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Book Review: Shah Rukh Can

Discussion in 'Shah Rukh Can' started by DianaDimple, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. DianaDimple

    DianaDimple Well-Known Member

    Book Review: Shah Rukh Can

    By Joginder Tuteja, April 13, 2009 - 11:54 IST

    This one is a voluminous book. A real voluminous one at that. If Shah Rukh Khan has been known for his non-stop talk then writer Mushtaq Sheikh too doesn't appear far behind when it comes to translating his thoughts into words. He writes, and writes and then further writes about Shah Rukh, something that makes one feel that more than a friend and a colleague, Mushtaq looks at Shah Rukh as a hero. Someone who is not just his hero but also an entire country's - correction, entire world's hero! It is this very 'fan factor' that makes 'Shah Rukh Can' a read that seems to be coming straight from an admirer's heart.

    For a writer, such scenario has two sides to it:

    a) Because you are so much in love of a celebrity, you want to explore anything and everything that you had always wanted to know about him.
    b) Because you are so much in love of a celebrity, everything about him is taken entirely positively. It all becomes quite one-dimensional and even when there is something remotely negative that pops up, as a writer you have defences available even for that!

    This is exactly what one senses after reading 'Shah Rukh Can'. If the book is to be believed, Shah Rukh has never taken a step wrong, he is the smartest actor/performer around and if at all there are some areas of improvement for him, he doesn't need to work in that direction because he can be loved even with the weaknesses continuing to persist. Now this could well be true; after all it may all be a solid fact that Shah Rukh Khan is a fantastic human being after all. It's just that one feels the lack of a single written word which is 'not-so-good' about the King Khan.

    Is he a perfect human being, may be, but we do not get to know about it 100% through this book.

    Leaving aside this factor, 'Shah Rukh Can' explores those facets about the actor and so many other tangents in his life, both pre and post his stardom. The kind of detailing that Mushtaq explores in this 350 page book (which by the way is pure text with hardly any pictures) is a testimony to the fact that the writer would have spent quite some time not just with the actor in question but also quite a few other prominent members from the film industry. Not just that, there are clear indications that he did extensive research on the biggest actor in the country today and was fully prepared before beginning to pen down 'Shah Rukh Can'.

    From a book that claims to talk about 'The Life and Times of Shah Rukh Khan', the least you expect is some trivia from the actor's life, both personal and professional, about which not much has been written about in the past. The kind which makes you wonder if something like that had really happened in the actor's life. Thankfully, Mushtaq extracts quite some trivia out of the actor's life and surely there would have been in numerous instances that even Shah Rukh may not have remembered unless specifically pointed in that direction.

    So you get to know how Shah Rukh was offered the role of Anil Kapoor's car driver in 1942 - A Love Story, which he rejected (of course!). Eventually Raghuvir Yadav did that role. Or how Shah Rukh completely surrendered to the director's vision and withdrew himself when he couldn't follow the trajectory of Subhash Ghai's Pardes. It's a different matter though that Shah Rukh was appreciated for his performance in the film but so was he in Karan Arjun too, which by the way he dared not watch over the years because he didn't connect with the role.

    There are number of such little instances that make 'Shah Rukh Can' an interesting read. But is it just about the actor and the trivia around his life? Not at all. One of the unexplored facets of Shah Rukh that is covered in the book in extensive detail is his views around acting v/s performances. There are reams and reams that are spent on the actor's philosophy around acting and other finer nuances of filmmaking. Now does that make for an interesting read? Well, not exactly and that's because this entire episode in the book not just becomes a lot verbose but also hugely technical.

    Credit goes to the writer of the book to have got Shah Rukh into such conversation which has seldom (or shall I say never) been covered by any other journalist/author in the past. In this regard, Mushtaq deserves a pat on the back for bringing in something which no one ever thought earlier. After all so excited have audiences been about Shah Rukh's personality and stardom over last decade and a half that seldom has anyone bothered to know about what makes the superstar tick in front of the camera.

