Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Story of a Hug

Let's start a little with how it all started...

I don't remember which year, but in one of my childhood years I watched Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and I was charmed by the Raj Malhotra, who, I later got to know was Mr. SHAH RUKH KHAN. I became a fan, I became a well wisher, I became more than that. And Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge became my most favorite and the most special movie, because my devotion and love for Mr. Khan dawned from when I watched that movie. Alhamdulillah, I have seen him in person a few times till now, but all I ever wanted was to give him a hug, which for me is a way to say thank you. A thank you, for everything, for all that I've learned from him, and for all that I'll be learning from him. But sadly, all the times I've seen him, I never got to hug him.

On this day, October 20th 1995, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge hit the theaters. And today October 20th 2016, on the 21st anniversary of the movie, I got to hug my Shah Rukh Khan...

Just last week I confirmed my visit to Budapest, Hungary. Since Shah Rukh has been filming around Europe, and Budapest was the current location with a long schedule. Never visiting a city all by myself, and so far away from home, it was not an easy decision, but I had to try my luck. I quickly planned a one week trip to Budapest, with no itinerary, no proper plans, no fellow fan to keep me company.

After landing to city, the next morning I woke with the thought "now what", I did not know anything about the whereabouts of Mr. Khan, or shooting locations, nor did I plan any sightseeing. Still I decided to venture out, and it was like destiny knocking at my door, I randomly bumped into two lovely ladies, who happened to be his fans. And from them, I got to know about the place he's residing during his stay here. The same day I went to wait for him at the entrance of the place, but with no luck. I was a little heartbroken. It's always heartbreaking when the dream is so close, and then it escapes you.

The next day, I dedicated my whole day to wait at the place. I waited for over 10 hours. I was emotionally exhausted. I was on the verge of crying, if not only for my lovely fellow Shah Rukhie from Canada, who kept me going. I was sitting there, hungry but no appetite, thirsty but no will to have a sip of water, waiting for a glance of him, and perhaps give him the hug. But no luck. I had no idea what was going on, whether or not he was at the hotel, whether or not he'll pass by where I was. But every second I kept thinking, I waited this long, I can't leave now... What if, I leave and miss him by seconds, miss my hug by seconds! I kept on waiting. And yes, it was not easy, a few times I almost broke into tears. But then, it was like God sent an angel (angel no.1 in my story), I was finally told he was not there at the hotel. Nor will he be there the next day... I believed him. Trust me, when I say he was a God sent angel.

Next day, I was too emotionally exhausted to speculate about his whereabouts. So I dedicated the day to sight seeing! Those who are interested, go see the Buda Castle, and the whole area around it. I spent my whole day there.

Following day. Today. I haven't had any proper sleep since the last two nights. But last night I had a dream, I saw that I met him, asked for a hug and he gave me a hug. I was praying for it to not be a dream, but alas! I woke up in the morning, very tired, and scared that I'll be heartbroken again. As much as I wanted to go and wait for him, it was hard to drag myself out of the bed. I was just not ready to face the day, in case it had more heart breaks in store for me.

After some deliberation, I decided to face the day. I wasn't planning to go to the hotel in the day time, so I got a light breakfast from the cafe next to me. In the midst of it, I realized the team was about to head out for the shooting...

I decided to wrap up my breakfast and head to the hotel. Too scared of more heartbreaks, I thought may be... may be I'll have my moment.

Just a short wait, and he comes out of the hotel...

Almost ran to him, but since he was going for the shoot, it seemed like he was in the character and perhaps rehearsing in his head, he headed straight to the car, and sat down... I thought there goes my moment. Again.

But then, Shah Rukh Khan the sweetheart, that we all know he is, asked his chauffeur to call the fans waiting, and like a gentleman got out of the car. And enters the second God sent angel (angel no.2), his chauffeur...

My moment came... I asked if I could hug him... And of course, he hugged me...

The second God sent Angel, captured the whole moment for me.

I hugged the man I loved most of my life. And this time it was not in my dreams, it was my dream coming to life. Surreal? Yes. But I guess it's meant to be like this. When your most precious dream, most desired dream comes to life, it's a little hard to distinguish real world from the world of dreams.

October the 20th, 2016 will forever be special. Budapest will forever be special. And yes, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, just became even more special.

"Kehte hain, agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho toh puri kainaat usse tumse milane ki tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hain..." and sometimes, if possible, lend kainaat a helping hand... For me it was, for the first time in my life crossing seas, and visiting a new country all by myself... and also, surviving those heartbreaks while trying my best not to give up. The rest? The entire kainaat took care for me.

The story is incomplete without the iconic hug...

PS. Kainaat had some bonus for me. Afterwards, for the first time ever, I watched him shoot. I watched the man in action... doing what he's most passionate about. Oh, and guess where the shooting was? Buda Castle! The same Buda Castle I was touristing the day before.

PPS. I got to thank both the God sent angels.

PPPS. Some of you might ask, I got to give my hug, what next? Eh! What's one hug! Constant thank yous, mean constant hugs!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fading Memories

Birthday post (? not really). A spontaneous one of course. As I am traveling home, the dramatic that I am, the music I'm listening to engendered several emotions. To be specific, particularly caused me to miss those with whom I have spent my birthdays (or not); who don’t live anymore. Today, this post, I’ll dedicate to some of those I've lost, reflecting on fond memories I have of them. 

