23 Golden Years of SRK: How Shah Rukh Khan perfected the ‘Navras’ with his stellar acts!

June 25, 1992: A good-looking young man, on the bike, roams around the lanes of Mumbai, crooning to ‘Deewana, Dil Deewana’, looking for his ladylove. The film goes on to become a bumper hit, the man gets recognition and a star is born! 

June 25, 2016: Studies suggest that 2.6 billion people over the world know Tom Cruise. And 3.2 billion people know Shah Rukh Khan. Yes, it’s the same man, who looted our hearts with that introductory bike song, some 23 years back. 

23 Years! Phew, that seems like an entire lifetime. (P.S. I am 23 now!) One of the biggest rags-to-riches stories in Bollywood, this one man had opened the doors to the common man, over two decades ago. Battling against all the nepotism that exists in the industry, Shah Rukh made it big without a Godfather. And he swears by it, even till date. 

Over 75 films in his kitty and several of them being blockbusters, SRK’s now a global phenomenon. He enjoys supreme stardom in the country as well as abroad and the supreme fan frenzy outside India is a testimony to that. While he’s played the larger than life characters in this world of make-belief, at heart he’s still the same old Delhi guy, protective about his family, possessive over the loved ones, having the same zeal and energy he had almost 25 years ago. 

One of the most versatile performers we have in the industry today, SRK’s been there and done all that. From romance to action, comedy to drama- there’s not a genre SRK’s not tried. And in doing so, he has rightfully portrayed the nine humanly emotions, commonly called the Navras, beautifully on screen! 

Here’s a lowdown on how SRK has perfected the nine emotions that exists, through his films and his larger-than-life characters on the 70 mm!


Movies: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman

He’s not called the King of Romance for nothing! His wide spread arms are enough to envelop the entire world in it and his dimpled flamboyance made us all fall for him. And we admit no one can portray romance on screen the way he does. Unarguably one of the best romantic heroes we’ve ever had in Bollywood’s history, SRK has revolutionised romance at different ages, through his spectacular love sagas. Whether it’s playing the simple boy next door in Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman or the modern and urban, cool guy Rahul in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, he’s perfected the emotion oh-so-well. After all his ‘Rahul, naam toh suna hi hoga?’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Tum nahi samjhogi’ made millions go weak in the knees for him. And don’t deny, most of us have waited for our Rajs and Simrans, expecting we will have a chance meeting on the train. Or maybe race with the train for our love! 


Movies: Duplicate, Badshah, Chennai Express

Comedy, the say, is the hardest genre in filmmaking. One miss and you’re screwed. While SRK rose to fame with his romantic films, his comic timing brought him accolades. Remember Babloo from Duplicate? Or SRK’s mad antics in Badshah? He’s absolutely hilarious. While the actor has implemented his comic timing into many scenes from most of his films, he’s hardly ever done a full-blown comic caper. Unless you consider his fantastic Chennai Express act as one of them! CE’s Rahul is confused, mad and crazy but SRK manages to pull it through with his impeccable comic timing. As for the personal life, let’s not talk about his wit and sense of humour. He’s just mindblowing in that territory..


Movies: Ra. One, Chamatkar

Known to take risks, SRK did a Chamatkar right at the beginning of his career. The film tanked but SRK’s wonder act brought him a lot of love. But it was his ambitious magnum opus Ra.One which brought in a paradigm shift in the industry as a whole. Suddenly, filmmakers started opting out for extensive VFX work and special effects for their films. More and more superhero flicks started running in the pipeline. The film didn’t do as per expectations but talk about trends and Ra.One nailed it! 


Movies: Veer Zaara, My Name is Khan, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Main Hoon Na

Much ahead of its time, SRK’s production Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani tackled a social cause, which needed a mention. It takes immense courage to be the change in an industry that works on stereotypes. And SRK’s always had the breakthrough moments scattered in his career. PBDHH was one such film. But all along, our Badshah has played numerous characters which spoke volumes about the courage and power he commands. Essaying Major Veer Pratap Singh or Major Ram Prasad Sharma, there have bene numerous times SRK’s won those uniforms which are in itself, embodiments of courage. A special mention for My Name is Khan. Certainly the ‘Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Man’, MNIK had scenes which gives you goose-bumps and in deftly playing the autistic Rizwan Khan, SRK showed what courage actually means!


Movies: Karan Arjun, Darr, Anjaam, Baazigar

At a time when his contemporaries were shying to play characters with negative undertones, SRK latched up those villainous characters, which possibly turned tables around for the actor. Be it his obsessive lover act in Darr or the son-out-for-vengeance act in Baazigar, he played the Angry Young Man really well. And no, we aren’t comparing him to Big B. But in real life, what makes the man angry? “If anyone tries to hurt my family,” he answers. 


Movies: Asoka, Ram Jaane, Devdas, Chalte Chalte, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna

For someone as energetic and effervescent in real life, it must be really difficult to portray depressing characters. Not for SRK! Why? Have you watched Asoka’s last scene where he brings down after the massacre? It’s possibly one of the most poignant scenes in Hindi cinema ever. He had a troubled upbringing in Ram Jaane, went through a tumultuous relationship with his wives in Chalte Chalte and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and lost his life in pursuit of his beloved Paro in Devdas. Can it be get sadder than this? But for all his fans, I am sure the saddest moments would possibly be when SRK cries or dies, in many of his flicks. My favourite sad scene (now you know the irony!)- When Rizwan talks about losing his son Sameer at the church in My Name is Khan. While most would have enacted the scene with bottles of glycerine, he pulls off a stunner, making the audience weep to his laugh. (Yes, he laughs in the scene!)


Movies: Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Yes Boss, Don series

He’s always loved to do things differently. He isn’t the conventional superstar in any way. While he’s played the son who’s scared to loss his ailing mother and lies to save her (Yes Boss, anyone?), SRK’s portrayed fear with his sense of no-fear. He was called the ‘Man Who Cannot Die’ in Jab Tak Hai Jaan as he played with bombs, and he’s the new Don who scares with his menacing laugh. Although it’s certainly not fear that he portrays on screen, he aces the emotion with his sense of role reversal. At least on this one! 


Movies: Anjaam, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

For an actor (who’s otherwise a Bolly hearthrob) to get people to hate him becomes difficult. Yet not impossible. SRK had the audiences looking at him with disgust as he manipulated Deepak Tijori in Anjaam. Wondering why we put RNBDJ in the list? Well, he plays Surinder Suri, who’s so disgusted with his simplicity and niceness that he undergoes an image make-over to woo his wife. Get the cue now?


Movies: Swades, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Chak De India, Mohabbatein

He underplayed Mohan Bhargava in Swades, delivering one of his finest performances. His idyll is shattered on seeing the moth eaten morality that plagues the Indian society but Mohan’s peace of mind makes him create something extraordinary for his roots. There was a certain calmness behind Kabir’s nervous turbulence which got the audience hooked to Chak De India. Despite the angst and despair, there’s a sense of peace and hope in the hockey coach’s eyes. Not to forget, he’s also played the sensible and mature guy in Kal Ho Naa Ho, who has solutions to all problems and the no-nonsense music teacher in Mohabbatein who silently brings about a revolution in Big B’s Gurukul. 

23 years and still going strong, we hope this superstar keeps touching lives and making people smile through his films… Jab Tak Hai Jaan… Jab Tak Hai Jaan…