    However, one fact that still needs to be considered is that majority of readers of this book would be the same set of audiences who love to see him as Rahul and Raj on screen. For them, how does Shah Rukh differentiate between acting v/s performance doesn't quite make for an interesting read. Probably, they don't even care. All they want is his arms going up in the year with the dimpled cheeks facilitating a smile that continues to make millions look at him in awe. Now how does he achieve that? Well, that thesis is left for the intellectually inclined, which actually forms a miniscule part of the readers. Hence the reason why 3-4 chapters have been dedicated to this very aspect of Shah Rukh make for a quick skip read!

    But ignore this part of the book and you have so much to know about Shah Rukh. Views about him come from the biggest of the makers, some of them being the kinds who have never ever given an interview. Case in point is Aditya Chopra who opens up in a big way while talking about his association with Shah Rukh. He remembers how he had to literally chase Shah Rukh to make him consent to do Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Apparently the actor was not too keen on doing love stories and wanted to stay away from that until Aditya convinced him otherwise and paved the way for a dozen odd love stories to follow over the years.

    Some of the other interesting stories the books talk about:

    - Why Shah Rukh went ahead and did an atrocious movie called Guddu
    - His appearance in TV serial 'Waage Ki Duniya' as a rash driver
    - Shah Rukh coming into Chamatkar after Deepak Malhotra (who had a one film career in Lamhe) rejected the film
    - Viveck Vaswani being Shah Rukh's pillar of support during his initial years in Mumbai
    - His struggling period in Mumbai when along with wife Gauri, he had to keep working hard in order to pay rent for his house
    - His admiration for Amitabh Bachchan and how he considered him to be THE hero when compared to Dilip Kumar (there is great detailing that he gives around this - visit Page Nos. 206 and 207)
    - His lack of understanding with Devdas when Sanjay Leela Bhansali narrated the script for the first time
    - How he motivated Karan Johar even though the first shot that he took for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was terrible
    - Aditya Chopra believing that Dil To Pagal Hai wasn't great cinema
    - How Farah Khan had reached the point of frustration when Shah Rukh Khan had made her wait for three years before saying yes to Main Hoon Naa.

    And last but certainly not the least (after all this is most topical in the current scenario), how years back Shah Rukh had made a candid confession before stepping into filmdom -

    "I'll destroy Aamir Khan. I'll take over Aamir. Main jab filmon mein aoonga na, baja doonga sabki"!

    Ahem ahem!

    Price: Rs. 395

  2. RizwanaShahrukh

    RizwanaShahrukh I love SRK

    omg the book is out!!! the book is out!!!! :eek2: i need to get my copy!! :bolt:
  3. beba

    beba King is my life

    Certainly you do, Rizvana :)
    This review sounds a little patronisig to me. Why don't you try and write your own version of the book? The better one :p
    I haven't finished reading yet but I simply love the way Mushtaq Shiekh writes about Shah Rukh. He knows a lot and he knows also how to share his knowledge with others. So many interesting details!
    The review's author doesn't like the way book is written but I like it very much. Do they want to see the dark side of the moon? There is no dark side of the moon called Shah Rukh. He's the great actor and great, warm person.
    Great thanks for this book, Mr Shiekh! :hail: I love it so much!
  4. avirup2008

    avirup2008 The King's Knight

    I am getting my copy in 2-3 days:D:D

    Well Mushtaq is certainly right when he said SRK can take no wrong step, because really you cannot improve perfection:cool:

    What is shown in the book is the herculean journey of a dreamer, who had visions of making the world his own, and how it came true for him in all corners.:rolleyes:

    There can be no mistake in such a epically proportioned celebration of a superstar.

    There cant be any faults. There cant. Because others cant, but Shah Rukh can:):)
  5. avirup2008

    avirup2008 The King's Knight

    I am getting my copy in 2-3 days:D:D

    Well Mushtaq is certainly right when he said SRK can take no wrong step, because really you cannot improve perfection:cool:

    What is shown in the book is the herculean journey of a dreamer, who had visions of making the world his own, and how it came true for him in all corners.:rolleyes:

    There can be no mistake in such a epically proportioned celebration of a galactic superstar.

