Shah Rukh Khan celebrates his 52nd birthday today (2 November). He started his career during the late 1980s with television shows like Fauji, Circus and then in 1992 marked his Bollywood debut with Raj Kanwar’s film Deewana. In the earlier phase of his film career, Khan mostly featured as an anti-hero or a villain (Darr, Baazigar, Anjaam), which was an unconventional space for a newbie to be in.
In 1995 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge released, and the rest, as they say, is history.
This year, 2017, SRK celebrates 25 glorious years in Bollywood. From delivering some of the biggest blockbusters — Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om — to performing at award functions, featuring in hundreds of commercials, being invited to speak to students at various global universities, a TEDx lecture, owning a cricket team, the Baadshah of Bollywood’s dominion is vast.
This thursday, we though of looking back on SRK’s various avatars beyond his films. It is what sets him apart from his contemporaries, after all.
While other Bollywood stars appear in selective commercials (at least it seems so), Khan, on the other hand, has been there and done it all.
From toothpastes, beverages, innerwear to bank services, telecom, dish antennas, and premium genres like cars, luxury watches etc, he’s literally everywhere.
Although he has received flak for featuring in some outrageous ads (especially those of fairness creams, mouth fresheners etc), but there’s no stopping SRK.
Promoting cities/states as brand ambassadors:
Just when we thought the Shah Rukh Khan fever had taken the advertising world by storm, he went a step further, as he was roped in by state governments, in and around the globe, to promote cities or states as a brand ambassador.
Currently he is the brand ambassador of West Bengal tourism and Dubai. It just demonstrates the Bollywood superstar’s global appeal; undoubtedly he is India’s most well-known face round the globe.
Owning Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL:
When the first installment of IPL began in 2008, Shah Rukh Khan made news by buying a whole cricket team. This was something people had not known or expected of a Bollywood star. He suddenly made his presence felt in the sports world, a space which was always perceived to coexist with showbiz as India’s biggest entertaining domains — but in water-tight compartments.
Delivering lectures at coveted universities, TED Talk:
It is a well-known fact that SRK’s academic history is worth being envious of. While most stars have a rather embarrassing educational background, SRK received the highest honour for overall performance in school, The Sword of Honour. Post that he did his Bachelors in Commerce from Hansraj College and later went on to pursue Masters in Mass Communications in Jamia Millia Islamia, which he left midway.
This explains why he is such an avid speaker and his oratory skills are now being acknowledged worldwide. Just recently he was invited to speak to students at the University of Edinburgh and later on at Yale University. His TED Talk was also received really well.
With these feathers in his cap, Shah Rukh Khan is no where close to slowing down. Age is just a number for this superstar.