Shahrukh Khan at RaOne premiere in Toronto
With me and SRK, it’s kismet
Yet again, I found myself in the eye of the Shahrukh Khan storm when he was here in Toronto for the opening of his new film, RaOne, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. If you follow my blog, you will know that I wrote Shahrukh Khan and me about my love for his film Paheli and my thwarted chances to meet him; and you will remember that I finally did meet him during the IIFA Awards, which I wrote about in Bollywood in Toronto: Fave moment #1 – Meeting Shahrukh Khan.
When I found out RaOne was premiering in Toronto, I applied for media accreditation for myself and my trusty photographer, the very talented Andrew Adams of Katha Images — and then had the opportunity to become part of the meet ‘n greet, thanks to my friends Manish Mahtani of Nucreation and Mala Singh of Sama Models, sponsors of the event. Sama Models arranged the models; and all of the clothes we wore came from Nucreation, a store on Gerrard Street East in Toronto that carries some of the city’s most gorgeous lenghas, suits and saris.
So, I had the choice as to whether to wait outside with the crush of media, and interview Shahrukh Khan, co-stars Shahana Goswami and Armaan Verma, and director Anubhav Sinha; or become part of the meet ‘n greet and wait inside, not knowing how much interaction I would have with him. I decided that becoming a model for the night would be the better story.
Dancing with King Khan to Chammak Challo
I brought my Nucreation sari with me and dressed in a bathroom at the TIFF Bell Lightbox — with the help of an Indian women waiting to see the premiere — and joined the other models in the lobby. We waited a long time for King Khan to make his appearance, as he had to give interviews to all the waiting media. Much to my surprise, he posed with us, and I reminded him that I had interviewed him before. And, to my MUCH GREATER SURPRISE, we were lined up on stage behind him and the cast, and when someone played the music from one of the songs in the movie, Chammak Challo, he taught us some dance moves and danced with us. Props to Sama Models for arranging this magical moment — which was “too awesome for words,” to quote my friend Linda.
Showman, star and nice guy
I have to say, now that I’ve met him twice and seen him in action, I have the highest regard for Shahrukh Khan as a true showman, a true star and a genuinely nice guy. At my age, I have developed a very good sense of people, and my sense of SRK is that he’s a hardworking professional, who is genuinely humble and caring. Whether you like his movies or not is another matter — that’s a matter of taste. But honestly, I am the LAST person interested in celebrity culture or being a “fan girl.” As one professional creative person to another, I sincerely admire him. (And of course, I do like some of his movies, especially Paheli and Chak de India!)
A moment in time
In the end, standing behind Shahrukh Khan on stage was just a moment in time. But it was significant to me because it gave me a chance to soak it all in, and get that wonderful, magic-carpet-ride feeling — a feeling that started to happen since I started traveling in India. It gave me the feeling that all of this seems very familiar; this is where I am supposed to be, this is what I am supposed to be doing — in spite of the unlikeliness of it all. It is a very warming feeling. Jai Ganesh.
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