    There cant be any faults. Because others cant, but Shah Rukh can:):)
  6. avirup2008

    avirup2008 The King's Knight

    Posted twice due to browser problem. Sorry:(:(:(:(
  7. prilvsrk

    prilvsrk ♥tere liye♥

    seems very similar to still reading khan.. i wonder if there's any new stuff?? or is this an abridged version of still reading khan?
  8. beba

    beba King is my life

    You may be right Priyanka :) I've already read the third part of the book and it seems similar. I read "Still Reading..." over eight months ago but after reading your post I've reached for the book to make a comparison. There are the same chapters and the same words. Pics are also the same but in the new book there are less of them and they're smaller. And they are only in the middle of the book.
    There are also some black and white but not many.
    It doesn't change the fact that i love this book already :) It's smaller and thinner so I will be able to take it with me. "Still Reading..." isn't a pocket book ;) This one fits to my bag perfectly :D
    Oh, and there's OK of course :love: He's a little green but still gorgeous :faint: :love:
  9. arfan_d

    arfan_d Proud SRK Fan

    Nicee wil get a copy sooN!!!! thanx for the info!
  10. avirup2008

    avirup2008 The King's Knight

    Bought my copy today and read three chapters so far..its intoxicatingly amazing:D:D

    Will write full review on it once I finish the entire book;)
  11. beba

    beba King is my life

    Oh, do it please :pray: I'm a little bit lazy to do it ;) I'm sure your review will be much better that the one posted on the top :D Can't wait!

    KKRSANA SRK-My Life, My Jaan

    Thnk u diana for the post...

    I just cant wait to read it.... I hope if i can too get a coopy of it...soon..!!!

    I hav Still Reading Khan, I got it on my Birthday, 12th December, 2008, tht day was the best day of my life, since King Khan's Rabne Bana Di jodi was also releasing on tht day.. I was like all the time praying for him...!!! Tht was the best Birthday, n the best gift...( The book as well as the release))!!!!

    By the way SRK was sooo right.... "I'll destroy Aamir Khan. I'll take over Aamir. Main jab filmon mein aoonga na, baja doonga sabki"!

    But I m Over & Up with this Amir, he is getting on my nerves....!!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :crazy: :crazy: ridiculous guy, the one who most jealous of SRK & His Success..!!!
    Everywhere SRK vs Amir,,,,,, Its too much... how far will they go with tht ghajini..... Just one such big hit... SRK has been doing this for years now....!!!!! I dont understand how can they even companre him with SRK???!!!! :crazy: :crazy: Kahan Raja bhod (SRK)... Kahan Ganguu teili...(amir)!!!! :p :p :p ;) ;) ;)

    I m soo fed up of this :puke: :puke:Amir...!!!!!


    Its..... [​IMG][​IMG]RELOADED[​IMG][​IMG] ...!!''
    [​IMG] [​IMG] ~ SRK's KKR~[​IMG] [​IMG]

  13. shublee

    shublee ~ShahRukhaholic

    I didnt like this review of the book at all, seems the person who wrote it is full of negative feedback

    im sure this book doesnt actually say that "SRK has never taken a wrong step" in life as this person says
    we're all human, we all make mistakes. SRK has and in his case he has admitted them and tried to right them where possible
  14. Ami

    Ami New Member

    I doubt anyone can write a review about this book that will please either end of the spectrum... it encompasses so many aspects about Shah Rukh!

    I've got the more voluminous and heavier version (Still Reading Khan), but I still want this one coz I love Mushtaq's writing style and coz he incorporates the IPL bit in here, which I think was not written in Still Reading Khan.

    The book SRK was bought several months ago but I'm savouring it a few pages at a time. It now lies on a pillow in a corner of my room like a sacred 'kitab' to be perused at leisure XD.
  15. shublee

    shublee ~ShahRukhaholic

    ok, this book & everything in it is the exact same, word for word, as the Still Reading Khan book

    except it is a smaller (normal sized) book, very few pics...yeah thats it. SRK book is a picture book with info.
    this one is written as just an info. book with pics.

    when i first ordered the pink covered book it came with the inner/outer world docu. on 1 dvd with it but when i got the book i realised it was written all in german so i sent it back & got the green covered one. no inner/outer world docu. :pout:

    not disappointed with the book but feeling cheated anyway :lol:

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