My Tryst With SRK- Saptarshi Nag

Being a movie aficionado, I can barely wait for a good movie when it hits the screen or appears on the OTT (as has been a practice of late since the advent of Covid). Candidly speaking, movies made in India these days hardly encourage me to wait. Simple reason, we do not make enough good movies . And when we do, those are easily outnumbered by the movies less deserving, yet succumbing to populism. In ‘Aparajito’ last year, I discovered a masterpiece. However, when it comes to popular recognition all over the country, movies like RRR with funny and childlike VFX, silly movies like Vikram make all the headlines. In fact, so many good movies like Tumbbad gets lost in the black hole of populism and silly movies like Bhul Bhulaiya 2 mints money like anything. I have in fact , never supported foolish extravaganzas like Brahmastra even though it had SRK in it, in a cameo. Even the much hyped Avatar sequel failed to impress me, though I am an ardent fan of Cameron’s stickler approach to movie-making.

Somehow, I was hooked by Top Gun Maverick, a masterpiece created after long 36 years of its original one. Cruise, a hexagenerian impressed me and some of the scenes even moistened My eyes with the beautiful memories of the original Top Gun, a movie that made all of us Cruise’s fan in our growing years. I fondly remember my craving for Pawn Sacrifice, the Prisoners, Interstellar, Gravity,Midnight in Paris, Joker, Green Book, the Dark Knight Rises, Bohemian Rhapsody or Nebraska to hit the screens in the recent past. (My Reviews of all these movies are on my personal website ).Flicks like Silver Linings Playbook, Roma, the Room, Hacksaw Ridge, the Zookeeper’s Wife, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Three Billboards, Carol- I savored with ultimate enthusiasm in the past decade. For the true connoisseurs of movies, Hollywood has been a true revelation in the last decade with so many food for thought, imaginative movies even though they had to vie with behemoths like Marvel or DC for whom it was nothing more than just spoiling growing minds in the exchange of money.

But this time the scenario is altogether different. Movies to bahut dekh liye, it’s the time to root for the person whom I have admired since he made his on screen debut as Abhimanyu in Fauji when I was barely 10 years old. A man with mannerism, a man with nothing but dimples and a charming smile, a self-made man with no backing but just the dreams to conquer the hearts of millions had then arrived silently. It has been a fairy tale since then. It took him just a decade to own the throne of Bollywood. He fought against everything he is accused of by the ignorant these days. A self made man like him is seen as a propagator of nepotism by those for whom nothing else matters but propaganda. His son was wrongly caught and what followed is a mess which makes us question why he? Why SRK? Let’s not go deeper into this or else many feathers may be ruffled. By then there was already a hiatus. His selection was going wrong. His trust was wrong. His movies bombed. And the world was about to get him.

But a King is always a king. And so is SRK. A man known for his ultimate suavity, for his unbeatable sense of humour , for his unmatched charm, for those extended arms ready to embrace anyone irrespective of the nation, caste, creed or language. At the age of 57, he is pitted against a world dying to end him forever. I remember a tweet from a gang where it was written, ” AK done and dusted, now boycott SRK”. But take my words, this man is different. This man is someone who has learnt from failures this time. This man is toughened by the harsh realities of the present times. I fondly remember those Doordarshan days, when I used to wait till 11 pm, as it had been announced that the trailer of Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa would be telecast then. Even 31 years later, the craze for the man for me remains the same. And I know, for millions.
Hit ’em hard, man. Give answers to all those humiliations you never deserved. As reported, Paathan has set the record for highest advance booking in the history of India, yes India, not Bollywod, not Kollywood, but a whole nation. May you come back and make a statement that this Paathan is still alive. I know loving SRK is not always going to make me be counted in the league of ‘A few extraordinary Gentlemen’. But when Ray remarked that he had watched Sholay 34 times in a span of a few days, the world was shell-shocked. Pun intended !
Kursi ki peti baandh lo.

1 day to go …

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