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Are you Still Reading Khan?

A whole slew of books based on Shah Rukh Khan is slated for release this year, finds out Udita Jhunjhunwala.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 18:07 IST

This is a year for Shah Rukh Khan, not just as an actor and producer but also because there are three books underway, capturing his life and times. While one is an autobiography and another is authored by Anupama Chopra, the third will be the first to hit the shelves. Titled Still Reading Khan, the 417-page book (priced at about Rs 2,500), with more than 1500 images, is written by former journalist and long-time friend of Khan's, Mushtaq Shiekh.

"I've known Shah Rukh for more than 11 years, and when I decided to write the book I didn't know where I would start, so I went to Delhi and began cataloguing his life chronologically," says Sheikh who previously wrote the book on Khan's film Asoka.

This included visiting his old home, the place where his father's restaurant was, the gallis where Khan hung out, meeting his friends and visiting Barry John, his acting teacher.

 
Shah Rukh Khan and Mushtaq Shiekh

So is the book a biography? Shiekh refutes the category. "The word biography sounds fuddy-duddy and reeks of intellectualism. But my book is more of a breezy travelogue. I wanted to make a book on Shah Rukh that was like him."

The book, therefore, includes chapter headers like X Chromosome, Mere Paas Ma Hai, Destiny's Child and Acting Pricey.

Still Reading Khan (an expansion of `SRK') is a combination of research, archival material, interviews with Khan, wife Gauri, his sister, children and friends (the C-gang from Delhi) with a foreword by Karan Johar.

"At first I did not know where to start, but later I did not know when to stop so I have ended it with Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, with a bunch of exclusive images from the film included," says Shiekh, who first met Khan as a reporter for G magazine.

Having been his friend for over a decade, how objective will the book be? "I've tried to be as honest as I can with my writing and not gushed. Other people have done that because the book includes their viewpoints. And where I have gushed are points where I think he deserves it," replies Shiekh.

He believes that Khan's story is that of "a winner which needed to be told".

Due out in June, in the presence of Shah Rukh Khan, Still Reading Khan seems set to be must-have for the coffee tables of all SRK fans.

Excerpt from the book:

Shah Rukh found he had been selected to be one of the four principal dancers with just one speaking line... "I was very disappointed that I didn't get the lead role. But I didn't say it, for up against me were all the big guys like Roshan Seth." Besides... it was a musical and he couldn't sing.