It is the man’s birthday today. And I don’t know what to write.
I remember writing a lot of essays on him when I started writing years back, probably during the earlier years of my school life. Those were free-willed, not bound by any particular sub-topic. They didn’t even have what we call a flow. They were simple, sweet write-ups on the man who made me happy.
But today, as I sit to write on this very special day, I am blank. And I don’t know what to write.
I remember having those impassioned discussions with my friends, probably in my college days, when I boasted the fact that my favourite is a one-woman man — a term made popular by Jab We Met, as I would like to believe — unlike many of their favourites. Also that it was he, who almost single-handedly changed the dynamics of the film industry — being an anti-hero people adored, being the unconventional-looking scruffy-haired hero everyone wanted to take home to their parents, being the one that normalised emotional men on-screen ala “mard ko dard hota hai“, being happily married before entering the industry and being absolutely self-made, ofcourse (I could go on about this, trust me!).
I remember feeling overwhelmingly proud when he used to speak out on issues, be it his thoughts on religion, education, family, love, or any other topic under the sun — it had the imprint of an educated and well-read man.
I remember crying happy tears whenever he won that Best Actor award. The way he always used to dedicate it to his team, family and fans used to be my happiest memory of the week that followed.
I remember feeling low, sitting in a corner of my house when my mom would turn on the television to play something, anything related to him. It was a weird connection, like my father always said, which made either a film or a song of his appear out of nowhere, specially in such circumstances. The result? A transformation in the weather from gloomy to bright and sunny!
I remember watching him in his latest movie teaser and feel all the nervous, happy butterflies jumping inside me.
I remember watching him in the theatres, getting goosebumps, crying and laughing along with him, while also trying to understand what he would have gone through while enacting the character by examining the look of his eyes.
I remember visiting Mannat, not once but thrice in my two-day trip to Mumbai, despite knowing that he was not home, just to try and feel how he must have felt after catching a glimpse of the then To-Let apartment that he first saw while filming Chaand Taare from Yes Boss.
I remember going all touristy in St. Columba’s as well as Hansraj, imagining the little him dreaming big around those corridors.
I remember my heart skipping a beat after seeing Marine Drive for the first time as I could almost see a young him sitting somewhere over there, staring the dark night sky, saying his now-famous line, “One day, I will rule this city.”
I remember reading all books about him and smile a little more whenever I learnt something new about his life.
I remember him sharing the little AbRam’s picture on twitter and me going completely berserk with joy in my hostel room. When Aryan and Suhana were born, I was small too, and there was no instant media as well, so getting to see this side of him was a blessing for me, and probably the most heartening thing too.
I remember being awe-struck watching him in person for the first time from the stands, far away from the stage where he was at his warmest best, reciting dialogues, dancing for the crowd as he did what he did best — making people happy. I swear I couldn’t have felt more touched.
I remember all this and so much more.
He has given me the memories of a lifetime, the happiness of a lifetime and the sweetest part of it is that he is blissfully unaware about it.
I have grown up in his era, watching his movies, reading his interviews. I owe a large part of my behaviour and my childhood to him and can never be thankful enough.
No words will ever be enough to describe what I have for him or what he has given me, which is why I am blank today. And I don’t know what to write.
Happy Birthday, my inspiration, my constant, my memory-wall.
Happy Birthday, Shah Rukh Sir.