New Delhi: He came, he acted and he conquered- is what aptly describes this Bollywood stalwart who celebrates his 46th birthday today. Meaning ‘face of the king’, Shahrukh’s name stands true to its metaphor. As he turns a year older on November 1, this birthday has all the ingredients to give King Khan a reason to hold a grandeur celebration with his most cherished and hyped film Ra.One roaring at the box-office.

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As he has been hopping from one city to another promoting the latest flick, he confessed to the media earlier in some conference that he will be keep a low key affair on his birthday. But knowing Shahrukh and his ways, even the most low-key celebrations means good fodder for the media as well as his anxious fans.

Much has been said, reported, written about this ‘Baadshah of Bollywood’ and even lapped by his fans as well as critics. After all, love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore him, for sure.

It is now an open secret that this lad was born and brought up in Delhi. But hardly many know that he was born in New Delhi’s Talwar Nursing Home, to parents Mir Taj Muhammad and Lateef Fatima. He was the second child to his parents and lived in Rajinder Nagar. His elder sister, Shahnaz Lala Rukh was 5 years elder to him.

Shahrukh's birth story is fully filmy. He had a complicated birth because the umbilical cord looped around his neck. Though the condition was supposedly the earlier stage of asphyxiation, retardation, and even death, miraculously he emerged unharmed. A nurse present at that spot inferred the deadly cord around his neck to be the blessing of Hanuman, the divine monkey-god. The child was predicted to be very lucky.

Another interesting story attached to his birth is that Shahrukh was born on Mangalwar that is on Tuesday. Fatima often told him that he was a Manglik child. But since Hindi was not her native language and Fatima was an Urdu speaker from Hyderabad, so the child could not actually understand what exactly his mother meant; that he was born on a Tuesday, or that he was born under the astrological sign of Manglik, which is considered unlucky by Hindus.

When Shahrukh was born, his father was undergoing a serious financial slump. Meer`s partners in his transport business had cheated him and the venture he worked upon had to be shut down, like several others before it. Meer experimented with furniture and once ran a canteen at the famous National School of Drama. But his successes were quite limited and it hardly did anything more than just raising a family. The family hovered at the circumference of discreet poverty. Shahrukh believed that his father was too honest to be rich. His father possessed a law degree and was fluent in six languages. In fact, his wife used to call him an ‘honest failure’.

However, this enduring financial toil did not dampen Meer`s morality. His spirit was shaiyrana, which meant that Meer was a romantic who, in the tradition of the best Urdu poets, clinched to life with an old-world chivalry. Meer kept his sense of humour against the face of all calamities. Affectionately he called his wife Kanha that means in Urdu "dimples". With such a jovial and witty father, their mundane life became magical.

No doubt, this King of Romance has very well imbibed his father’s jovial spirit. Interestingly, love story of SRK’s parents is more interesting and filmy than his own. SRK's parents met under strange circumstances. His mother had had an accident, and needed blood. The donor was his father. They fell in love while he was helping her recuperate.

Meer was a simple man who could manage his living with his bitter tea and paan, but Fatima was much more stylish. Fatima was very particular to keep an eye that her children enjoy material comforts. Shahrukh and his elder sister grew up in a shielded zone created by Fatima.

As a toddler he spent hours playing just on a small pink toy piano. One fine day, when little Shahrukh was sitting on the deewan, a cobra slithered into the living room. SRK seeing the snake spilled ink around himself and the snake could not come any closer because the thick wetness was obstructing it to move.

When he was just four years of age, Shahrukh happened to throw a rock at a neighborhood boy because of which the latter's teeth broke. Late at night that day, the child's father came to the house in an inebriated state while wielding a knife. Shahrukh's father coolly opened the door and when this man threatened to kill his son for what he had done, he crosschecked with Shahrukh as to whether or not he had committed the act of mischief. When the child confessed, the dad asked him to go out and explain himself to the man who was not only drunk but also armed. Shahrukh had to go outside and apologize for his deed.

Shahrukh was an accident-prone child and often suffered from bouts of malaria, fractured back muscles, and frequent dog bites. But the illnesses never lasted long. He spent hours in his own company. In a small storeroom he made a secret lab, where he melted his mother`s lac bangles.

Sometimes he played being a superman and hit the pillows as if they were the bad people. Shahrukh dreamt of being a hero since then.

The religious education given to Shahrukh was very informal; since his mother was a more traditional Muslim than her husband. She suggested them to say her namaaz (prayers) five times a day. But Meer was devoutly secular. His father’s religious zeal has rubbed on to him as both his children, Aryan (13th November 1997) and Suhana (23rd May 2000) have been taught to revere the co-existence of Ganpati and Allah in the Khan household. How wonderfully they are being brought up manifests itself in the story that when Shahrukh was having a critical neck surgery, Aryan went to the temple and said an Islamic prayer so that his father could get well soon.

ShahRukh was already performing at the age of four. When he danced to the radio, his aunts smiled and called him a lady-killer. Shahrukh danced all around the room, especially if the song was from a film starring Mumtaz. He also imitated Mumatz’s hip-swiveling walk and coquettish mannerisms. The acting bug had bitten him pretty young.

Shahrukh had won the Raman Subramanyam Award in Class X (1982-83) for character, all round performance in studies, sports and extracurricular activities and the Sword of Honour in Class XII (1984-85) for the Best all round performance, loyalty, obedience, integrity and sportsmanship.