Keeping them anonymous...

Person 1:

I’ve spent so many of my birthdays with her, and many without her. When she was here among us, perhaps we could never have imagined that just some years down the line, we won’t be together anymore. We won’t be there to celebrate each other’s big/special days. But as I have learnt with time, such is life. I still remember how she used to call me (i.e. my name), I remember the sound of her voice, but sadly if I try to put her voice to form a sentence, I get deluded. I can tell her memory is fading away, the thought of which breaks my heart. Some year down the line, she’d perhaps seem more vague. What's even worse (?) I cannot help it, I cannot help letting go the memories of a person, whose death brought sorrows I thought I could never let go off. I wish I could remember everything as was, but unfortunately I cannot. Let me pen down one of my most memorable moments with her:

Watching a very special movie at her house for the first time. We cried so much watching the movie. Ironically the movie’s protagonist passes away in the end, just like she did 2 years down the line. I remember I cried so much I needed some fresh air, so we went to their terrace. The wind was refreshing. I remember her standing next to me, but I cannot remember what we talked about. As silly as it may sound, just thinking that she was by my side during the time means a lot. May be because I know if she was here today, she’d stand by me the same way and help me face more critical challenges of life. I miss her. I miss the special bond we shared. I wish I could hold back all the memories of her just the way they were, but I am only human, and yes the beautiful memories are fading away.

Which brings me to...

Person 2:

It has not been long since she passed away. So I remember her voice clearly, her laughs, the way I could tell, when I used to call her, that she says my name with a smile on her face to confirm it was me. On my birthdays, when I was with her, it was a ritual, if not first then second, going to see her and letting her know it was my birthday. She’d bless me from heart, and yes give some money too. At that point, perhaps, it was the money that got me excited, but now I know it has been more than that. After I moved to USA, I’d call her on my birthday, and she'd genuinely me bless just like before. I remember the exact words she'd say and her blessings always felt so assuring, like it’s just her prayers themselves, that would keep me off trouble, sadness, and hardships for the coming year. Today she’s not here. My first birthday without her. I know her blessings are always with me, I just wish I could call her, and she’d reassure it. A memorable moment with her:

When I was little, one day I cut her bed sheet by accident (okay it was not really an accident). I was so scared the soon I realized what I did, I ran away. Somehow she figured it was me, and was chasing me around the house. I hid under the bed in one of the rooms in our house full of rooms. She couldn’t find me. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, if she actually did scream at me or not, reported to my mom or not.  Perhaps nothing really happened, what I know for sure is, that bed sheet still exists. If there’s one thing that makes me feel good about myself, it’d be, knowing that I didn’t grow up to be the brat she was chasing. I can say this, because I’ve been told by numerous of my relatives that she spoke very highly of me, always. I might not deserve the praise or appreciation, but just knowing I gave her some happiness to think highly of me, gives me immense satisfaction. I wish she was here. I wish I could see her one last time. I wish I could talk to her one last time, and hear her say my name, knowing there’s a smile on her face.

Person 3:

There are certain people who are always in my prayers. This person is one of them. My biggest regret till now is, I was not there to see him when he passed away. Though I know how much my presence would have meant. I cannot place his voice at all, I remember his facial appearance. I remember how, when he used to walk to our house, first place he'd be was our apartment to see me. I remember him walking with his stick. I was too small to say anything to him, to say how much he meant to me, or to say how much his presence used to brighten up my day and made me feel special. My fondest memory:

I remember he used to take me to school sometimes. While in the rickshaw, he would sing Urdu songs (being Bihari, his Bengali was weak). Those songs were meant for his wife. I remember, I used to shy away when he categorized the songs, one song for when she's angry, another for something else. Here was this man, with grey hair, grey beard, who walks with a stick, singing songs for his wife. I thought that was the sweetest anyone can ever be. He'd forever be special to me, someone whose name'd forever remain pinned down in my heart. Yes, I wish I could see him one last time. I was told he longed to see me too.

Person 4:

Just two years back I was devastated after I heard he was no more. It was unexpected in every way. I never thought I'd lose another close friend so soon. Also, perhaps because it was not that long ago, to some extant I can still relate to the pain. I didn't know him for too long, but the few months I knew him, were enough to know what a wonderful person he was. He never told me about his sickness, never told be his life was unstable. Never told me he was admitted in the hospital, aware, that it'd shatter me. 

I remember his last message to me was that I deserved all the happiness in the world, and that I should stay away from petty worries. I'd never have known he passed away if it wasn't for his friend. He'd rather have me believe that he chose to not keep in touch with me, than to inform me he was in the hospital fighting for his life, a fight which he lost. Yes, he passed away convinced I'd never know the truth. I doubt I'd ever know anyone as selfless as him, and I don't even need to, because I knew him.

