Now this is the story of the day. Guess what? Shah Rukh Khan has gone where no Hindi film actors have gone before. The trade reports coming in from Kerala have it that SRK’s Om Shanti Om has been doing roaring business in Kerala. In fact, it has done better business than their local films released during the same time. King Khan is a big hit down south too. Mind it!
Shah Rukh Khan
We’ve all witnessed Shah Rukh Khan‘s awesome abs recently. Well, such things don’t happen overnight, and SRK too seems to have gone through the grind for it. And now the hard work seems to be worth every drop of sweat, and every morsel of cake that has been sacrificed. Shah Rukh, for more than three months went on a high protein diet and was disciplined with his workouts. Now the actor has the girls drooling over him in a different sort of way. From the chocolate boy to the sex symbol, our Badshah Khan seems to be enjoying his reign. And his fans seem to be enjoying it too.
Okay girls … take it easy. The drool’s ruining the BT newsprint! There are many others too, in line …? Omigod! And, hey dudes, chill. Yes, it is Shah Rukh Khan – yes. The six-pack is real. It’s not a rubber suit borrowed from Batman. And NO, this is not an article on ‘how to exercise in 10 easy steps’ …! Phew!’ Double phew. I knew this would be the effect of India’s biggest superstar daring to bare his bod for the cameras for the very first time. Perfect physique, bulging biceps, bronzed, almost gladiatorial -windblown hair, et al. And with the unveiling of the new, ‘flexy’ Khan, he keeps a promise to yet another Khan buddy, his ace director – Farah Khan. “He’d promised me that if he ever pumped up and took his shirt off for the cameras, the first time would be for me. Of course, ‘conditions applied’ and he had to be in shape, etc. But thanks to his trainer Prashant, he’s kept his word. Here’s presenting the latest Greek God of Indian cinema … check him out. He’s a regular ‘model’,” gushes the lady who’s expecting triplets to add to her magnum opus ‘baby’ due at Diwali. Shah Rukh was a lot more modest when we quizzed him about ‘Raju ban gaya muscleman (albeit carefully; don’t want no panga with those muscles).
“Well, that’s one way of looking at it. The thing is, I’ve worked with such strong set parameters for myself that anything that is seen as a departure from ‘my normal’ makes news. Chak De for example. I played the role differently; I mean I was as good, or bad, as any other, but because of the ‘difference’, its being spoken about, differently, so positively. And Mashallah, it’s doing so well. In Farah’s movie, I play a movie star of today. And with all respect, today’s stars are so physically fit, that I had to work on myself harder. Especially in the second half, I play this really cool guy. I take my shirt off as the first character too, but as the second hero, I went all out.” Meaning, at the rate India was taking over the world, would he possibly do a ‘full frontal’ in a Hollywood film if offered? He blushed a deep beetroot.
“No! No! Never! I don’t do kissing scenes. I don’t do love-making scenes and I will not do a full frontal scene. I’m too shy for any of that. I just can’t. And because I can’t, I’ve set certain rules for myself. I can’t dance either, but that’s something I can work at. And this is as ‘naked’ as I’ll get. Frankly, it was just Farah for whom I did this. I’d promised her that the first time I bared onscreen it would be for her. And even though all my directors – Yashji, Adi, Karan, Aziz, Abbas-Mustan, etc. – love me, Farah is my only lady director. And I’d rather take my clothes off for a girl.”
But with girls finding him sexy even with shirt on, why step on the testosterone now? He grinned, “I decided to get ‘sexy’ for a boy … my son. He kept telling me to go get a six-pack. He’d say that Salman, Hrithik, John were the ‘good physiques’. And even though I’ve always been fit, never fat, he wanted me to get abs, so I did. This one’s for him.”
Shah Rukh Khan sure loves to kick a mean ball. The actor, who plays a hockey coach in Chak De India, is actually a football lover. Not only does he follow the sport keenly he also goes to the American School of Bombay ground at Bandra-Kurla complex every Sunday to indulge in a good game of football. The line-up includes, apart from SRK, Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Chunky Pandey, Dino Morea and Dino’s brother Santino amongst others.