The college where he studied was Delhi University's Hans Raj College, and Shah Rukh did his Economics Honours from the institution from 1985-88. When Hans Raj celebrated its Golden Jubilee, the college gave away 17 shields to its alumni who had excelled in their lives and professions and Shah Rukh was one of them.

After graduating from Hans Raj, he went on to join Jamia Milia Islamia's Mass Communications Research Centre to do his masters in filmmaking and journalism.

ShahRukh had a solid theatre background and had worked with an institution like Barry John in New Delhi.

His partents died before he entered Bollywood. The loss of both his parents comprised the most painful moments in his life. His father passed away when SRK was 15, and his mother died in his arms when he was 25. Inconsolable though he was, he believes that nothing is permanent, everything is transient.

The life story of ‘King of Romance’ can never be complete without the mention of his lady love about whom he is uncomfortably possessive and lovingly calls Gaurima. Like a typical Bollywood hero, he followed Gauri for years. He was eighteen and Gauri fourteen when they met. Once when Gauri came to Bombay, Shahrukh followed her to the huge city and kept looking for her around the beaches because of his awareness that she was attracted to them in a big way. Later, a cab guy advised him to go to Aksa Beach and Gorai Beach. After searching frantically, he managed to track her down when she was standing in the water! It is often said that SRK can be controlled well only by his wife as she understands him the most. She is the only person who commands Shahrukh to do things. In fact, Shahrukh daughter Suhana imitates Gauri Khan very well, by saying in a very strict voice ‘Shahrukh, eat your food.’

Filmy caravan of Bollywood’s Badshaah

SRK started his training as an actor under Barry John. He joined John’s theatre group in New Delhi and learned acting from him. His acting career in Bollywood was launched by his friend Vivek Vaswani and Hema Malini.

Shahrukh’s debut film was ‘Dil Aashna Hai’ but due to the delay in the release of the film, ‘Deewana’ was considered as his debut film, which was released in the year 1992.

His films such as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Chak De! India (2007), Om Shanti Om (2007) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) remain some of Bollywood's biggest hits, while films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Veer-Zaara (2004), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) and My Name Is Khan (2010) have been top-grossing Indian productions in the overseas markets, thus making him one of the most successful actors of India.

His movie ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ broke all records. It is the first Hindi film to have run for more than 750 weeks (and still running), which is a run of about 15 years. The film also created waves at Filmfare Awards winning 10 Awards across various categories. It also won the prestigious National Award for providing wholesome entertainment.

Undoubtedly, SRK is the toast of Bollywood today. He is the most saleable actor.

Shahrukh has won fourteen Filmfare Awards for his work in Indian films, eight of which are in the Best Actor category. In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri for his contributions towards Indian Cinema.

Badshaah’s crazy fan following

Shahrukh still remembers his first fan who is a lady. She was his fan even before he became a film star or a famous television star. She remembers him since his theater days. She shouted Shahrukh’s name in the middle of the road when she spotted him. Shahrukh still cannot forget that moment.

Not only this, Kolkata has a unique Shahrukh Khan club that was founded by a Khan admirer Arnab Roy on 13th December 1995 after the release of DDLJ. The club established its own SRK museum in January 2002.

Did you know?

- SRK and his father, Mir Taj Mohammad, shared a great relationship. They called each other 'yaara'. His parents were never restrictive, and he had a lot of liberties as a child.

-One of the reasons why Shah Rukh bought Mannat, his palatial bungalow, was since he wanted to have an exclusive prayer room. Shahrukh says that if he were broke, he will sell everything except Mannat.

-Shahrukh is a complete game freak. He loves computer games, video games and hi-tech gadgets. The latest game that Shahrukh is playing is Smackdown versus Raw which is a wrestling game.

- Like a royal king who has many lavish leisure pursuit, SRK is also very much fond of BMW cars.

- SRK is scared of horse riding.

-Shahrukh loves watching movie in the darkness of his car. He likes watching films alone and peacefully.

- For Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Shah Rukh had taken a signing amount of Rs 5,000 and did the entire film for Rs. 25,000.

- SRK's favourite role was the one in 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na', and his all-time favourite Hindi movies include 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron', 'Masoom', Sholay , and 'Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin'.

- His favourite phrase is 'Let's do it'.

- Shahrukh never asks anything for himself from God. It is always his family and his close people he asks for. But whenever he wants to ask for himself, he never goes to a temple but goes to his parents’ grave. He believes that whatever he will ask there will be fulfilled and yes most of them have come true which makes Shahrukh’s belief all the more strong.

Innumerable Accolades

The Guardian Newspaper has described SRK as the world’s biggest film star on the assumption that Bollywood has a global audience of 3.6 billion as compared to 2.5 billion for Hollywood.

National Geographic featured him on their cover in 2005 for their feature Inside Bollywood.

March 2007 onwards, his wax figure stands along with Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai at Madame Tussauds Wax Musuem in London.

He has been awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Arts and Literature) award by the French government for his Exceptional Career.

Even, Time Magazine called him as probably the most recognizable actor in the world.

With his unconventional looks and passion for work, the King Khan has proved that it takes conviction to get anywhere. Wishing this superstar a very happy birthday from Jagranpost team.

(Farhat Jabeen/JPN)