It was not just the music that brought me to writing this post today. I've lost another family member just two days back. I don't have much memory of him to share, but I wish I did. Because I could not think of a moment I actually shared with him, I started thinking of times I spent with other loved ones who passed away. Only to realize, how much I am starting to forget. So today, I took out some time, remembering those who reserves the right to be remembered, whose memories are entitled to live with me so long as I exist. I may not think about them each day, but there'd always definitely be days when their thoughts would cloud my consciousness. Just like today.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Wrong and The Right Airport (SLAM New Jersey, Post II)

The wrong airport: Yes with no car, no friends in the city who drives a car I went to, Newark International Airport, the wrong airport, in New Jersey, changing 5 trains which took over 3 hours. One of my darling friend joined me after the change of third train. Once we reached the airport, I got message from my darling friend that HE and the other celebrities most likely got into a private jet, and perhaps will not land in Newark, because no chartered plane lands there. Of course we could not be sure, but then one of the other celebrities and later HE HIMSELF, posted a picture on Twitter, posing in front of the private jet. So it was confirmed that they were taking a private jet. Now, which airport they'd land? We wouldn't know, but Newark most certainly not.

My darling friend, found an airport, Teterboro Airport, the right one, which is only for chartered planes and also very close to the venue. Now, this made sense to all of us, they were leaving Houston pretty late, so landing at an airport closer to the venue would perhaps be the most obvious move.
"Keep Calm and Watch Shah Rukh!"

But with no car and being pretty far from the right airport, my only option was to take a taxi there. I thought to wait and see if anyone from the team lands in Newark airport (the night before my darling friend and I tracked down all the incoming flights in Newark from Hoston) in the next flight that was scheduled to land not too long later. I assumed if any team members indeed come through Newark, I could try asking to confirm before actually going to Teterboro, because once there, I wouldn't be able to get back to Newark. Then the darling friend gave me some more info, I now had all the information I needed on the flight HE took, and yes now we were sure HE was landing in Teterboro. But before we left, some fans (2 of them, from Canada) came to wait next to us in Newark, and we knew they were fans, because well look at his sweatshirt (on the right): 

I shared the information with them, and yes I had to do some persuasion so they'd believe HE was indeed landing on the airport I was intending to go.

Now, I was the one with all the information, and they were the ones with the car, we made a good team. We headed toward the other airport, the right airport.

Headed to get a glimpse of the beloved... And perhaps that most desired "hug" I always wanted... And hand over to HIM the lovely messages and wishes from around the globe...

The right airportTeterboro airport was far, and took us 35 minutes to get there. It's not just like any other airport, it's strictly for chartered planes, with no sign of an entrance, no information desk, no terminals. The airport is in the middle of no where, looked and gave the vibe of a military camp. We were not sure if we'd be allowed inside. We went to a security in front of the first thing that looked like a gate. I had all the information on the plane (apparently the tail number is what they care for, which I, thanks to my darling friend(s), had). Now because I could provide a tail number (I mean how many passersby will have the tail number of a private jet scheduled for the airport), the security after some inquires let us in through the gate (yes it was a gate) saying we were at the right zone of the airport, i.e. the gate where the plane is supposed to arrive!

We were indeed at the right place!

We went in, fancy HIM fancy the airport HE arrives at. But just to be sure we went to the information desk inside to ask the lady if the plane was landing at that gate. The tail number I provided was not listed on her list of arrivals, so apparently they let us in because they thought we were taking the private plane with that tail number. We asked if the plane was arriving at any of the other zones, but they had no access to the arrival/departure list of the other areas. I was asked the name of the zone (e.g. we were at Signature) where the plane would arrive, but that I had no idea about.

The heart sank... Perhaps we were at the wrong place again...  Unsure if we will get to be at the right place at all...

But these ladies at the desk were so nice, they divided the zones among themselves, and each of them called a different zone to check if anyone had information on the arrival of the plane. The first one they reached said no, the second one said no, the third one said yes! Said YES! I was literally about to tear up. I will just take this moment to mention how amazingly nice some people can be, the two of them were clearly caught up with so much work but they took the time to help us out. And one of the ladies, perhaps saw it in my face, the excitement, the happiness or the teary eyes... She looked at me and wished me "good luck". We were also given direction to the right area, which was about two miles away.

Now imagine if we went there by a cab, we'd have been stranded there. Not one public vehicle was seen in that area, if I had to call a cab, it'd probably have been to take us back, not to go to another zone. Also going to that place in a cab would have been strange and very inappropriate. 

We then headed off to the other zone... The right airport... The right zone...

Again the security at the door needed to inquire us, he thought we were there to pick up the party of the arriving plane. We, were there, to pick HIM (and the team) up?! We told the security we were not there for pick up, but couldn't explain properly why we were there. He called inside, and for once we thought we would be sent back from the door. So close to destiny yet so far. But when he hung up, he said we could go in and if anyone inquires about our business there, we could say for pick up! Pick HIM up! :) I have so many people to thank, and this gentleman is one of them.

As we went inside, I went to the information desk again to double check, and the lady said yes the plane was coming there. The plane in which HE is, that'd be landing in less than an hour was going to land at the zone where I was...

We were overjoyed. The gate that was less than 15 feet away from me, in a matter of time HE'd walk in from there... It all seemed too good to be true...

The first time we went inside, we noticed one South Asian guy sitting (waiting?) inside. The shock on his face when he saw us was apparent, but he didn't say anything. We were skeptical whether we wanted to talk to him or not, but in the end we did. I asked if he was there for the same flight as us, he said "yes", and it was not a nice yes. It was a very insecure, very uncomfortable yes. Instantly he asked us why we were there. We were not trying to pretend, so we said we were fans, and he replied "Okay, we might have to ask you to step outside once the security comes in", he got up and left, and not nicely.

