Written byShalini Ojha ·
One of the basic ethics of journalism is to not favor anyone, a political party, a movie star or an organization. The ones who bring revolution (or attempt to) through their words, can't take sides.
In my entire (short-lived) career, I followed this. The only two instances I behaved like a fan and not as a journalist was when I met Shah Rukh Khan.
I assumed his birthday would be the best day to pour my feelings for him. Any other day might make me a lesser journalist, but today is all about King Khan who turned 53.
First, the disclosure: I may love him but not his movie choices. I criticize his work and his silence too.
On 364 days I am a journalist, today a fan.
I don't remember the exact moment I fell in love with SRK. Was it when Rahul rushed to Anjali to confess his love for Tina, or when Raj made Simran believe they made love the night before?
The SRK fan in me has always defended him with all my might. I have argued with friends, teachers, and family who claimed SRK was a mediocre star.
It is this love for him which drove me to watch re-runs of his movies. I have watched 'Veer Zaara' more than a hundred times, remember each dialogue of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' and cry every time Aman reads from his diary in 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'.
So when I finally saw him during a press conference, I could barely speak.
During 'Dilwale' promotions, SRK's PR told me he would get me a one-on-one interview with him. The press meet was supposed to start at 12 noon at a Gurugram hotel.
I reached at 11 AM, and the meet finally commenced at 1 PM. We were told SRK was ill, so there wouldn't be any one-on-one interactions.
When he came, his illness was visible.
Despite being unwell, SRK displayed more energy than anyone present. He spoke nicely to the press, answered questions with a bit of humor, and showed his dance skills too.
While he was leaving, I called out to him for a photograph. To my surprise, SRK came to me and asked for my phone.
Struck by his proximity, I couldn't give him my phone.
At that moment, I couldn't unlock my phone and soon the number of trials ended.
SRK asked me to calm down, but how could I? Honestly, I was worried he might lose his cool at my stupidity and leave.
Thankfully someone from the crowd gave him the phone, and I got a group picture.
Everyone who knows me knew what it meant for me.
Then came 2017 and the time for 'Jab Harry Met Sejal' promotions. This time (since I became a senior of sorts), I was invited to SRK's suite for an interaction.
After wrapping up another interview, he came to a room where I was sitting along with ten other reporters.
He gave a statement or two and clicked pictures with all of us.
I remember a reporter of a daily asked if she could hug him before the picture, and he obliged with a smile. I was floored by his humility.
When my turn came, I kept some distance between, because how could I stand too close to the man I adored.
SRK told me it was okay, asked me to smile, and someone clicked our picture. This time too words refused to leave my mouth.
There are many things to love about SRK. He has reached unscalable heights, his acting prowess is unquestionable, his sense of humor is impeccable and his charm is unmatched.
I am in awe of all these qualities too. But more than that, I am an SRK fan because he asked a nervous me to calm down in 2015, and in 2017 told me all is fine.
Thank you for the patience SRK. Happy birthday!
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