Shahrukh Khan is afraid to do different roles!

<a href='//' title='Shahrukh Khan' class='article_display_tag' data-id='shahrukh-khan' id='article_tag_data_shahrukh-khan' style='display: inline-block;'><strong>Shahrukh Khan</strong></a>You can spot him a mile away. From the thicket of smoke curls, you catch a glimpse of him. Hyperactive, talking ninteen to the ninteen hundred. Like most media savvy actors, he’s on a role, playing to the gallery to the hilt, making you feel like the most important person in his life. If only for the moment. And then...
...he’s moved on, leaving behind just the remnants of smoke, hanging in the air.

We are on the sets of Yash Chopra’s as yet untitled film. One gets a foretaste of what Shah Rukh Khan will look at 60 plus. A white extension is hitched on to his unruly real hair. And talk gradually veers on to the topic du jour, the success of Main Hoon Naa. With characteristic candour, he avers, “I am an actor and I make no bones about the fact that I have no business sense. That’s the reason I made four films in partnership. I only ensure that we make no losses when we release a film. Whenever we lost money, Juhi (Chawla) and I have just worked doubly hard to get the money back, that’s it. By the grace of god, this film is a big hit.”

As if reading my thoughts, he sallies, “I don’t get carried away with people calling me King Khan and Badshah of Bollywood. All this is nonsense.” He admits to being nonchalant about praise or censure. He asserts, “I don’t react to criticism. Can a critic teach me, ‘Arre Shah Rukh, thoda yeh expression theek karo lo…?’ Critics may write that my acting is better than Robert De Niro’s, but for sure they can’t make me believe it. I know my job and my level of competence.”

What about the oft-repeated charge about sticking to stereotype, of playing safe, of constantly recycling the knight in shining tinsel armour formulae? The sarcasm in his voice is unmistakable as he replies, “I must be really happy with what I am doing since I keep doing it over and over again. Probably Shah Rukh Khan is afraid to do different roles! The roles might seem the same but the characters I have played have various shades. Only those who have a heart can notice it, those who don’t are blind.”

His calling cards: his belief and the courage of his convictions. He states, “I am the best judge of what I do. My acting is worthy only if I can make kids, mothers, uncles and aunts feel thrilled to watch me.”

But all that can wait for the moment. Come July, the actor will take a five-month sabbatical and concentrate on his autobiography. By then he would have wrapped up Yash Chopra’s next film and Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Swades. He segues into a more serious mode and says, “I am taking time off to write a book. I’d like to share my hard work mantra.” Tongue firmly in cheek, he flashes that dimpled turnstile smile and adds, “I think I’ll do a film with a newcomer and if it does not run, then people will feel I have done something different.”

Next: SRK reveals, “I was really impressed with President Abdul Kalam’s writing. Hey, I am reading this book on grammar, also another one on why men never listen...” Suddenly, his natter becomes a stream of consciousness ramble...

In a trice, he imitates Subhash Ghai teaching him dancing steps in Pardes. There’s general laughter all around. The air is redolent with the sweet smell of success...