I am a Shah Rukh Khan Fan…not just a fan, I’m a Jabra Fan! I have spent 22 years with the King of Bollywood, in whichever capacity it was possible. I have defended his honour, stood by him, adored him, dreamt about him, collected his postcards, watched and rewatched and re-re-watched his movies, with the same passion as the first time. The huge number of King Khan fans that reside in Pakistan will surely agree when I say it is hard to be a Pakistani Fan of SRK. No matter how much we enjoy Indian movies, there are some lines that you just don’t cross, and I’m not talking about LOC. I started noticing these obstacles from a young age.
When I sang Phir BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI at the top of my lungs my love for my country was questioned. Could singing one song really make that big a difference, I asked myself several times. Copying the steps was taking it too far, but I did that too, regardless of the big frown that it brought upon my mom’s face. I defended his marriage to a Hindu woman and drinking, to my peers. My behaviour was becoming more and more questionable as with the release of Om Shanti Om, I increased the volume whenever OM SHANTI OM song came up even when my mom told me to mute on that lyrics. My point was, when we could enjoy him being a Hindu throughout the movie, why can’t we do it during the song too? My love for him made me blasphemous and traitorous in the eyes of many. Gharwalay bi na samajhtay nae hain, wo star nae hai, dunya hai meri!
Belonging to a modest household, and loving an actor across border can be unfortunate. There is a lot you have to give up on. Camping outside Mannat to get a glimpse or meeting the star outside an award function to get an autograph is a leverage available to only the ones who reside in the country or are loaded with money. With the increasing social media usage of SRK it became even more torturous. It can be highly frustrating knowing exactly where he is but not being able to crash over.
I’m a fan who quotes Shah Rukh Khan, not just Rahul, Kabir, Raj and Om but Shah Rukh Khan himself (I’ve watched all his interviews FYI) and yet, to never have seen him in real life is a tragedy that I live by every day. And to add to it, the not-so-recent ban on Indian movies took the final ray of joy that I had. Watching his movies in Cinema. Having a larger than life version of him in front of me, just like his personality, was the only luxury that I had! Do they even realise how hard the youtube ban was on me! How many interviews, press conferences, red carpets, promotional appearances I missed out on during that time and how hard it was for me to keep track of his life! To take away the joy of watching the first-day first show is unimaginable!
With missing out on Dear Zindagi and having to watch it in bad print for the fear of spoilers, I was dreading the release of Raees. With every tracks release, the Zalimaa government continued their ban. Finally, when I heard the news of the ban being lifted off, my heart went Udi Udi Jaye, only to have the hopes crushed! My only question was when they promised Project Milaap, then why didn’t it happen! While the other movies like Kaabil and the controversial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil have come to the big screen, there are only false hopes making rounds about the release of my beloved Raees. Watching him in ADHM provided a temporary solace where he outlined my feelings for him: “Ek tarfa pyar ki taaqat hi kuch aur hoti hai, auro ke rishton ki tarah yeh do logon mein nahi bathti, sirf mera haq hai ispe”.
It gives me a bittersweet pleasure to think that he strives to prove his patriotism while being honest, and I strive to prove my love for my country in spite of my love for him. With undying hope in my heart, of meeting the man I adored since childhood, and near-to dying hope of being able to watch the banye ka dimag and mian bhai ki daring in cinema, I just want to state…Duniya mein kitni hain nafratein, phir bi dillon mein hain chahatein. Mar bhi jaein, pyar walay. Mit bhi jaein, yaar walay. Zinda rehti hain unki mohabatein ❤