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Monday, January 22

Kaun Hai The Baadshah of Hearts?

Just read Kapil's and pooR_Planner's posts on KBC3.

And since I found myself in front of the TV almost a full hour before the show started, just thought I would pen down why I like Shahrukh so much(mostly- I hated him in KANK and some other movies)...

The last time I took some time to think about SRK-fandom was in Bandhavgarh in the company of Shyam Babu(Benegal) with a group of travellers on a special 3 day boutique package arranged by my friend Ram.

We had debated the immense popularity of SRK, whom the intelligentsia loves to hate!

Now SRK if you realise is a perfect blend of grey/ crossover. Perfect for the times that we have been living...

SRK is a blend/ rich brew of
The man on the street meets the King

Indian Diffidence meets Rising India (Long before India Shining happened)

Talent meets Jugaad

Hero meets Villain Darr

NRI aspirations meets Rural India Swadesh

Bollywood meets Cool (Remember, how cool was earlier reserved for Hollywood actors alone). Of course, the general aesthetic contours of Bollywood have changed. And guys like Manish Malhotra have an equal role in it.

Dil Maange More meets Wahi hoga jo bhagya mein likha hai(Most of his love plots, including Chupke Chupke)

Flaunt meets Family Value The man & his family life

Honest Muslim meets Hindu Wife

Love meets Arranged Marriage DDLJ

Romance meets Commerce His marriage, Mannat, His paid-for-dances at weddings

Somewhere, when I was younger, I liked this grey shade honesty in SRK. The intelligence and his voluntary playing to the gallery for money! And then his blatant honesty in admitting it.

I love him because he is himself. Most times. Long before India Poised happened, SRK had the cheeky confidence that I thought only Pakistani fast bowlers seemed to have in the sub-continent.

I like him because he is a family man and loves his kids.

I like him because he doesn't time his cause marketing efforts with the release of his films. I have a feeling one other Khan does that.

I like him because he is gizmo-saavy. He is the new-age face of an archaic but immensely powerful industry called Bollywood.

I love him because he(along with Karan) knows the value of creating and perfecting an image. Look at the way he has re-invented his look from Deewana to Don. (Actually all of them have - Aamir, Salman...)

I like him because with so little acting talent, he can get a Nation's love and adulation.

Okay, back to KBC. I wasn't disappointed. Loved him, music video, humour, ada/ idiocy and all.

I think he was true to himself! All style, little originality but no pretence as well.

In the age where celebs are part of the larger community, the hug makes him more accessible(its actually using the Munnabhai jhappi!). I was myself appalled at the hug idea at first, but on TV it wasn't that bad.

KBC is a borrowed and heavily templated concept, little room for deviation. In an atmosphere where the critics, AB fans are all out to take his ass, poor guy better stick to the AB benchmark.

AB is a legend, SRK is the reigning King of Bollywood and that should be left at that...:-)

Like AB, SRK is a meta brand. He needn't do much now to enjoy that status.

As as I was about to end the post, my mother called me.(To remind me that it's Saraswati puja today)So, I asked her if she liked KBC3? She said she loved it. More than KBC 2. Because Shahrukh "khoob hasaya"(made me laugh). I agree. I laughed. Are those the jokes which a savvier, more intelligent audience would laugh at. Never. But KBC is to a different SEC. The SEC of mainstream India!

Which other star would have the balls to say on National TV that "Log kehte hain, main sirf style hoon, mujhe acting nahin aati hai. Sahi hai". (I am all style, no acting prowess) and that "Aap jo chahein main woh colour ka coat pehenooga, agar boley to petticoat bhi pehenooga"(I will wear any colour coat that you want me to. If you insist I will even wear a petticoat"

You can love him, or loathe him. But you won't be able to ignore 'The Baadshah' and he will drive the TRPs up for sure...Now Shahrukh don't let me down:-)


pooR_Planner said...

Two things that came to my mind instantly after reading your post. Are you planning to use SRK to endorse any brand of yours? And does young Neo like SRK more than you do? Lol

Well, SRK is a crowd puller, no doubt. He can drive TRP's, he's the zero who became the hero and without any pretence he made people laugh with his modesty and honesty, to the extent of massaging the contestant.

Now, why would one do that? One he is fighting a tough battle. Two he knows that to secure his throne as a King he needs to connect with the young crowd and the best way to do so would be his typical quirkiness. But how long will he keep doing that. Don't know if he has some ace up his sleeves for his later episodes. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the show.

Manish said...

no to both....actually we already use him for navratan Talc:-)


jigs said...

hey Man,

A few weeks ago, my branding question paper had a question on SRK and it's a bit spooky that much of what u hv written here was what i wrote as the answer.

Don't know my marks yet :)

Nice post!

Manish said...

hey jigs...you have won urself a cup of coffee...LOL

will love to chat about your answer!

Raj Dutta said...

hi manish, have been voyeuring on your blog for a while.
intersting point about a world of 'greys'. everything is so unsure, these days.
do you think the same problem applies to market research these days: the heisenberg principle applied to measure consumer behavior and loyalty? i've raised the thought in my blog today, do gimme your views on it: http://misterdutta.blogspot.com/2007/01/my-three-place.html
cheers, and keep thingging! (blogging meets thinking?)

Manish said...

hey raj...its so spooky that you use the heisenberg principle to describe research...

i have exactly similar views on the subject:-) now lemme chk your blog!

sure lets keep thingging!

Thinks Heyz said...

SRK is Microsoft - simply responds to consumer needs. and so he will wear a petticoat. hence has a higher rate of success. mass market.
The Other Khan is Apple - leads his consumer, does what he does, wins big, loses big. niche market.
The market has space for the poles and everything in between.

BTW, my first visit, i really like your blog, glad i found it.

Manish said...

thanks sriram...good to hear from you! on this particular post... as is evident , i am a bit of an SRK fan...so emotion colours my writing:-)

agree with your assessment on the khans! will check out your blog in detail soon...cheers

Thinks Heyz said...

and am a bit of the other khan fan, as was made evident ;)

thanks for visiting my blog