Every Sunday, from 5 pm to 7 pm, SRK and his squad meet up for a testosteronesoaked two hours. After coming back from London, Shah Rukh has not even missed a single session of the game. What’s more he takes his son Aryan along as he wants him to toughen up playing the game with big boys. “SRK gets along his son Aryan to play. Apparently, he wants Aryan to play with them. He is also getting him trained in the sport from a professional trainer,” reveals our source.
Reportedly, Dino encouraged him to join the gang that anyway used to meet regularly. For those who don’t know, Shah Rukh was a University level football player. In Melbourne, while shooting for Chak De India, he used to play football during breaks with his 16-strong all-girls team as well. When contacted Dino Morea confirmed, “Shah Rukh has been playing football with us at the school grounds regularly of late. He is very passionate about the sport and there isn’t a day that he is not willing to be present on the ground for the game.”
Ritesh Sidhwani adds, “Farhan and I are also a part of the team. There are a lot of friends from the industry who play with us but I’d rather not disclose any other details.”
Chunky Pandey is part of the team too, although he’s upset that he couldnt make to yesterday’s game, “I have been playing with the team but yesterday I couldn’t make it as I had a shoot.”
Shah Rukh Khan is gymming like never before. Even if he’s had a long exhausting day at work, he hits the gym with a vengeance. And he has every reason to, he’ll be shooting a song for Om Shanti Om, but hang on… this is no ordinary number. SRK will be posing bare-chested for the song, and he wants his body to be nothing short of perfect. Believe it or not, he’s almost getting there, and he’s undoubtedly the envy of most of the younger dudes in town. And we can’t ‘bare’ this wait anymore, SRK. So turn on the heat…quick!
After the phenomenal success of the Rajnikanth-starrer Sivaji, there was bound to be huge demand for the film’s director Shankar. The latest buzz is that none other than Shah Rukh Khan has managed to sign the director for his next film. Although details of the film aren’t available, the film is bound to be a big budget film, considering Shankar has been known for his extravagant sets and huge budgets. The director was reportedly paid a whopping three crore rupees for Sivaji which had a huge budget of over Rs 3 5 – 4 0 crores. Shankar has earlier done such films as the Aishwarya Rai-starrer Jeans, and the Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak, besides other films. Shankar’s last film before Sivaji was Anniyan which released in 2005. Considering that he’s decided to direct Shah Rukh now, it seems like the director will be doing more films and not be taking a long break as before.
However, when contacted about these reports, Shah Rukh’s manager Bobby Chawla denied any knowledge about the development. “This is news to me. We are still involved with Om Shanti Om, and I don’t know anything about Shankar being signed for Shah Rukh’s next,” said Bobby.
Khantastic times are here again with Shah Rukh Khan back in the city after holidaying with his family in London. And he’s looking sexier than ever (if that’s possible!). He’s ‘hair’, there and everywhere! Badshah Khan’s new longhaired look is the talk of the town, not to mention the lean, super-sculpted bod, but then again, when it’s Shah Rukh, everything about him is newsworthy isn’t it? His smooth tresses are definitely very becoming, adding to his sex appeal and charm. Dilshad Pastakia, his hairstylist, was in a way responsible for the cool ponytailed look SRK had sported for a while. He reportedly went on record and said that since Dilshad was on maternity leave with her first born Dalai, he had no choice but to wait till she could cut his hair. That’s loyalist Khan for you. She’s the lucky lady who gets to run her hands through his smooth, dark hair.
“SRK’s long hair currently is not really a look as such. But when it’s SRK, I guess it becomes a ‘look’. He’s just growing it out and it’s not for any particular film. When he had the ponytail earlier, he looked fab in it! I don’t understand why people think he doesn’t change his hairstyle, because he does. He doesn’t need to do radical stuff like go blond to look different. He’s Shah Rukh Khan! Even the smallest change makes a huge difference and becomes the talk of the town, rather world I should say, because his persona is so powerful. I think long hair suits him as much as any of his other looks have. Everyone’s gonna want their hair the SRK way now,” says scissor-happy Dilshad.
