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The Prologue (Indian Express, Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

Discussion in 'Still Reading Khan - by Mushtaq Sheikh' started by srk_no1_fan, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. srk_no1_fan

    srk_no1_fan New Member

    Author Mushtaq Shiekh tells Sunday Mid Day how he’s still discovering Shah Rukh Khan, as his pictorial book on the superstar prepares for releaseIt was easy enough for author/scriptwriter Mushtaq Shiekh to take the decision three years ago to write a book on Shah Rukh Khan. He knew he wanted it to be “a story told in photos and not just dry words” and that it would present an insider perspective as Shah Rukh’s close friend.

    Yet almost immediately, Mushtaq was stumped. To start writing, he needed a title. “That was the most scary part,” he says grin widening. King Khan, Khan Do it, Khan-a-Khazana, The Real Baazigar – the writer mentally threw them in the bin even as they cropped up. But with Still Reading Khan forming the star’s legendary initials, Mushtaq knew he had come up with a winner.

    “It continues forever. It’s the journey of a superstar from his first day to today, but strictly not tomorrow. I haven’t even used the word biography because I think it’s fuddy duddy and gives it an about-to-kick-the-bucket feel. I mean there’s no end to his filmography! This title means you’re looking at Shah Rukh like a painting. I see a sequel…” he says comically.

    So while the book is on Shah Rukh Khan and Mushtaq insists he wants it to catch you in the gut as much as the star’s own personality does, Still Reading Khan is full of Mushtaq colour. The 417-pager published by Om Books International is out in June, but a preview of it reveals funky design, pictures that jump right out of the pages, text punctuated by quirky little icons and quotes that grasp you by the eyeballs.

    Shah Rukh’s childhood is laid out in nostalgic sepia tone, his Delhi years in kitschy technicolour and all the 13 chapters are interspersed with double spread photo splashes carrying SRK’s brazen quotes. “I wanted to wake you, slap you with my design. I tried to keep SRK’s personality in it so it had to be unpredictable.”

    That’s the one thing that Mushtaq maintains, his unpredictability, despite knowing Shah Rukh closely for nearly a decade.

    “It’s very strange. You’re having coffee with him at Mannat, watching him at the Filmfare awards, walking at Hyde Park, touring with him for stage shows and each time, he’s another man.” Mushtaq himself first met Shah Rukh Khan when he was a 19-year-old cub reporter assigned to do a story on the “48 Khans in the industry”.

    He walked in with irritation at his task and walked out knowing he wouldn’t have to spice up a single quote the actor had uttered.

    “I didn’t think that we would get this thick,” Mushtaq says slowly, “but I knew that I wanted to get to know him better. His was a life well spent. He didn’t walk straight from marble floors into a shooting set. He’d seen ups and downs and it reflected in the pathos in his eyes. His life was movie-like — you will have to pinch yourself when you finish reading the book.”

    Over the years, Mushtaq changed from rookie reporter with access to SRK, to the person the actor asked to chronicle the making of Asoka, his home production. He even popped up as Shah Rukh’s lucky mascot in Main Hoon Na, glaring as SRK bumps into him in a theatre ticket line. “I always tell him that it was my first time on screen and I delivered a super duper hit!” he laughs.

    Despite the camaraderie and implicit faith, Mushtaq admits that he often felt swamped by the task. “When do I stop? They’ve named an orchid after him, his film was up for Oscar nominations, he’s the first man in a Lux ad…So Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna is the last film and I’ve finally convinced the writer in me that everything else can come in the next!” he jokes.

    In spite of all that’s been said about the star, Mushtaq saw potential in a book because “you can never have enough of the man and hopefully my perspective is unique”. Nasreen Munni Kabir recently released The Inner and Outer Worlds of Shah Rukh Khan, film writer Anupama Chopra is writing a biography on the star and Mushtaq faces competition from the man himself as he pens his autobiography.

    “In all humility, no number of books could make me shaky,” he says, “I know what my book is. Only the factual information will be the same, but my perspective is that of an insider.”

    Yet because of that, it also faces the danger of being dismissed as a gush fest because it comes from within Shah Rukh’s clique, but Mushtaq counters, “The knee-jerk reaction is that it’s mushy, but I can’t operate on your reactions. It’s a heavy price to pay. They think you’re a nincompoop just because you’re close to a superstar, but I’d call it sour grapes.”