The four of us went quiet, all the excitement started to fade away. Was it all really too good to be true? We thought it was okay if we are asked to step out, we could stand by the door outside, that shouldn't be a problem.

We waited. More of the organizers started to come in. The first guy must have mentioned us, because the way they all looked at us was not very pleasant. It was apparent on their face that they were wondering, what were we doing there? How did we get the right information? How can we be at the right place at the right time? After all we are just "fans", how can we be so right? And clearly they were not happy about it. It was so obvious more than anything else what really annoyed them was the fact that we had all the right information, and to just see us sitting there with them. After all we are just "fans", they are the organizers, the authorities. What gives us the right to sit in the same place as them, waiting for the plane with HIM (and team) to arrive.

The private security they hired came in, walked straight towards us, told us to step outside. We did as told. As I mentioned we wouldn't even mind waiting outside the door, we stepped out. The security came by, and told us to cross the road to other side and stand by the road divider.

The chances of getting the hug seemed very slim now, but atleast I could get a glimpse of the happiness... The happiness so close to me... And perhaps HE would even look at me and wave... And that would mean the world... That would mean everything...

There was a security standing next to us, who started talking to us. He thought it was amazing seeing people's love for HIM, and asked us to tell some more. We did. And because he was talking with us so much, one of the other securities was sent to call him back. Remember the insecurities I mentioned? We were not trying to befriend the security, we are fans, and we want the world to know about HIM. And ofcourse he couldn't have done anything, which the organizers wouldn't approve.

We stood there, waiting. Everytime some organizers arrived, we got that not so pleasant, not so welcoming look. Some of them wouldn't take their eyes off us, they could not just bear our presence there. Each of the organizers suited up like they were going for Academy Awards, and they were threatened by the four of us, one of whom wore a Kolkata Knight Riders jersey, and another a sweatshirt that says "Keep Calm and Watch Shah Rukh". There was about twenty of them and more of them coming in, and just the four of us.

After twenty more minutes, one of the private securities walked over to us and said we'd have to leave the airport premises. He further threatened us saying, they could do it nicely or get the port authority involved. Of course we were not there to create trouble, nor were we there for them to create trouble. The securities were merely doing what they were ordered by the organizers. It just amazes me how threatened the organizers felt of the four people standing outside. It was not a group of forty or hundred people, just us four.

It indeed was all too good to be true... We went to our car and drove outside...

Still had the gift and card (from everyone) on my hand, just incase...
We parked opposite the airport, which technically was not airport premises anymore. Crossed the road by foot, to ask that nice gentlemanly security guard if we could stand on the side he was at. He said we shouldn't, and added that there were orders from inside not to let us go in.

So we crossed back. We stood there on the other side of the road hoping we would wave at them when the cars pass by. I was hoping I'd atleast see HIM lowering down HIS window and wave, like HE usually does. That's me waiting outside the airport, and updating my darling friend(s)

I don't know which feeling was more extreme at that point, the sadness that I was so close to him but was pushed so far, the disappointment that I might not be able to deliver my gift or the love from across the globe in the card I was holding, or sorrow of the realization that now not just the hug but I might as well not be able to have a glimpse of HIM. To one extant it seemed surreal that after coming so close to the happiness, in one instance everything went wrong.

The plane delayed landing by an hour, while we waited outside the airport. It was a long wait, with no hope of things going right anymore. Once the plane landed, the cars started coming out. I thought to scream HIS name if I see HIM. In the first car, I saw Ravi (HIS security) in the front seat, so I screamed HIS name. The glasses behind were tainted, so I couldn't tell if HE was on the back or not. More cars passed by fast, now being me, my eyes and heart only looked for HIM, so I did not pay much attention on others. However, one particular person caught my attention who screamed and waved at us, finally some niceness. Boman Irani, won my heart, I (we) were desperately seeking for some niceness at that point, my heartfelt thanks to him for giving us that.

The cars left us behind in a matter of few seconds. Our next plan was to follow their cars. So we quickly got into ours, and headed off...

Didn't get the hug, couldn't give the gift or card, didn't even get a glimpse... now we were literally running after the happiness...

Till the next post...

PS. I'd say this was HIS "Main naa tera" moment no. 1... HE was trying too hard to get...


Darling friend(s):

*The one I have known the longest, and the one that is the craziest and loveliest: Rumana
*The one that was crazy enough to come with me to the airport, and supported me every second. And yes the only one I could've asked to accompany me: Anisha
*The one that barely knows me, yet helped and supported like we have known each other forever. Yes I now call her my friend: Luna
*The one that reminded me to breathe, and supported me throughout: Maliha

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Venue, IZOD Center (SLAM New Jersey, Post I)

The venue, IZOD Center: And so HE was introduced as the next performer...

A little unexpected, as I thought HE would not appear until everyone else did...

The crowd started to go berserk... No one was on their seat...

