For the fans of actor Shah Rukh Khan, just one picture of him is enough to make them drool or behave star-struck. Imagine being able to adore 25 illustrations of the actor in one book! Author Samar Khan has made it possible by documenting the silver jubilee years of the superstar, in his debut book, SRK - 25 Years of a Life.
“It was during the shooting of the documentary, Living With A Superstar, that Shah Rukh said, ‘In every character that I do, I leave a part of me behind.’ This thought stayed with me… Since it’s the directors who make these characters, I decided to interview them for my book,” says the journalist turned director and author.
Samar approached filmmakers to choose one character they created for SRK and says, “Karan (Johar) chose Khan from My Name is Khan, Yash (Chopra) ji chose Samar from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. What helped me get through all the directors was by journalistic background. Working on the book was like going back to my journalism days where I knew that if I need an interview, I have to chase them and most of them gave in,” he says laughing at his journalistic tactics.
Who was the most difficult to convince? “Aditya Chopra,” pat comes the reply and both the interviewee and interviewer burst into laugh. “But the most interesting was to talk to filmmakers who have work with Shah Rukh in the early days of his career. It was fascinating to explore how Shah Rukh respects them, even today, like a son follows what his father says.”
The book, he explains, is a combination of all that we have seen SRK play on screen. “We have a little bit of Rahul, Jeevan and all other characters, which we have seen him portray. I discussed with him before starting, because I didn’t want to do a book which isn’t endorsed by him. In fact, I asked him if he would be okay not reading the book before it is released, and he didn’t interfere at all. I wanted the book to be honest, without any flattery and yet be a celebration of an actor’s journey – the actor that SRK is.”
His statement makes one ask about the rumours that went abuzz about a bad patch in his relationship with SRK, which apparently also led to the delay in release of his book, considering he was also working with the production house of the actor-producer. “Those were just rumours. There’s no truth in them. Why I postponed the book’s release is because the illustrations took longer than I had expected. Once it was delayed, I decided to wait for a year and a half more so that I come with it exactly in the year when SRK completes his 25 years.”
One common talking point between them has always been their love for the Delhi city. “There has always been a certain fondness between us for Delhi. Shah Rukh is from Delhi and so am I. There’s a seven years age gap between us, so I have always seen him as a senior. But references to Delhi winter and the rivalry between the football teams of our schools has always found place in our conversations,” he adds.
As far as the new generation of directors working with SRK are concerned, he says, “I’ve saved them for the second part. Hope my name is added to the list.”