    So controversy is out and Mushtaq says since he’s left out the saccharine praise, there aren’t any cynical diatribes against the star as well. In fact, Still Reading Khan is as entertaining as its author and subject.

    Mushtaq has kept it a visual treat, but dug out childhood photos taken at Shah Rukh’s Delhi residence Gautam Nagar, spoken to teachers, neighbours, theatre buddies, his mentor Barry John, sister Lala, wife Gauri, his in-laws, usual suspects like Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Juhi Chawla, Subhash Ghai, Rani Mukerji and the unusual in friends like Vivek Khushnani and Benny Thomas.

    “I haven’t spoken to his dog,” he jokes, but to show the other side of SRK, Mushtaq has even included his kids Aryan and Suhana. There’s also a chapter that’s Shah Rukh unplugged. He speaks on work and his art form and Mushtaq decided not to dilute its essence.

    The book unfolds like a film — and asked to compare it to Shah Rukh’s own movies, Mushtaq pauses, then says, “Still Reading Khan is a mix of K3G, Devdas and Badshah, because it’s about parents, it’s melodramatic and it’s absurd.”
    Still Reading Khan by Mushtaq Shiekh is published by Om Books International
    SRK clichés you won’t find in this book

    Tandoori chicken “There’s no tandoori chicken, grilled chicken or bird flu. Shah Rukh doesn’t get up in the morning to eat chicken. The subject bored me to death so I thought that readers would puke if they saw it once more.”

    High energy “Strangers say that that they’re amazed by his energy, directors say they want encapsulate it. All this talk has been taxing on my energy!”

    Back surgery “His back is coming out of my ears! The media has gone into detailing bones, ligaments, a complete education of his back.”

    Dancing at weddings “Shah Rukh has explained it all in the media, other stars have taken off on it and after all this, using stars at weddings has even become a trend!”Things you’ll only find here

    Dad factor “Shah Rukh makes an amazing dad because he also had one. His dad once gave him a cycle and Shah Rukh had asked him whether he could go beyond a point. His dad gave him a whack on the back of his head and said, ‘Why are you scared? I left home when I was 16. Don’t ever be afraid to explore. The world is yours.’”

    Simple Shah Rukh “He may endorse luxury and designer products, but he’s a simpleton at heart. Shah Rukh is actually very guilty of his lifestyle and hates splurging on himself.”

    New book fetish “He doesn’t flaunt things like other actors — he’d prefer to buy six books instead. Shah Rukh loves to touch fresh books. He touches a new book as if it were diamond jewellery.”
  2. srk_no1_fan

    srk_no1_fan New Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    Pics to go with the article.

    Attached Files:

  3. srk_no1_fan

    srk_no1_fan New Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

  4. srk_no1_fan

    srk_no1_fan New Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

  5. sonal

    sonal SRK's D&G lover!

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    thats kinda cool....thanks kainat
  6. Meghna04

    Meghna04 ChakDe SRK!

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    Thanks Kainat!

    I can't wait to have this book in my hands (as my "diamond jewellery") ;)
  7. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    new book? interesting. the more the merrier. thanks kainat
  8. Tanjusik

    Tanjusik New Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    It's so nice! Thanks for sharing!
  9. K

    K I love you Shah Rukh. Staff Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    Wow!! Thanks Kainat.:)
  10. Pakiza

    Pakiza New Member

    Re: Reams Unlimited(a new book about Shahrukh)

    thx kainat

    “you can never have enough of the man

    sooo true!!:thumb:
  11. ibtesam

    ibtesam Well-Known Member

    Everyone knows almost everything about Shah Rukh Khan. We know that on a bad day during his days as a struggler in Mumbai, he told a bunch of friends, ‘‘One day, I’ll own this city’’. We also know that rain, panties and lips turn him on. And yes, he’s a gadget geek who has a perfume and an orchid named after him. He loves Tandoori Chicken and adores his dog Chewbacca.

    But obviously, there’s more. The nation’s obsession with SRK continues, with three books on King Khan hitting the stands this year.

    Film writer Anupama Chopra is readying hers for a June 2007 release while SRK himself will present his life in the long overdue memoir Twenty Years of a Decade. But Mushtaq Sheikh has an edge here; his take on old friend SRK will come out first—in May this year.