And me? Don't even ask, by the end of the blog entries (I have decided to write them in three posts, to keep the readings short) you would know what I must have been going through. I knew I am close to where HE would make HIS entrance, because from my seat I saw this (which I will refer to as crane-like-thing):

The crane-like-thing!
And what I know from the Houston show (from previous night), HE did make HIS entrance on this crane-like-thing. There was chaos and confusion among the crowd, with themes from HIS movies being played, and HIS pictures being shown on the stage, while everyone wondering where HE would appear from. Even I started looking for HIM everywhere, because crane-like-thing was still at the same height, and HE clearly was not on it. I stared at the crane-like-thing for a while, looked back (as the previous performer came from the back), stared at the stage trying to see a glimpse of that so familiar so loved silhouette. Tension was building up, people kept chanting HIS name, but HE was no where to be seen. Heart was racing, eyes were dying to catch that one glimpse. But where was the beloved?

And then the crane-like-thing started to lower down...

And I knew, we all knew what was going to happen. HE emerged from underneath, in front of the control area from among the crowd. Everyone was screaming HIS name and their love for HIM, trying to make HIM hear it in their own voice. Needless to say I was screaming too, and HE was indeed very close to me, closer than I thought was possible anymore that day. A glimpse of HIM and I know what happiness would look like if it had a physical form. HE stood on the crane-like-thing, and rose up like a KING, making the crowd go crazier. A dramatic entrance, elegant as it suits HIM. The crane-like-thing started to move backwards, and took HIM to the stage. This marked the beginning of HIS performance. Later ofcourse HE danced around some more, joked around some more, and without even trying stealing hearts some more. 

I will, however, not write much about the event in the three entries (may be another post later), because I don't want to add any spoilers (the entry description already is, and my apologies for that), and also because how much more can I praise HIM? Ofcourse HE was incredibly awesome, melted everyones' hearts, and made the audience forget the presence of other celebrities. HIS live interaction with the couple HE invited on stage, exemplified HIS witty sense of humor and ability to make anyone feel special around HIM. But these are all known facts, whatever HE does HE does best. And at the end of the show no one could stop talking about HIM. Every corner I went to everyone had HIS name in their mouth. Yes there were other celebrities, but the magic that HE creates, the beautiful that HE makes things around HIM is unmatchable. But these are all known facts, and no matter how much I try I can't do justice to the actual experience (I hope I managed to do some justice to the entrance though). So, what I would do in my next posts, is rewind you all back from the night of September 20th, 2014 to the morning, and talk about the rest of the day in the other two posts.
And HE rises higher than everyone!

PS. Here's one of the really bad pictures I took of HIM on the crane-like-thing. Pardon the image quality, I was clearly not looking at the camera.

PPS. Leaving the venue that night was the hardest thing I have done in a long long time. It is always hard to get back to reality after seeing HIM, but I feel this time it is even harder considering what I went through the whole day.

Next post will be on the airport experience, to be posted soon...

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Unexpected Express Ride on Eid!

It was "unexpected" because I did not know New York was having a preview. It was only the day before the preview that I got to know about it and instantly got excited, because now I could watch on Eid and not the next day of Eid. And before proceeding, let me make it clear this is not a review. I'm not intellectual enough to write a review (specially for HIS movie, since my mind stops working and heart starts when he is infront of my eyes). This is merely just about my wonderful experience that I had which literally left me smiling even while I was sleeping last night.

So I woke up with smile on my face on the day of Eid, because my Eid gift from HIM was just a few hours away (at 7.30pm) in the evening. Even though I usually prefer going alone for the first watch of HIS movie, this time I was ready to make an exception as it was Eid. My cousin and her husband also were going for the movie.

I actually booked my ticket in advance (only for the sake of my heart, because it kept telling me "BUY THE TICKET"), but my cousin and brother-in-law were to buy from the theater itself. In fact I actually told them to buy directly from the theater, because online it was more expensive due to the additional booking fee.

We left at 6 p.m, even though the show was at 7.30pm, and the theater is only about half-an-hour away. Once we went into the theater, it was a chaos. There was a long line for tickets, and perhaps just to console ourselves I said it is because of Eid many people came to watch movies, not necessarily Chennai Express (though deep down I wanted the crowd for my movie) but could be any movie. As we stood on the line, someone from the back said "Are you here for Chennai Express? The tickets are already sold out!" And there was the shock! I couldn't believe it. Not because the it was sold out, but because it was the preview that was sold out, I did not even expect many people to know about it. But how stupid am I? After all I'm not the only person who dies on HIM. Anyways we still didn't move from the line, thinking those people only wanted to get the tickets themselves first, so were lying to us. But as we went to the counter, it was actually sold out! I also went to check on the card machine, and yes there also it said sold out. My relatives therefore had to return without watching (the next show was at 11 p.m, a little too late). And for me? I just stood there thinking how right HE is when HE says "listen to your heart".

Thankful I was, I went out a little with family because there still was time for show. But then realized I had to get back to get a good seat! So I went in, and almost 60% of the seats were taken, among which 95% were the good ones! I sat in a reasonable seat, as I had no other option. As time went by people started flowing in, till they had to take those annoying front seats. Some who did not want to seat in the front, sat on the stairs! And even one guy stood for a while. My first time seeing something like this! It was a chaos inside. It was hard to believe I was in New York.