Shah Rukh Khan is clearly and undoubtedly a ‘cut’ above the rest! Other than creating a different look for himself off screen, SRK’s also creating a point of difference in his films. His next release, Chak De, sees him in a new avtar – not the romancing SRK we have seen of late, but a driven and passionate coach of a girls’ hockey team. Chak De is releasing in August, just around Independence Day – patriotic fervour at its best – the SRK way.
It was Shah Rukh Khan‘s show alright. SRK fever swept the UK as thousands of dedicated fans queued for hours for a mere glimpse, a chance to meet, their favourite star in London. Not even the UK’s biggest sports weekend, Wimbledon tennis finals, the British F1 Grand Prix or the Live Earth concert and all the road closures around London could dampen the enthusiasm of these SRK fans. Shah Rukh’s special visit three-day weekend saw more than 25,000 visitors, which was attended by SRK on July 7 and 8. Fans got a life time opportunity to get up close and personal as he signed autographs, appeared on the two huge stages at the venue, charmed and interacted with the crowds, enacted his favourite dialogues from Don, a scene from Devdas, and even sung a few lines from his all time favourite movie – Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. Everyone was pleased with the way he treated his fans. He met as many people as he could and spent a lot of time with his fans.
Will Shah Rukh Khan revive people’s interest in hockey with his new film Chak De India in which he plays a women’s team coach? Former hockey greats believe the Bollywood Badshah might just score for the national sport in this regard. Hockey, we all know, lags far behind cricket, football and even tennis in the Indian popularity stakes. Our sportsmen are making their mark internationally in other disciplines, but the national sport is languishing. So there is all round appreciation that Bollywood has decided to do something about it. SRK and Chak De India might just be the shot in the arm that hockey so desperately needs, feel sports people who also follow films. It might encourage youth to take up hockey again.
Former Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillai says positively, “This is the very first film based on hockey and it is sure to pep up the youth. Some practice sessions in Chak De India have been shot at the Bombay Hockey Association (BHA) ground and I too trained the girls for a day,” he says. But Dhanraj is unhappy that he isn’t actually a part of the film. “If I had trained Shah Rukh, I would have shown him some of my signature shots,” the legendary star laments.
Talking of the status of Indian hockey currently, veteran player Viren Rasquinha says, “Shah Rukh Khan’s film will definitely make this fascinating sport popular again. But we need to pratice regularly. Otherwise the Indian hockey team will not be able to get back the glory of the golden era gone by. Our performance needs to stand out. Ours is a one-sport nation, we need to encourage youngsters to pursue other sports. Parents push their children academically but sports always tends to take a backseat.” In Chak De India, the Bollywood hero reportedly plays the role of former goalkeeper M R Negi whose reputation was tarnished when India lost the 1982 Asian Games final in New Delhi to Pakistan and he was accused of throwing the match. The story goes that Negi was under pressure to perform because Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Zail Singh were watching the match. Zafar Iqbal, the Indian hockey captain of that eventful match, recalls, “The entire team had to be blamed and it wasn’t only Negi’s fault. After that defeat, we were so ashamed that we ventured out only at nights to avoid public glare. But Chak De India might just brighten up that dark spot in Negi’s life and I’m looking forward to the film.”
Former India women’s hockey team captain and Padma Shri Selma D’Silva has another take on the sport she was so proud to lead the country in. “I hope the film really brings in an interest and encouragement to the sport. Indian hockey lacks professionalism. Playing cricket is a career. An Indian cricketer draws a salary. But a hockey player has to take up another job to earn a living,” says Selma who recently accepted voluntary retirement from Western Railways. “Films are inspired from real life. So unless hockey becomes a good career option, nothing much can happen.”