Joined: 11 March 2006
The press is almost irreverential with him. The mandatory ji is always missing. They just call him Shah Rukh. And this speaks of the love they have for him. He almost always has the press eating out of his hands. The articulate, witty, intelligent SRK gives brilliant copy and is a journalist's delight. Arguably SRK is the true King of Entertainment.
He is back on the small screen after almost a year with his new quiz show Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain which premiers tonight on Star Plus. The show is licensed from the international format of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader by Bulldog Media and Entertainment where SRK will take you back to school.
On the eve of the show he spoke about everything from his childhood, his kids, his values, his beliefs and the show.
Shahrukh Khan in an exclusive.
What makes kids so special?
You know children look so different in childhood; if you saw my pictures in childhood you would never think I would be an actor. They behave very differently and I think that is the beauty of kids that they are unrestricted in their behaviour. They are very nave and innocent untouched by social and ethical restrictions and that's why sometimes very rude and so very forgivable. The disciplines imposed on us are wonderful but somehow they make us a little restrictive naturally. It doesn't pain us but we become people because of society.
How do you teach your kids?
The fun is that I forget a many things. The other day I was teaching my son bar-graphs and I realised that I had forgotten it. I had to re-read myself. I make studies very easy for my kids. Both my son and daughter love my way of teaching as I make it very entertaining for them. I use innovative ways when teaching them. Like I do treasure hunts where I ask them questions with answers hidden around the house.
Do you go home and ask the same questions to your kids too?
Oh! I have to do it every time and at times against my wish. They demand that I ask them all the 20 questions.
One is getting to see you more on TV now-a-days?
This is a mini series unlike the elongated series of Kaun Banega Crorepati. I would say TV has become more and not me. Star Plus and Synergy have been very kind to me. Ours is a relationship that has been nurtured over the years. I am astounded by the growth of TV. Gone are those days when there were just 2 cameras, now more than 40 cameras capture all the emotions at every second. In fact it was only yesterday that I thought that I am doing less of television.
Now that you are doing more of television, aren't you planning to produce soaps?
Oh yes! I want to start a production house called Red Chillies Idiot Box! I am asking all my television friends to give us a chance to do something on TV. Honestly, I understand films and ads but soaps are not an easy task. Even if I get into TV, I will try to make soaps which will be shot and will look like films. They will be high- end mini series. I want to make high quality programs with good content. I don't want to show anything cheap which would end up hurting sensibilities of the viewers. In my programs there has to be a certain amount of technical finesse.
How will you be different as a producer?
I would try to do something unique. I love listening to ideas and thus if I like an idea, I like to create events around it. I think that's my USP as a producer. I would not want to hurt my creative director at the end of the day. I would work on his idea with him.
Hosting, producing and acting –what's the toughest?
I think hosting a quiz show is very difficult as it is nearly a live show. One shoots an hour's episode in one and a half hour. You have to interact with unknown contestants, you are time-bound and then there are questions and answers. The central focus is on you. Behind the scenes I am helped by so many people but it looks as if I am the one who is wielding the baton. Lot of money is riding on you and on the show, so in turn you have the responsibility of making it a success. If you ask me then I just work for two parties, one is the channel and the other is the audience.
Do you think you have been lucky to have got so much success?
I would say I have worked hard to reach the position where I am today. I try to do better everyday. Luck takes away from the hard work invested by people. I think I am someone who has been in the right place at the right time. I had enjoyed my failures at the same time. I think if you believe in something, pray for it and do it with full conviction then it will never fail you. Many of you will relate to my story but the only difference is that I have got a platform to speak about it.
Do you get involved with the contestants on your show?
I get emotionally involved with them. I like to win or I want others to win as well. There are times when I deliberately want a contestant to quit the show who has already made a crore on the show for the sole reason that he is in need of it and I fear him losing all by attempting the next question and answering it wrong. So I keep telling them during breaks that a crore is a huge amount and they must quit the show and I am supported by the channel in that attempt.
What do you think of the contestants on Paanchvi Paas?
I think they are over-intelligent. They get confused and try to find a catch in a simple question which would take a second for a kid to answer. They start thinking that a question worth such a big amount can't be this simple. We all become disbelievers at some stage of the show.
Actor, businessman, host, father and husband. Who is the real Shah Rukh?
Well, even I don't know myself. Sometimes when you become larger than life figure all those lines get blurred. When I am at home I try to be a good father to my kids and a loving husband to my wife. On KBC I came closest to playing myself. As a host I not only act I get emotional with them. I become their friend, their parent. I can be myself on the show.
What is the biggest professional high you have experienced?
Currently hosting Paanchvi Paass is giving me the biggest high ever. Even getting a shot right gives me a high be it in a film or while hosting a show. I get so thrilled if I feel I have done a great job in my movie, advertisement or as a host. I live for small pleasures.
How were you in your paanchvi class?
I was very naughty but every time I got caught I used to flash my dimples. My teachers used to call me a devil's mind. I was good in both studies and sports. The best part was I could learn everything in a very short time. We were a group of five friends who were into all sorts of mischievous activities.
How important is education for you?
Education is very important and especially in today's time as there is so much of competition and pressure on our kids. There is a pressure of securing the first rank in class; one has to secure 90% to get admission in a good college. I want kids to say that they love going to school. I believe with Paanchvi Paas, we are stepping in the right direction. Along with adding my value as a star it will make education fun. I would love to go to every school and teach kids in the same manner by making studies fun. I strongly feel that all the schools must adopt the Paanchvi Paas way to teach kids.
What was your first salary?
My first salary was Rs.50 which I got as playing a role in Ghulam Ali's show in Delhi's Sriram Auditorium. I remember buying a train ticket to Agra from that money to see the Taj Mahal with my friends.
With Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar taking on the same time-slot with different game shows, do you fear competition?
You tell me do I have a competition? Look into my eyes and tell me if you think that I have any competition. On a serious note, I truly believe I have competition. Because competing with someone results in restricting yourself. You reach a dead end once you surpass him, without realising the fact that there are thousands who are more talented and efficient than your sole competitor. I try competing with myself. Every morning I get up trying to surpass what I had achieved till last night. I run like a horse with blinkers and then I don't fear if I am running alone or I am the last one in the race.
What do you think about the reality shows on TV?
Oh! I think they are done to death now. You see the same age- old concepts running everywhere. One would make some Ustaads singing on one channel and then there will be a whole Khandaan singing on another channel. If one has started the concept of making all brothers sing on a show then another will come with all sisters competing on some different channel in the same time-slot. Luckily, I am not a part of TV as a producer. Let's lose, let's make a flop show but at least try making new things.
People say that 2007 has been the best year for you?
I don't believe in this ideology. On the contrary I think of the next year as my best year. I just believe in working harder.
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