HE came on screen on the first scene itself, and ya lets not talk about how my crazy heart reacted, and also how eyes got teary and all. But lets talk about the reaction of the audience! The whole hall roared. Whistled. Cheered. Screamed. Welcomed HIM. And I was sitting there blushing, just clapping and smiling. The ride on the train started, making the audience laugh hysterically, cheer, scream and clap some more. I honestly felt like I was sitting in a theater somewhere in India, because not ever did I see such reaction from audience in a theater here in America. Forget whistle, people hardly even clap! It was the BEST experience ever. I won't go on writing about which scene made the audience react how, as I don't want to write any spoiler even accidentally, or which scene made me laugh the most as already mentioned intention was not to review the movie. The intention was to try to present a glimpse of what HIS presence, HIS movies, and and HE HIMSELF means to the audience. And how much people love him. And my experience on how much people around me enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. There are some things for which words aren't enough, same goes for my experience yesterday. But if I was able to explain it a little, it would give me happiness, as I know even if little that would make my fellow ShahRukhies happy. 

I usually say HIS movie release is like Eid, and this time the movie previewed on Eid. I could not ask for a better Eid day. Not only did I loved the movie, but the entire experience made me feel like Allah might truly has been happy with me for some reason. Hope all ShahRukhies experience, what I experienced while watching Chennai Express atleast once in their life. It's magical.

Also thanked HIM several times, but it never seems enough keeping in mind how much happiness he gives us. So ending the blog thanking HIM for everything.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Loving him since the time I remember....

It all started with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. I fell for the mischievous, graceful and charming Raj Malhotra. I was too young to even realize that the adorable character onscreen is not even real. And how could I ever have known, since the person portraying the role, does it with so much ease, perfection and honesty that not for one second you can think he could be someone else. Nevertheless, later I came to realize that, to my huge astonishment, Raj Malhotra was just one of the magnificent characters portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan. 

I guess that’s how it all began. I’ve literally been a fan for as long as I can remember. Now ofcourse it’s a lot more than just being a fan. I’m a well wisher, an admirer, a fanatic, a devotee – all perhaps to an extreme level. I’ve grown up loving him; I don’t know how life is like not loving him. To say he means the world to me would be an understatement, as I feel my world itself starts with him. Loving him has been a part of my everyday life, I loved him in sadness, in happiness and in mood of every other color, that now I feel I wouldn’t know true or real emotions without feeling my love for him at the same time. 

And why wouldn’t a person love him? He’s the perfect gentleman, the ideal husband, doting father, and a loving brother. He respects women; perhaps more than any other man does in his position. Never can I forget the time when he held my hand in the crowd, and was too much of a gentleman to let it go. Or when one of the ladies in the crowd dropped her camera, he was the one to bend down and pick it up for her. He’s down-to-earth; he’s simple and believes in being “ordinary”. He makes you believe you can be him, or perhaps more than that he makes you believe that he’s like you. He’s adorable; he has a great sense of humor, a charming personality. He makes you smile when no one else can. He’s one of the biggest sources of inspiration in my life; he gives me confidence, hope, and faith. When I’m down I know I can always go seeking for any one of his interviews, and it will lighten and cheer me up. Just as I mentioned before, through joy and sorrow he is always there, be it just a google search or a tweet away.

As I said before, I can’t even imagine not having him in my life, and as corny as it may sounds he indeed is like the air around me, without which I cannot breathe. I’m blessed to be here on the same era as him, I’m blessed to know him. Whatever goodness I’ve in me today, besides my parents, is the result of having him in my life. He has touched the lives of millions with his work, and gave us all many reasons to smile and be happy from H.A.R.T. He always helped me see the beauty of life, with both my eyes and heart. Perhaps the things mentioned here are just repetitions of what has been told a million times. But truth always has the same form and appearance, the only thing that changes is how we present it. Been loving him unconditionally all these years, and no matter how many times I ask myself or write a blog/article, I’ll never really know why I love him the much I do. The only thing I know is that he deserves all my love, and perhaps even more. Will love you Shah Rukh, Jab Tak Hai Jaan….Jab Tak Hai Jaan…. (with no intentions of freaking anyone out, perhaps  will love him even after that….) 

A short message for the dearest:

Dearest Shah, 

On this auspicious night of your birthday, all that comes from heart are prayers for you and your family. Thank you once again for everything. You're special and will forever be. Happy Birthday, and may you outlive all of us. Wishes for a good a health, a happy heart, a prosperous life, and no more broken bones. I love you forever and for always.

Just another fanatic.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 12th, 2012: Being With The Yale Chubb Fellow

After 2years, 2months, 11days, 6hours and 45 minutes later he was once again in front of me. This time for even a longer duration, while being charming, intelligent, gorgeous-in short just being "perfect".

The journey from New York City to New Haven:
I had to get up pretty early to be on my way to New Haven (at Connecticut, CT) for the event, since it was on a first come first serve basis, which allowed me to sleep less than four hours that night. Tried to eat something before leaving home but failed miserably, I simply could just not swallow the food! I already had print outs of maps of various routes to get to the location (Shubert Theater), since I have never been to CT before and heard the place is not very safe, so did not wanted to take any risk by getting lost. Like last time, I did not put any songs on, as I mentioned before they make me emotional (specially his). Yet all I could think about was him, and everytime I checked my iTouch for time I blew kisses at him seeing his picture on background.