    Sheikh is the vice-president of Mukta Searchlight, a division of Subhash Ghai’s production banner Mukta Arts, which looks after the company’s crossover projects. Titled Still Reading Khan and published by Om Books International, the 425 pager is a coffee table summary of SRK, the man, the actor and the brand.

    Although the idea behind the book was to pack in everything about the star between 425 pages, Sheikh says the finished product is more like a pretty travelogue. ‘‘It’s not just a biography. It’s a journey with the man and his stardom, which gets bigger and bigger,’’ says the 30-year-old Sheikh, ‘‘but I’ve refrained from mentioning Tandoori Chicken or his fascination for Pepsi.’’

    The book is divided into innovatively titled chapters. His baby days titled chapters. His baby days are titled X Chromosome and the pages devoted to his family life are Mere Paas Maa Hai. His stint with theatre is chronicled in a chapter called Rough Crossing; his rise to stardom in Mumbai is captured in City of Angels. In one of the most interesting chapters in the book, Acting Pricey, King Khan talks unabashedly about his craft. Rare photographs from the past, posters of his films and classy double-spreads make the book a slick production.

    Sheikh earlier authored a book on the making of the SRK-starrer Asoka. It took him three years to get everything down for this one. Since the Hindi film industry doesn’t have an archiving or cataloguing system in place, Sheikh had to raid his own collection of film magazines. The news gathering experience from his days as a journalist—Sheikh wrote for G and Star and Style—came in handy. ‘‘I didn’t ask SRK’s office for help. I just followed his life, got phone numbers of people who have touched his life and took notes,’’ he says.

    For his recce, Sheikh met SRK’s school buddies, his Delhi neighbours and his co-actors in Barry John’s theatre group in Delhi. He even tracked down a diehard SRK fan in New Zealand—a young woman who loves her hero so much that she has converted from Christianity to Islam.

    Of course, Sheikh had all the access he could wish for. He’s been a part of SRK’s inner circle for the past 11 years. The association began on a film set Sheikh visited to interview a bunch of strugglers for a G cover story. ‘‘He was a rank newcomer then, but he told me quite passionately that he’d be the country’s biggest superstar soon,’’ he reminisces. Sheikh liked the beginner’s attitude, focus and the great quotes he spouted. ‘‘Nobody after Chunkey Pandey has given us quotes like SRK has.’’
  12. ibtesam

    ibtesam Well-Known Member

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    Their friendship became stronger when SRK’s wife, Gauri, came to know Sheikh better. ‘‘For quite a while, I didn’t exist for Gauri. Today, I don’t know who I’m more close to,’’ says Sheikh. But he confesses that his book is not a controversial tell-all. ‘‘By just being himself SRK unsettles many, so I’ve just let him be,’’ he says.

    But expect some startling revelations and colourful anecdotes about the 40-year-old star. When he was 12, SRK asked his father if it was safe for him to take his bicycle around their building compound. His father told him, ‘‘I left home when I was 16. Go and find out for yourself.’’

    Through anecdotes like these Sheikh has tried to separate the man from the image. From the pages we come to know that SRK analyses his solitude and is self-contained, but as Sheikh avers, ‘‘When he realises he needs people around him, he can get up and ask.’’

    The first-time biographer has also touched upon certain forbidden areas. ‘‘His positive attitude is absolutely vulgar. If there is one thing that he can’t handle, it’s death. He colours any news or occurrence of death with humour.’’ The famous death sequence from Kal Ho Naa Ho was inspired by this aspect of the star’s personality. Dollops of personal trivia punctuate the chapters. Sample some: SRK doesn’t like salt and loses his temper if his food has even a dash more than what he likes; he has a titanium disc in his back (after his back injury on the sets of Shakti), which he conveniently forgets about when he’s playing with his kids, Aryan and Suhana.

    Sheikh insists there is much more to share about his friend, and is planning sequels to his debut. ‘‘I don’t know where to stop. His stardom is getting bigger every moment, so the story has to continue.’’

    And what does the superstar think of his friend’s tribute? ‘‘Why would you want to write a book on me?’’ he asked, when Sheikh first told him about the project. Maybe it’ll teach him a thing or two about his own life. Recently, SRK was stumped when Sheikh informed him that his old home in Delhi’s Gautam Nagar had been converted to a girl’s hostel. With the book, Sheikh hopes to stump the star many more times.

