a way it was fitting, as aptly summed up in the words of Sarwar Khan,”Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai.”
(Written by St Pauls Institute’s PG in Journalism Students – Nikitha, Sidhant, Ashna, Vaishnavi, Anupama, Aman, Rushali, Ronan)
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