By Aditi Parashar:
I’m one among the millions of fans you have and I’m not writing this letter to seek recognition. All I claim is ‘5 minutes’ of your life. I know, I know, aapki life hai, aap 5-second bhi kyu do (It’s your life, why would you spare 5 seconds right?), but Alas! I’m a Fan. I can’t help but try.
After movies like Happy New Year and Dilwale, I couldn’t help but think that Fan would be the end of the SRK era. Come to think of it, wasn’t it us, the fans, who decided not to watch Swades? Who wanted more? More drama, more entertainment, more tainted comedy? We did! Oh yes, we did. Your fans. Sorry, SRK, for we failed you and we made you do those movies. But what was the need for another movie to highlight your stardom, yet again?
I remember reading in the newspaper about a movie called Fan that my beloved Shah Rukh Khan was working on a few months ago and boy! Was I taken aback. ‘Another film to cash in on your Stardom?’, I thought to myself and almost cringed. ‘What’s wrong with you, SRK!’
Cut to 29th February 2016, the day I watched the trailer of Fan! Sir, dil mei jaise phir ek ummeed jaagi! (My heart found new hope). Anjaam and Darr were movies where you proved your finesse as an actor. But Bollywood has failed us enough times in the past few years, and I still couldn’t help but fear for Fan.
I remember watching Dil Toh Pagal Hai when I was about 6 or 7 and deciding that you’re the greatest actor I’ve ever seen. You were my first crush, my email ID password, the first poster in my room, the reference point for all my love interests and everything in between. You still are.
Listening to that particular line in the trailer – ‘Door se toh kache wale Fan milte hain, mai toh pass jaake jhappi deke milunga.’ (Fake fans wave from afar, I will say hello with a hug) – I thought someone had spied on me through my teen years and had plagiarised my words and feelings into your film. Unlike Gaurav, I don’t know how to show my madness but Sir, you are my madness.
Like a loyal fan, I booked the first day, first show ticket for Fan and prayed each day for its success. I spent sleepless nights thinking about your upcoming movie, about you, praying for your family, career and everything else.
Yes! I have been disappointed by your movies in the past, dissed by my friends for loving you unconditionally and made fun of incessantly. So, I prayed.
Dear SRK, today, I walked out of the theater with my head held high and with tears of victory in my eyes. I felt like that 8-year-old who came out of the theater after watching K3G; that 9-year-old who cried watching Kal Ho Na Ho; that DU girl who would look for reasons to go to Hansraj because you did. I felt like that 10-year-old who had watched Main Hoon Na a billion times and could narrate all your movie dialogues.
I felt like your Fan, again!
Yes, the direction could’ve been better, I won’t give it 5 stars, but nothing less than 4 stars would do either. Your acting was unparalleled! Because, after a long time, the script you chose to work with, demanded acting! The characters you portrayed had a story to tell; the movie had a plot! The movie had a story that had the audience engaged and left them confused because they couldn’t pick a side. Yes! It was that good!
Dear SRK, fans like me are plenty. We will love you for your acting, your brilliance and though we will stand by and defend you even when you make ‘typical commercial movies’, we’d like you to make more such films that make us fall in love with you, just like before. We will be inspired by what you do and pray for you irrespective of what you stand for because we’ve fallen in love with everything you stand for. So, dear SRK, please don’t give in to box office pressure, instead, try to be everything you are!
Because we know who you are. For only fans like us share that connection with you.
Always looking up to you.
This piece was originally published on the author’s blog.