Bollywood stars live dual lives. Publicly they show their best side – kind, generous and polite. But we often wonder, ‘How do they treat others behind the curtains of the glitz and glamour?’
Shah Rukh Khan, one of the most loved and respected actors, lives a private life which we have no clue about. Thus, out of curiosity, a Quora user posted this wise question: “What is the character of Shah Rukh Khan in his private space?”
Another Quora user who worked at Shah Rukh’s office for a year replied in a detailed and thoughtful way:
On Shah Rukh’s love for his fans:
“I worked at SRK’s home office for a year. I’ll be going anonymous because I’m still working in the same industry. He’s a gentleman. He’s a superstar of the highest order & this is the 21st Century, but he would still always open the door for an average female employee like me & let me pass first.
He never misses a chance to garner love from his fans. Every morning when he leaves in his car, he knows a few fans will be waiting outside the gates. But he never pulls up the blinds to hide away from them. He makes sure to smile & wave back. It’s a stark contrast from other stars who hide away behind blackened car windows & maintain discretion to avoid fans outside their homes.”
On his organised PR team and his responsibilities as a family man:
He has a special department for charities. This small department handles all his charitable work & make sure there is no delay/problem while providing any goods/payments promised under SRK’s name. They also frequently comb through his Twitter mentions to check for anyone reaching out for help. Also, this team doesn’t have a PR/MR manager & thus their activities are hardly ever revealed to the media.
He’s a dedicated family man. We weren’t allowed to cancel or shift his ‘family time’ on his schedule unless absolutely necessary & without asking him first. Whenever his children were in India, a part of the day was dedicated to them & we weren’t allowed to contact him directly regarding work during that time.
On Shah Rukh’s foodie side:
He’s a total foodie. We Delhi-ites are suckers for Sita Ram Diwan Chand ke Chhole Bhature. I had once brought 2 packed plates of it for myself when I came back to Mumbai from Delhi. He heard me childishly bragging about it in the corridor & told me to inform him when I was having lunch. He said he hasn’t had them in so long & was craving for a bite. I thought he was joking because he frequently made these Delhi-reference jokes with me as I was his only home-office employee from Delhi. But he wasn’t joking! He actually came to the cafeteria during my lunch break, sat across the table & had all my Chole Bhature! LOL. He usually follows a diet, but that day was not one of those days.
He’s very humble. I once accidentally ran my pen over his jacket worth 11-freaking-lacs! His assistant was ready to rip my throat open, but he said it’s okay. He gave me side hug from one arm, ruffled my hair, & asked me to be more careful in the future.
On his chilled-out attitude:
He’s way wittier in real life. Since he doesn’t have to worry about offending anyone when cameras aren’t around, he’s very very funny. And he has a very sarcastic & witty sense of humor. Like Chandler but with oodles of charm. I remember thinking he could have been a crazy successful stand-up comedian if he wasn’t an actor.
He’s not a hothead. May be it’s a cultural thing, but I never felt he was a hothead. Just like I don’t think Virat Kohli is overtly aggressive, he’s just the right amount of aggressive for a sportsman. It isn’t even aggression as much as passion. May be it’s a Delhi thing.
We are very passionate & expressive of our emotions, be it love or anger, but that hardly ever manifests to hate. We just say “Tu bahaar mil, BC”. No one ever actually goes out & fights. May be that Delhi ka ‘tora’ still lingers in him, & may be his non-Delhi colleagues & media personnel misunderstand that.
On his reading habits:
“He’s a hard worker. He is not in India for the most part of the year, much less Mumbai, but he was always awake & around no matter what time I reported for work. IDK if he ever even sleeps or not. We changed our shifts to accompany him, but he was always there. Not to forget, he is always abreast in every major decision-making of his businesses.
He is well-informed & well-read. Not only is SRK well educated, he is always updated on the latest news. Every morning 3 sets of 3 different newspapers are kept ready for him in his study, office, & car. He is also constantly checking updates on his tab while traveling etc. It’s rare in an incestuous industry like Indian films, with few other possible exceptions. He also is a frequent reader of e-books, & I often saw him reading biographies & poetry.”
In real life too, Shah Rukh is always late but why?
“He keeps his pre-stardom friends close. A lot of his childhood friends are still like family to him, & either hold high positions in Red Chillies or SRK is an investor in their businesses.
“He’s always late. I know that’s public knowledge. No matter what time he starts the day, he’s always exactly 2 hours late for everything. But in his defense, it’s not usually because he was resting in his van or woke up late. He is constantly working, hopping from one commitment to another. A 24 hour long day isn’t enough for the amount of work he gets done in a day.
So, this is how I can best describe SRK is after a year of working with him. I have lost count of the number of times we were pampered with expensive gifts & treats, & the number of employees he & his team help regularly. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had or ever will have.”