is Angry, Worried & Sleepless
Date: 11 Apr 2008 / Author: virtualmagik / Views: 601
King Khan is not so sure if his Midas touch in Bollywood is working in cricket.
The script seemed perfect when he announced his business intent in the Indian Premier League but today, Shah Rukh Khan is an angry, worried man and possibly wonders if he took the right decision.
His team, Kolkata Knight Riders, is already devoid of speedster Shoaib Akhtar but other issues have also kept SRK bogged down.
"I never thought so many problems would crop up when I bought Knight Riders. I was not prepared for these circumstances. I do not want to blame any organisation or association. But, a rosy picture, removed from reality, was painted to me," he said in an interview to the Kolkata-based Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika.
According to SRK, he was given an "unreal and rosy" picture about the IPL when he had decided to take the plunge into this megabuck tournament. What has taken him completely off-guard is the response to his team's matches at the Eden Gardens.
"I'm quite disappointed with ticket sales of the first day. I was really surprised that only 237 tickets had been sold at the counter. I am truly finding it difficult to accept this. I have never, till date, requested my fans to go and see my films. I am a bit surprised as to why, despite keeping the ticket prices low, people are not showing any interest," a puzzled SRK said.
The superstar has possibly realised that, quite unlike cinema, cricket is a completely different ballgame. "...Where I stay, in a sense, becomes my palace. The field I walk on, people refer to it as the king's ground. Among the people I meet in a single day or a week, 99.9 per cent of them think in terms of how to make me happy."
"Things seem just the opposite in the IPL. Here, I have to think how I can make 99.9 per cent of the people happy. I am not used to such a situation. I will be honest. The experiences of the last three months seem to have created a huge hole inside me. I feel, to ward off all the troubles and hold my fort, I myself need a golden helmet!"
All this anxiety is only leading to insomnia. "Involvement with the Knight Riders is giving me sleepless nights. As a result, I have lost touch with everyday life at home but I'm getting comfort from my wife. Gauri generally doesn't get herself involved in these matters. But after seeing me look a bit troubled she said that passion commands a very high price in life. One must stay prepared for that."
The star is also quite displeased with the fact that the West Bengal Government has not extended tax exemption either. "Tax has been exempted at all other centres except in Kolkata. I am very worried about that. How can I do it unless the entertainment tax is waived? Others get 120 per cent exemption whereas I come under the tax net."
"Kareena (Kapoor) wanted to do the programme in Kolkata; Rani (Mukherjee) was willing too. I would have taken Bipasha (Basu) along as well."
"Now, it will not be possible. After paying them for their performances and taxes, in a day I will stand to lose about Rs 1 crore. How will I manage that? I am not a corporate but just a small fry."
Shah Rukh spoke on this in an interview to Ananda Bazaar Patrika.
Following are excerpts:
Q: There does not seem to be any similarity between the trend in ticket sales at the Eden Gardens and the opening of any Shah Rukh Khan film. Are you disappointed?
A: Quite disappointed. The first day, when I heard this, I was really surprised that only 237 tickets had been sold at the counter. I am truly finding it difficult to accept this. I have never, till date, requested my fans to go and see my films. Never ever done it. I am a bit surprised as to why, despite keeping the ticket prices low, people are not showing any interest.
Q: Are you are shattered with your IPL experience?
A: I am very tired. I never thought so many problems would crop up when I bought the Knight Riders. I was not prepared for these circumstances. A rosy picture, removed from reality, was painted to me.
Q: What about the 10-minute entertainment package that was to take place on the field?
A: I am very worried about that. How can I do it unless the entertainment tax is waived? The tax has been exempted at all the other centres in India except in Kolkata.
Q: Why aren't you directly calling up the West Bengal chief minister?
A: I don't exactly have these skills. My officials had made an appeal, done a presentation too. Now it's up to the government.
Q: Tiredness would mean physical tiredness as well!
A: To some extent. Involvement with the Knight Riders is giving me sleepless nights. As a result, I have lost touch with everyday life at home. Today itself, I was commenting on this to Kareena. I was telling Kareena that, considering my predicament, Lolo (Karishma) knows more about my house than I do at present (laughs).