I reached New Haven at around 12pm, while the show was suppose to start at 4pm. So I was ofcourse on time, if not very early. The first thing I saw as I walked in front of the theater was, the big board outside that had his name in big font stating the timing of his lecture! A lecture by him (imagine how I felt)!? I was the second person queue, behind an American lady who flew from Virginia being the first to reach the venue. There were some other people here and there, but no one wanted to stand on line as it was freezing outside, and it was kind of silly to stand there while the place was literally empty. The weather actually changed all of a sudden, all I had on me was my thin leather jacket and I did not even wear closed shoe. It was cold as hell with freezing wind blowing from every corner, it was only 12 and we had to stand till 3.30pm (atleast). I could easily have moved and gone to a coffee place or somewhere to sit, but I did not want to give up my spot. I could have asked the lady or the two Pakistani guys (who later came to stand behind me) to keep my spot, while I go get warm, but I did not want to do it. As that would have given me the feeling that I don’t deserve the spot, since I was prioritizing my own comfort . I knew I had to stand there freezing if may, to tell myself that yes I deserve to be here, I deserve to have him in front of me for an hour and  half, I deserve it as much as 1600 other people in the theater. 

As if it wasn’t freezing enough, Allah perhaps wanted to test me more. The wind got crazier and to add to our complications it started raining! Yes freezing wind, freezing cold rain water and we had no umbrellas! It was unbelievably cold; I was shivering like crazy, never in my life I shivered like this before, and on top of that I already got drenched in the rain. It was only 1pm by then, my pumps being made out of some thick fabric, once it got wet it wasn't drying. My feet were frozen, I could not walk, it seemed I had two blocks of ice inplace of my feet. Media started showing up after a while, while people went crazy to give interviews. I on the other hand did not wanted to move from my spot to go and talk with media. However, NDTV wanted to talk with the people who were first on line. They asked me what was so special about him that I traveled all this way, I said "Because he's the KING of the world".

Anyways just as we got drenched in the rain, the cold wind dried us. So my whole body was ice cold, and on top of that cold wind kept blowing with full speed. By this time the crowd grew so big, I knew it was impossible to get a hug from him, which I so much desired. But to be very honest what I was getting was enough for me, hug would have been a cherry on top, but later I realized having him in front makes up for the whole cake including the cherry! After waiting for what seemed about an eternity it was 3pm, when they would open the door. The management was so bad, and the people who were managing were rude to core. It was 3pm and no one opened the door, it was 3.15 no one opened. The people inside saw us freezing to death outside and yet they did not open. The police inside even took a picture of us in his phone, perhaps to hold the best example of dedication. It was 3.30pm no one opened, I had a feeling he was running late and hence the delay. And then at about 3.50pm they opened the door for us, I said Bismillah and went in, happily the second person to walk through the door.I won’t write much about the seating arrangement, but that was also terrible. Got to seat in the VIP section ultimately and that is what counts, forgetting the struggle we had to go through to get there, even though we were first on line, as I said management was very bad.

It was 4pm+ and still no sign of the sweet-heart. After about 20 minutes someone walked on to the stage, and the crowd screamed! His first reaction was “I’m not Khan”, which made me want to get that Khan from wherever he was and give a crushing hug! He announced delay of the event (as expected) and said Mr. Chubb Fellow will attend a press conference first, that we'll get to see on screen, and then come down to be in front of us. At around 5.15pm people on the screen started to get busy, the crowd knew what it mean so we screamed. The KING has arrived.

Main Event:
The charming, ever graceful, the most handsome man, the best human being currently on the planet was there on the screen and somewhere upstairs to where I was seating. We were in the same building! Him and me. As I thought he wore black ofcourse. The press conference was kept short, and it was announced that he was coming down to the theater shortly. Guess how my heart behaved, sorry but you don’t get anything for the right answer. Anticipation, excitement, nervousness the few minutes wait was killing me! I wanted him there, right in front of me, right away. The head of the South Asian Organization who sort of started the idea to get him at Yale for the honor walked in, spoke a little about him and the honor. She left us with this video clip from his movies, songs, stage shows etc. The crowd roared, with each song, scene, and basically his sight.

The video ended, and HE walked in………

I screamed, I screamed with all my heart, I screamed as loud as my voice allowed me to. I always wanted to be part of the scream team when I used to see it on tv. I wanted him to feel he was so welcome, I wanted him to feel our love and support through our scream, oh what the hell I don’t want to cry now, okay I literally wanted to take my heart out and give it to him! His first word on the podium and we screamed again. He was smiling, I saw his dimples, I saw his hair all gelled up. I was staring at him so hard as to make myself believe it was him. I stared so hard I wanted him to get stuck in my eyes so I can never see anything else but him only. He started his lecture, I understood some of it and some I did not, as it was difficult to multitask at the moment, staring at him as well as listening. My eyes took the lead though. Yet from what I got from his lecture, it was beautiful. Subhanallah, the way this man’s mind works. He is not only intelligent, he knows how to write well, how to gather his thoughts and express them in a way that it touches your heart’s string and play DDLJ tune with it! I took pictures, recorded videos, screamed even more. Whenever, he mentioned Ra.One I was the first to scream, while people joined me, I wanted him to know that he is loved and his dream movie too. I even made faces at him (!!) when he was being modest! I wanted to hug him when he said he was “sexy and most desirable”. I wanted his lecture never to end, I wanted time to miraculously stop. After the speech he went backstage, only to come back again for Q/A (all thanks to Allah). 

