As the much awaited quiz show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain? premiers tonight, April 25th on Star Plus at 8 pm, the host of the show Shahrukh Khan gets candid with the media.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation with King Khan.
Shahrukh, you started your career in the industry with television, and then moved to films. You are now back again on television, so how would you describe this cycle?
I think the line between television and cinema is getting very indistinct now. And now the media is getting highly digitized. It’s no longer like the good old days, but television has taken a huge leap in the last four-five years. Cinema is no longer the only mode of entertainment. Greta Garbo said, “It’s not me who is getting bigger; it’s the pictures that are getting bigger.” In the same way, I don’t think it’s me doing a different medium, and it’s not a cycle, it’s just the growth of a medium and the synergizing of cinema and television. I am glad I am able to entertain the audience through any medium.
You have said that you are very childlike at heart, despite your age. Is that one of the reasons for accepting this show?
Yeah, I am very childlike at heart. I get pleasures from the small and simple things in life like getting a small gift or a cycle ride or winning at marbles and interacting with children. So when this concept was put before me, I liked the childlike innocence of the program. That was the one thing that appealed the most to me. Another thing is that as we grow older, we think we have become smarter, but we have forgotten the essence. I think the show brings this quality back and will definitely evoke an emotion in the audience.
You have five bright kids on the show as classmates. Do you identify with any one of them, or see yourself in them?
Children behave completely different when they are kids; they are naïve and innocent, untouched by social and ethical restrictions. That is what is endearing about them. I appreciate the freedom of life that these kids have. And I too try to be honest just like a kid and that is the aspect I identify the most with. The innocence, honesty, naivety, the unrestricted freedom, and a little bit of rudeness too.
When you teach your children, do you feel that you have forgotten what you studied?
Oh yeah, it has happened to me quite often. In fact just the other day, I was teaching my son bar graphs and I realized I don’t quite remember a lot about it. Things like what has to be written along the horizontal and vertical axes, how to construct the bar graph etc. I love to teach my kids since I make it very entertaining for them, but many a times I find myself reviewing the matter before teaching them.
You have your own production house and television appeals a lot to you. Any plans of producing something for television?
I have every intention of producing something for television. In fact not many people are aware of it, but there is a wing of my production house called Red Chillies Idiot Box. My main aim would be to get something that has the USP of films on television. I would not want to get into daily soaps as I do not have much knowledge about that. I would be more comfortable doing something like a mini-series or a short film, but fiction.
You did KBC for Star
Television shows are very difficult. More importantly, shooting for quiz shows are more difficult. It is shot nearly live. A one hour’s episode is shot in one to one and a half hours. The restrictions are a lot more compared to films. You are expected to be on your toes throughout the shoot. I get help from the entire unit, but in the end I am the music director who moves the baton for everyone on the show. The focus is centered on me. It gets tiring by the end of the day and is one the most difficult job I have done.
Success and Shahrukh are synonymous. Do you agree with this?
Is it? Maybe but I don’t think so. I will never say that I always had luck on my side to be where I am today. I believe that when you want to achieve something in life, you do it with an attitude that something might go wrong. As soon as you’re convinced that it is going to go wrong, you will definitely give it your best shot. Like we know, that one day we are all going to die, but yet we get up every morning with the determination to give our best shot to life. Most importantly I believe in hard work, I believe in Allah, Bhagwan and God and in doing everything positively. I am not successful by luck and I don’t consider myself special. I think hard work is exponentially related to success and I will continue to strive harder.
Are you smarter than
a fifth grader? How would you fare as a participant on
No I am most definitely not smarter than a fifth grader. The tenth question has a prize money of 1 crore. I think I could probably reach to that mark with the help of the kids on the show, but there is a catch with the last question. So I think I would rather quit once I win 20 to 25 lakhs.
Any memorable moment as a fifth grader?
I was very naughty in school. My teachers always said I had the devil’s smile, but I was usually forgiven because of my dimples and cute smile. I remember back in school I was tdo u khe one behind most the tricks and pranks played, but I always escaped and my friends were the ones who were punished. I was good in studies and always managed to score even after studying last minute. I remember, once my group of friends was suspended from school and we went up to the principal to apologize. The principal finally relented and took back the suspension order. We got quite friendly with the principal and at the end of it, my friends told him that I was the one responsible for all the pranks, after which the principal ended up suspending me (laughs).
Who is the real Shahrukh, the actor, the businessman, the father or the husband?
Actually even I don’t know myself. I act the whole day and do a lot of things that are larger than life, so after a certain point of time the line starts getting blurred. The closest I came to being myself was on KBC and now inshallah on this show. I maybe dressed and made up, reading lines written by someone else, but on this show I am what I am. The emotions you see are real. If you see me being funny, sarcastic, or hugging someone at times, it is the real me.
Do you think it would have been better if you had started with this show rather than KBC, as there was constant comparison with Amitabh Bachchan when it came to KBC?
I never did, I never can and I never will be able to outdo what Mr. Bachchan did on KBC. The greatness of that man was that he gave a standard to the show that no one else will ever be able to do. But everyone wanted to give the show a new look and a different feel because of which I was asked to step in the shoes of the host. I am happy I was able to give it newness and a lighter look. I am happy I am doing this show as it is the first series and it gives me the freedom to try new things.
Do you think this show adds an entertainment factor to the education system in our country?
Many people might say a lot of things about the show, but
the underlying reason for us coming with such a show is to take a step further
in the education system in our country. I am very happy that education is
Your contemporaries, Salman and Akshay are also coming as hosts on television shows. Do you think they are competition for you?
In the film industry, we make movies at the same time. But you tell me if you think I have any competition from anyone (laughs). But I think it’s a very good thing that they will also be anchoring. I am not being politically correct when I say this but all of us are entertainers and the bottom line here would be to make sure that the audience is entertained. I personally don’t consider anyone as my competition, but myself. I am like a horse with blinkers, I don’t know who is running besides me and I might be the last one, but I will still run without looking around.
There are so many reality shows happening on television. Don’t you think they are become too redundant for the audience?
Yeah. I think there are too many reality shows on television. In fact I have judged so many shows, but I don’t really remember which show is which. They have the same concept and they all look the same to me. I am glad I am not part of television production, but if it did happen in films, I would rather fail than doing the run of the mill shows. It is very stagnant right now and I think people need to come up with something more creative.
Lastly do you think
Yes it will. I have become better as a host now(laughs).