A burgeoning crowd waited in quiet anticipation outside Mannat, the palatial home of the country’s biggest superstar. In the mesh of wires sprouting from several TV channel vans, an army of reporters brandished their mikes and pens, waiting for Shah Rukh Khan to emerge.
The actor — who was discharged from Breach Candy Hospital around 4 pm on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after he was admitted for a shoulder surgery — had called a press conference. Suddenly a mini-stampede ensued as camera crews, reporters and the public ran up the slope leading to the large wooden gates that lead to Khan’s house. Excited fans peeped through cracks to get a glimpse of their idol, but were shooed away by burly security guards. Media persons were taken in to a compound of Khan’s new building behind Mannat. Cameramen jostled for the precious prized place opposite the actor’s chair.
Several shoves later, they settled down and Khan descended in torn jeans, a black sweatshirt, a hip sling for his shoulder and a weary look. There was a frenzy of flashes. “Don’t make me pose today, my arm is in a cast,” Khan said. “I’ve come down to tell you all that I have to rest for a couple of weeks.”
The mystery of the press conference was solved.
“I am a public figure, there’s no denying that. That’s why I wanted to let you all know how I’m doing after the surgery,” he said. He then expertly fielded a barrage of questions from the classic “how are you feeling now?” to the concerned “how will you expend your energy sitting at home?” to which Khan quipped, “My house is very big, there are a lot of places to explore.”
Khan, who had a muscle tear in the rotator cuff joint of the shoulder, spent the night after the operation in the sea-facing room 404 of Breach Candy Hospital. The actor had made “excellent progress”, said Dr Sanjay Desai, who performed the surgery.
(With inputs from Neha Bhayana)