From Grass to the King of Bollywood
Shah Rukh Khan, fondly known by his action and love movies is an Indian actor, film producer, and television personality who was born in New Delhi on November 2, 1965, into the family of Meer Taj Mohammed Khan & Lateef Fatima.
As a young boy, he lived with his parents in a rented apartment in Delhi.
In school, he was excellent in his studies as well as in sports such as hockey and football.
As evidence of his academic and athletic excellence, he received his school’s highest award —St. Columba’s School Sword of Honour.
His initial dream was to pursue a career in sports, however owing to a shoulder injury in his early years, he couldn’t pursue a career in sports.
Consequently, he started acting in stage plays and received praise for his imitations of some notable Bollywood actors. However, it wasn’t something he took very seriously.
Meanwhile, he also had friends who liked acting too, notable amongst them is Amrita Singh, who also became a Bollywood actress.
In 1981, tragedy struck. His father died of cancer. But he didn’t give up.
In 1985 he got admitted to Hans Raj College, University of Delhi, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics in 1988.
That same year, SRK began pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. Then something inside him changed.
The bug for acting bit him. So, he left his studies midway to pursue acting under the tutelage and mentorship of Barry John, —a British-born, Indian theatre director, teacher, and founder of the ‘Theatre Action Group’ (TAG), and during the early days of his acting career in Bollywood, he attended the National School of Drama, Delhi.
In 1991, another tragedy struck. His mother died from complications of diabetes.
With the death of their parents, his older sister, Shahnaz Lalarukh, fell into depression and SRK took on the responsibility of caring for her.
Shortly, after that, he ran out of money so, he worked as an usher in a concert earning peanuts.
“When I came to Mumbai for movies, I had no place to stay and had no money.” He recalled.
At that time he used to sleep at bus stops or the seaside.
“I signed films for the fear of poverty than creative desire.”
He started by doing movies that were discarded by other actors, but one by one they all became big hits.
Later, he started doing small roles in movies and TV Series.
After 5 years of struggle; his life began to take an amazing turn in 1993 when his movie, ‘Deewana’ hit big in the cinemas and won the Best Debut Award.
In 1994, he did another movie, ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ for 25,000 Rupees (~ $384.59) only.
On the opening day of the film, he sold the film’s tickets himself.
Today, SRK is called the “King Khan”, “The King of Bollywood” the “Baadshah of Bollywood”, and is the Richest Bollywood Actor in History with a staggering net worth estimated at $600 million and have received countless awards, and national honours in India & France.
He has since become the most successful Indian actor, owning production companies, such as Red Chillies Entertainment and its subsidiaries, and Dreamz Unlimited. He also co-owns Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders together with Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta or Mehta Group.
The vast fortune of Shah Rukh Khan includes several luxury cars, homes in Mumbai, Dubai, London, and several real estate investments. He has been married to Indian film producer and interior designer, Gauri Chibber since 1991.
They have three children together.
As a way to encourage millions who may be struggling in life like SRK did, he summarized the story of his life in the following words.
“Whatever happened to me happened because I have always been terrified of failure.
I want as much to succeed as much as I don’t want to fail.
I come from a very normal, low middle-class family, I saw lots of failures. My father was a beautiful man and the most successful failure in the world.
My mother also failed to stay long enough with me to see me become a big movie star.
At an early age, after my parents died, I equated poverty with failure. I just didn’t want to be poor.
So when I got a chance to act films, it wasn’t out of any creative desire. It was clearly out of the fear of failure and poverty.
Most of the films I signed were discards of better-known actors and the producers could not find anyone else to do them.
I picked them up to make sure I was working to avoid unemployment.
I worked very hard, there were other people around but I became a big star.
You have to know and learn that life is not just a checklist of acquisitions, attainments, and fulfilments. Instead, life is difficult and complicated and beyond anyone’s control, the humility to know this will help you survive its vicissitudes.
Success is a wonderful thing, but it tends not to be the sort of experience that we learn from. We enjoy or have to even deserve it, but we don’t acquire experience from it. I believe that the true path to success is through the fear of failure.
If you aren’t afraid enough of failing, you are unlikely to succeed.
It is not pleasant to fail, it’s tough, all of us experience it, you will too if you haven’t too already. So use it to succeed. It is your response to failure that actually helps to buffer the reverses that you experience.
Repeated failure has thought me to stop pretending I’m someone else. It’s given me little things that matter to me instead of distracting me from my goal.
Don’t be afraid of being afraid, be afraid of not facing your fears and failures.
Do not be afraid to redefine conventions, do not be afraid to destroy systems that kill acts and your souls.
Do not be afraid to be hungry and do not be afraid to walk alone if necessary, because, on a tight rope, we all walk alone.” – SRK
Success and failure are both part of life. Both are not permanent
Success belongs to those who wake up every morning and pursue their dreams and regardless of the hardships, disappointments, the struggles, the insult, and the rejections, and so on, they refuse to give up.
Success is for you; never underestimate the ability and the potential that has been invested in you. You’ve got greatness within you and you deserve to be successful.
Trust your struggle.