He was a successful man…a married man, with a kid. I was a confused teenager who could convincingly fall in love with a movie star or a book character… and so I did.
I watched as he sang ‘Chand taare tod laoon.. Bas itna sa khwab hai’.. and could tell he wasn’t just acting anymore. I watched him at award functions- oozing an insatiable hunger to win and a boundless energy to do whatever it took. I watched interviews where his wit shone through like a sharp edged diamond… where his passion for his job, his wife and a passion for life scattered stardust across the TV screen and into my living room. But most of all, I was fascinated by this man who unabashedly believed that he deserved every last thing that he may desire, and went after it without taking no for an answer. A man in a constant red-hot affair with life.
I don’t think I could have put a finger on what I found so attractive. Some of his romantic movies would have undeniably played a role, but over time I watched less and less movies, yet became more and more fascinated with the man. I do not use the word ‘fascinated’ lightly- my 15 year-old self spent considerable time hatching a plan to run off to Mumbai, and gate-crash a party at Mannat. I was convinced that SRK and I had a connection, and that the moment he saw me, he would know it too (FYI- I am completely aware how I am coming across right now).
I was so sure that we would meet some day. And that he would recognize me. I did not hope, I felt this as a certainty. Turns out bade bade deshon main aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain.
And so we met- just a decade and a half later.
I am married myself now, soon touching 30. He is on the other side of 50, with 3 children (a son in college). I haven’t watched any of his recent movies (or any movies at all) in years. And now we meet.
I am not a confused teenager now, I don’t fall in love with ‘the idea of someone’ anymore. And now we meet.
I have lived three years in Mumbai and crossed several celebrities without feeling the need to look twice and not wanting to intrude anyone’s privacy. I am intensely private myself.
I don’t typically jump off my skin in excitement. In my professional space, I am known for operating constantly in the space between stimulus and response- a far cry from the ideas of gatecrashing high profile parties. And now we meet.
From a stage of wanting to have/ do/ be everything above the earth and under the sky, I now value wanting less and less. Sounds like spiritual growth, doesn’t it? And now I meet him!
Outside this restaurant in Goa, close to mid-night, I let several celebrities pass by without a second glance (their presence was unexpected and uninteresting).. and then there he was! There must have been a moment of disbelief, but I just remember walking up to him without a second thought, saying a familiar ‘hi’ and shaking hands with him. He and his four body-guards seemed a little taken aback, I figure in retrospect, though completely polite.
I urgently called up my mom, “What should I do next?” She told me I must get a photo with him. So promptly I went back in! The bodyguards asked very nicely ‘to please wait’ as he was having dinner. The dinner party lasted some 90 minutes I think, while we patiently waited.
People who know me now are surprised that I should be so enamored by an actor. But I was not there as a 30 year old, intent on maintaining my dignity in all social situations. I was a teenager again- and he was the man from the movies who romanced life and made you fall in love…the man who dreamt big and asked you to do the same.
Four of us had to cancel our partying plans for the night for my stubborn insistence to get a photo with SRK. I was being impractical, selfish, socially inappropriate… but I was going to go after what I wanted, and boy did it feel good!!
Thank you SRK, for reminding me how great it feels to do something just because you want it, believing that you deserve what you want.. and for showing me that dreams do come true.. eventually. When such phrases had lost meaning and sounded like overused platitudes- now I meet him!
Makes complete sense.
When he finally got up to leave, God knows from where a crowd of more than 50 people mobbed him. They were unruly and aggressive. What were my chances?! As I looked lost, moving towards the door half-hidden by the mob, I suddenly realized, SRK was calling me. He was gesturing for me to come forward! So that’s how I got this picture 😀
I am still a little dazed- thankful and dazed. SRK is obviously a gentleman! But more than that, I like to believe that he recognized me 🙂