“Namaskar. I am a movie star. I am 51 years of age and I don’t do botox as yet. But I do behave like a 21 years old in my movies. I sell dreams and peddle love to millions of people back home in India who assume I am the best lover in the world.”
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s Ted Talk is as much entertaining and riveting as it is full of earthy, experienced wisdom and a fine touch of grace, wit, and humility. The ability to laugh at oneself, being at ease everywhere and self-deprecating humor is indeed a rare virtue, especially in a celebrity of his stature.
The ‘Badshah of Bollywood’ despite so many blockbuster hits over 25 years, millions of enthusiastic fans, and having so many feathers in his cap to flaunt, has still not let hubris enter into his head. There is a slippery slope between gushing self-confidence and beaming outright arrogance. And Shahrukh Khan knows it very well.
The actor started the Ted Talk with the statement that he is 51 years old and still does not use botox. Both he himself and the audience laughed at it.
He discussed on many topics, including love, hope, aging, globalization, technology, humanity, and the fast, rapidly changing the world.
The superstar gave a brief introduction into his family background and his life as a Delhi lad who was both determined and destined to leave an indelible mark in the film industry. Struggles, travails, and tribulations were aplenty, starting from the demise of his father at the tender age of 14, to his later life hardships as a struggler in the glitzy ‘city of dreams’ Bombay. But he remained steadfast, consistent and focused. And the rest, as they say, is all history. His life story brims with inspiration and an unending, unrelenting pursuit in chasing dreams. And most importantly the self-belief.
From being a newcomer who was initially rejected by big filmmakers and criticized by critics for not being good looking enough, he is now a brand name unto himself and the man who was synonymous with the ‘ lover boy ‘.
Shahrukh Khan is a versatile actor who has donned many hats on the silver screen – from morbidly psychopathic jilted lover in Darr, to an affable simpleton in Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, to an unforgiving, wronged man whose zeal for vendetta becomes an obsession in Baazigar, to the inveterate romantic in his megahit DDLJ, to an idealistic and patriotic young aeronautical engineer in Swades.
He nostalgically discussed the good old days of his childhood when Apple was a fruit and Eureka was only associated with the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes.
“It is. It is. It’s an aging movie star, grappling with all the newness around itself, wondering whether it got it right in the first place, and still trying to find a way to keep on shining regardless.”
He talked about his family, his young kids, and that he was 40+ when social media proliferated globally. He is an avid Twitter user today and despite hectic schedule takes the time to reply to his fans. SRK spoke about the Indian civilization and the ancient values of peace and tolerance briefly.
His hopes, his bewilderment, his enthusiasm, he broached on the myriad of emotions and experiences.
At the end, he gave a word of wisdom that for humanity to evolve, the world has to be like an aging movie star, who is highly in love with himself. The world which loves itself like anything, which is not unfazed and shadows of the past no longer haunts it.
“The future “you” has to be like an aging movie star who has been made to believe that there is a possibility of a world which is completely, wholly, self-obsessively in love with itself. A world — really, it has to be a you to create a world which is its own best lover. That I believe, ladies and gentlemen, should be the future “you.””
As John Lennon said, “I may be a dreamer, but I am not the only one”. We need to keep dreaming, evolving and being self-motivated.
Watch the video below.