The shona walked in again, and we all screamed. He sat down, and luckily he sat on the chair closer to our side, and as I assumed the black mug to hold his coffee he indeed was drinking from it. There were two students from the University on his left (I forgot why they were selected), and on his right was one of Yale’s Professor of philosophy. This is when I started staring even more creepily at him. I could see him completely now, head to toe. I stared like some creepy fan girl, the realization of which is amazing me now! I stared at his hair, his eyes, his nose, the way he bites his lips, his ears, his hands, his wedding ring, his shoes (and the thing hanging out from one of them), the way he scratches his hair, the way he blushes, the dimples – I stared deeply at him. I could not look anywhere else; my eyes were stuck on him. I noticed every single thing he was doing, every single thing.

After Q/A he got up, in order to perform a little to say dialogues, dance a little etc. He said dialogues from DON and also did his famous pose. I did not feel like I was in the same planet filled with so much negativity. Everything seemed too good to be real. Then he decided to perform in Chammak Challo, this seemed so surreal. It was my childhood dream to see him perform, and moreover I wanted to be in some kind of program which has only him! To be honest no one will really understand what goes through me when I’m experiencing all this, except probably the people who knows me since childhood. No one else can really understand how much all these means to me, or how much he means to me. While he was performing I wanted to scream as much as my voice allowed me, wanted to scream until no more sound came out. His moves are so perfect and elegant, everything about this man worth the best compliments. He bowed after his performance, which was unexpected. So I screamed again to show how much every little thing he does is appreciated by us.

The program almost came to an end; it was time for him to take a leave. Everyone cheered; everyone made him feel how much he is loved. And while he was about to leave stage, we all ran toward the stage (atleast the ones in front). Screwing the American security guards, no one cared what they will say or do! He had to leave stage from the side where I was, so mostly he was on our side (lucky I got yet again?). As he was walking away, people were going crazy to hold his hand. The gentleman walked forward to hold our hands, but then the first person whose hand he held was an asshole (pardon!) enough to pull him. I had a mini-heart attack, the baby almost fell! South Asian crowds are worse, they don’t know manners, and they don’t know how to respect. So the jaan decided to leave, as the crowd in front was not worth touching him. One of the most memorable moments of this experience was when he was standing the closest to me, to hold hands; he smiled squeezing his eyes and showing his dimples. It seemed like his eyes were also smiling, those gorgeous brown eyes.

He went backstage, we came out and wanted to look for his car. It was easy to notice it as there was heavy security around it. People gathered on both sides of the car, and when the security noticed the crowd was increasing they pushed everyone back even further. I was on the left side of the car, and again it was a good spot as I could see the car totally, while the view of people on the other side was blocked by wall. Anyways the jaan came out, and needless to say everyone screamed. As he saw us, you could clearly tell, he wanted to come and sign autographs. He was telling the security (US people not his personal), that he wanted to sign autographs but the lady clearly was against it. He said like two times and she denied both the times. I’m actually kind of grateful to her; I don’t know how he can even dare to come among the crowd forgetting what happened minutes ago on the stage. So he had no other option but to get in, sadly he went in from the right side. I knew that he always slides down the window to wave at his fans, and since I was on the other side I thought I would miss it. I had to run on the other side of the road! The police car, and bikes were ready and they even turned the siren on! But I had to run. Holding my breath I ran, the police vehicles were like 2 meters away from me, I could easily have gotten myself injured or arrested! Haha! Now that was quite a dare devil stunt! Anyways the result was a success; the jaan did slide the window down and was waving. I blew kisses at him, and screamed his name, and the car stormed away. So this was it, stared at the car for as long as I could.

And this is when once again my dream turned into reality. I can never ever thank Allah enough for all these blessings. For some reason, the moment I see his car moving away I wish I could just get into some car to follow where he goes. This happened last time as well!

Coming out of dreamworld:
I did not want to leave CT, I wanted to go back to those beautiful moments. But I know Insha Allah I’ll once again be blessed by them – Ameen. I was staring at nothingness, and smiling thinking of him. My company (the Pakistani guys were also coming to NYC) had to call me again and again to bring me back to reality. The first thing I saw as I walked home was the parcel, the gift I bought for him. Allah truly has a reason behind everything, I would never have been able to give it to him this time. Next time Insha Allah, it will be destined to be in his hand. Next morning as I woke up, the realization that I was almost back to the ugly reality made me feel terrible. This time he was in front of me for so long, that somehow I started hoping miraculously the moment would never end and he would always be there. I avoided talking with anyone for the next two days, it was hard to see him gone. Emotionally I've recovered by now, but healthwise not so much. Yes standing in the cold for 4 hours resulted in getting a fever, but should add this is the most precious reason to fall sick. Traveled a lot, suffered extreme weather, froze while waiting and starved whole day, yet from my mind all of these can easily be replaced so easily with just that “smile”. I end here; this time my post about the day when I saw my dream doing what he does best “entertaining”, and more.

You might also be interested in:

Video: Shah Rukh Khan performing in Chammak Challo (I should warn about my loud screams and witchy laughs. I myself was shocked at the reactions when I saw this video after getting home. I had no clue this is what I was up to.)

Pictures: Shah Ruk Khan honored as Yale University's Chubb Fellow (The privacy for the album is set as public, you just need to be logged in to FB to see it.)

P.S: Sorry I could not make the post any shorter, but the reason I've divided this into sections is so that you can only read the ones you are interested in. And thanks for reading!