    (Still Reading Khan, published by Om Books International, is priced at Rs 2,500)

    IT’S about five in the evening; the hall had opened to let in a few early stragglers, a pert young woman who promptly begins to set up the stage, enquiring briskly of a young man whether the tea has been brought in. As the twilight dwindles, others walk in. A young man with a hairdo that resembled a mop, a dapper youth running in ate from his job, a broad shouldered older man at whose entrance the atmosphere gets brisk. The rehearsals begin in earnest. Action, take, retake. Cut! The filmi jargon out that is. This here is theatre and so let’s respect that and begin again. The actors, whose positions would be marked out in the stage, would begin the scenes while others watched intently; not so much more than the director. It’s a love scene and the mop hairdo has to say adoringly to the pert young woman, “Mere jaan mere rooh mere Benazir” and she has to come back with “Mere pyar mere sapne mere Khalid”. But our director saab isn’t too happy. ‘‘Would you guys do something so that it looks like you are in love?’’ he says dryly. The scene breaks up in consternation and the lead actors begin again, this time with feeling! This would take time; rehearsals have been on now for a week and today, as always, it would continue to late in the night. And so as the actors and the other crew walk in and out upstage and downstage; the stage manager converses with the costume guy; the person in charge of the props runs around and the director is throwing up his hands again—let’s do the rounds and introduce you to some of the most significant years of Shah Rukh’s life.
  13. ibtesam

    ibtesam Well-Known Member

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    His years at TAG - the Theatre Action Group. For the young man I keep referring to, quite inelegantly, as the mop hairdo is none other than him. Last we had seen of him, was at the audition for the musical at Lady Sree Ram College and meeting up with Barry John, the director of this motley group. ‘‘A very graphic memory,’’ says Barry of the meeting. The group was at the Lady Shree Ram College in Delhi, for a joint venture production of the musical ’Annie Get Your Gun’. ‘‘I am not sure whether we were in rehearsal, or we were auditioning. He came in behind me; I was in the auditorium, watching people on the stage, dancing—he said excuse me and I turned and there he was.’’

    Shah Rukh found that he had been selected to be one of the four principal dancers with just one speaking line. He had come in a little late for the main casting had already been done. For the boy who always had the lead roles in his school plays it was a let down. ‘‘I was very disappointed that I didn’t get the lead role. But I didn’t say it, for up against me were all the big guys like Roshan Seth.’’ Besides, he grins, it was a musical and he couldn’t sing. So he didn’t push it. But he could dance; do a bit of jazz and all that. The play wrapped up after four months, but Shah Rukh got a live extension.
  14. Chicken

    Chicken ♥ ♥

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    Sounds quite interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing this information with us, Ibtesam.:)
    Wow, three books about our Jaanu, I guess I'll start making some space on my bookshelf, lol.:D
    Well, but the one I'm mostly looking forward to is, of course, our Sweetoo's very own :hail: "Twenty Years Of A Decade" ( I love the title of it ;) that's so Shah Rukh*grin*!!!) , I hope Shah Rukhji will find the time to finish his biography soon (the poor Babe is always being so busy !!!), just can't wait to hold it in my hands.
  15. sonal

    sonal SRK's D&G lover!

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    sounds like something more interesting than... (not to compare...) the hall of fame bk. because we all already knew some of that stuff... this seems more personal :D
  16. Mazerq_j

    Mazerq_j Well-Known Member

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    sounds different and very very interesting to me ... i'm looking forward to have the book(s)
  17. Tanjusik

    Tanjusik New Member

    Re: he Prologue ( Indian Express , Mushtaq Sheikh Book)

    Thank you for sharing! I'd like to read so much!! But when can I get them if I don't live in India?
  18. Pakiza

    Pakiza New Member

    wooohooo!!! cant wait!!
    thx ibtesam
  19. lamya

    lamya Well-Known Member

    thanx for sharing ibtesam, from what i read here, it's a must have for all shahrukh fans.....
    three books dedicated to him, waow, just shows how much the man is loooved
    But just like gai, the one i'm waiting with great impatience is "twenty year of a decade"
  20. shahzura

    shahzura New Member

    Thanks Ibtesam for informing us about this book :)

    This definitely a must have...any ideas where we can order it from?:)

    I like the way it is titled...you can never really finish 'reading Shahrukh khan'...there is just more to him that what we see & read about...even so, whatever we gather about him never fails to touch us in ways that we never thought would be possible...

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