I was taking a quiet stroll with a friend along the Band Stand, Bandra—just before midnight. That was when I noticed a huge gathering of people. Not wanting to miss out on the action, I ventured close and enquired. Someone from the frenzied crowd looked at me with an incredulous look on his face.
“Dude, it’s Shahrukh’s birthday and this house in front is Mannat,” he told me. Traffic was slower than a snail’s pace and there was utter chaos. People jostled for space, climbed up tree tops and chanted his name well into the night, just to catch a glimpse of their favorite actor. The scene was quite inexplicable and the frenzy belies rational thinking and logical reasoning. I was shocked to witness the love and support that people had for the actor.
Fifty one years ago, one of the brightest stars of Bollywood was born. He has epitomized stardom for the past 25 years in Indian film industry.
I asked the person who had initially shared the information with me: “What is it about SRK that you are so mad about? After all, he is just another film actor?” “He is a god for me. I have lived every moment of my life just to behold him,” he said, adding: “The only other actor who can pull such a crowd is Rajnikanth.” And when I asked him his name, he proudly referred to himself as an SRKian. Meeting him or even just spotting him is a dream come true for the Patna guy, who travelled all the way from Bihar only to see his idol. Such doting fans keep waiting outside Mannat, SRK’s sea-facing bunglow in Bandra, Mumbai every year to just to greet him.
And when SRK finally came out on his balcony and waved to the crowd, his doting fans just went berserk. It seemed as if he was waving a magic wand to his mesmerized followers. The crowd swayed spell bound.
The euphoria has spilled on to various social media platforms with fans leaving no stone unturned to wish their quintessential idol on his special day.
Shamim Fareez, a fan, tweets: I hugged SRK @iamsrk. He smelled so good! We even clicked a selfie. Thank you god. Thank you @Maishaan & thank you @SRKUniverse #ThankYouSRK
Aditya says These Are My Feelings When I Saw @iamsrk And AbRam Today.. #ThankYouSRK ❤️❤️ (Please embed tweets if possible.)
Not one to leave his fans disappointed, Shahrukh acknowledges it in a tweet: Thank you everyone who came from all over the world to wish me. U make me feel so special & loved. Really this is the best moment for me. He even met and got selfies clicked with several of his fans.
So what makes the King Khan arguably the world’s most coveted cinema celebrity? Is it just about wealth? As per Wealth-X, Shahrukh Khan is the second richest actor in Hollywood and Bollywood put together. Pegged at a net worth of $600 million, according to some estimates, the actor is richer than Johny Depp and Tom Cruise. Or is it about the love that he has earned over the years. He can boast of having the maximum number of crazed fans than any other movie star. SRK has also transcended the boundaries of geography with celebrities from India as well as across the world wishing him.
But whatever it is, one thing is sure: all credit goes to the actor who gave his followers and fans films to cherish for a lifetime, dialogues and words to remember, and above all win the hearts of millions of people!