Monday, November 2, 2015

Shah Rukh Khan did what he does best – the lungi dance

Today is Shah Rukh Khan’s 50th birthday. The man, who is essentially the face of Bollywood, continues to inspire and delight people all over the world. Khan has had a career spanning nearly three decades and has encapsulated billions of people worldwide with his tear-jerkers and childlike antics.  He is, no doubt, one of India’s most revered artists and is considered to be amongst the ‘greats’ like Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. 

Most people growing up in the 80s would have watched his movies and he is probably more popular (in numbers at least) than Brad Pitt or George Clooney. He is a household name amongst South East Asians. So, for University of Edinburgh to grant SRK with an honorary doctorate in commemoration of his career and influence was truly inspiring. His speech on ‘life lessons’ was a nostalgic foray into his acting career coupled with the lessons one can take from them like being kind, accepting our eccentricities and loving each moment. Towards the end, Khan couldn’t break from his tradition of being a comic entity and started doing the ‘lungi’ dance with full pelvic thrusts in front of such esteemed educationists.

Khan is able to transcend all customs and traditions of the Scottish people by adding his own Indian twist and yet the audience lapped it right up.  It would be unfair to grant an honorary doctorate to Khan without him giving a glimpse of what exactly makes him famous.  In his speech, he mentioned that he did the lungi dance at a marketing convention as well which goes some way in showing that this forms a big part of his public appearances. To have the ability to let your hair down at such a formal and regimented occasion is not an easy feat but Khan does it with aplomb and confidence. He is able to do this because his audiences love it and feel entertained and that is, after all, what he specialises in. A neurosurgeon receiving a doctorate will highlight what feats he achieved saving lives but Khan will do what he does best.

I find that no matter what personal minefields Khan goes through, he can never take life too seriously and that is ultimately what is his greatest appeal. In his speech he mentioned the importance of focusing on life’s goals without whining which is very potent advice for anyone. His message is one that we can all in some way relate to. Plus his dance moves and movies provide an escape route for thousands from the mundane and tedious lives that they may lead. He never gave up on his passions and his pursuit of greatness, which is something we can all applaud to. His successful acting career goes to great lengths in allaying the fears of condemnatory parents who don’t want their children to pursue arts and entertainment. Khan achieved a doctorate degree from a world-renowned institution without excelling academically.

Khan will always remain an icon. He is a gargantuan persona with a massive following. Although he may have suffered criticism and scandal in his life, he has always remained stoic and composed during such times. I personally believe this honorary doctorate is the ultimate culmination of a very successful career and his dance moves will be revered for years to come.

Congratulations Dr Shah Rukh Khan!

from The Express Tribune Blog

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