Actor gave a heartfelt speech after clinching ‘Indian of the Year’ award

After making a phenomenal comeback last year, Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the prestigious ‘Indian of the Year’ title at the 13th edition awards ceremony. Upon receiving the accolade, the Jawan actor opened up about the tumultuous ordeal faced by his family following his son Aryan Khan’s arrest in 2021, as reported by The Indian Express.

“The last 4-5 years have been a bit of a ride for me and my family,” Khan touched upon personal difficulties. “I’m sure for some of you also because of Covid. Most of my films flopped. Analysts started writing my death knells,” he said, likening critics to “idiots”.

Khan furthered on, “On a personal level, a bit of bothersome and unpleasant things also happened to say the least, which made me learn a lesson.” While the widely-loved celeb didn’t explicitly address the subject, his cryptic references are enough to remind every SRK fan how Aryan’s month-long detention robbed the Don actor of his smile.

While Aryan was cleared of all charges regarding the Cordelia cruise drugs bust, Khan’s comments underscore the persisting pain of the episode. The actor went on to share the wisdom he acquired courtesy of all the struggles: “Be quiet, be very quiet and work hard with dignity. When you think everything is good, suddenly out of nowhere, life will come and hit you.”

“But this is the time when you need to be the hopeful, honest storyteller,” he continued before concluding his candid speech by quoting a dialogue from his film Om Shanti Om. If this isn’t a happy ending yet, that only means that the story remains to be told, Khan reminded.

Recognising the success of his films Pathaan and Jawan as “unprecedented” at the box office in 2023, Khan expressed gratitude to the audience for their unending support. Speaking on the occasion of being lauded as the “Indian of the Year,” the actor pondered over the accolade and his feelings about patriotism.

 

Notably, all three of Khan’s releases last year found him centre stage as a patriot: Pathaan, where he portrayed a RAW agent, Jawan, where he advocated for responsible voting, and Dunki, highlighting love for one’s country. Despite this successful year in cinema, Khan has maintained a low profile, choosing to communicate directly with his fans through social media.

“I don’t just feel like the Indian of the year. I feel I have been the Indian of all the years gone by. And I will be the Indian for all the years to come. I am actually, ladies and gentlemen, the Indian for all ages,” Khan articulated his sentiments with his usual charm. He thanked his fans for turning up in large numbers to watch his films and credited them for rejuvenating his stardom.

Khan commended his fans, stating, “Hordes of you who came to the theatres to watch my film, some of you may not have even liked them but I know deep down inside, you came there to support me and my family. So I bow down to you and thank you for bringing cheer to my family, my children, my loved ones and I thank you for making me the star I am yet again.”

Having taken a hiatus after his 2018 film Zero didn’t fare well at the box office, Khan’s triumphant comeback in 2023 ushered in a collective worldwide business of INR25 billion from PathaanJawan, and Dunki. While the actor is yet to announce his next project, he hinted at a more age-realistic role in his upcoming film.

However, one thing fans can count on is that SRK won’t be abandoning his preference for happy endings. Speaking with MBC Bollywood, Khan expressed his commitment to positive roles, stating that if he were to play a negative character, he would ensure they meet a fate deserving of their actions. The actor appeared to take a subtle jab at director Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s controversial film Animal, flagged by many for glorifying misogyny and violence.

Maintaining his focus on uplifting narratives, Khan asserted, “I am a guy who is hopeful and tells happy stories. The heroes I play do good things, they give hope and happiness.” Commonly regarded as the ‘King of Romance,’ the actor has cultivated a significant part of his appeal by essaying the lovestruck hero, often displaying an exceptionally tender attitude towards women.

“If I play a bad guy, I make sure he suffers a lot, [that] he dies a dog’s death because I believe goodness begets goodness. And I believe badness deserves a kick in the backside,” he explained his stance. Reiterating the promise of cinema, Khan maintained, “I should play honest roles that give people the courage to dream. I should keep working hard quietly with the hope that life doesn’t topple my apple cart anytime soon.”

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