VIDEO: Shah Rukh thanks Sheikh Sultan and storms fans in Sharjah

Raghib Hassan, Staff reporter

All roads led to Sharjah Expo on Friday. India’s biggest movie star, Shah Rukh Khan, had arrived at the world’s biggest book fair – the Sharjah International Book Fair – in the evening. It was indeed a sight to behold for his fans.

Thousands of fans rushed to get a glimpse of their favorite star. Those who managed to secure a seat in the auditorium saw their star walk and interact live, while those who couldn’t get inside the venue had to watch the King of Romance on screens .

The audience who waited patiently to see the superstar for hours and hours started screaming once King Khan entered the hall. The excitement was such that they didn’t let him speak for a few minutes until he asked them to allow him to finish his speech. No wonder no one moves the crowd like SRK does. He is indeed a charmer even at 57.

Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) Chairman Ahmed Al Ameri has presented Shah Rukh Khan with the Global Icon of Film and Cultural Storytelling award from the first-ever Book Fair. Thanking His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and SIBF, he said, “I am privileged and honored to receive this award. I dedicate this award to acid attack survivors and all those women who have shown incredible courage.

He added: “I am grateful for all the love you have shown me every time I come to Sharjah. Let me sound a little smart since it’s a book fair and then do my lungi dance! »

The Raees star had to repeatedly ask his fans to let him finish his speech as they were constantly singing and clapping in excitement. It was indeed an unforgettable moment for many of his fans who stood in their chairs with their cameras on to freeze the moment.

When asked to share a piece of advice with young people, he said, “Keep an honest and gentle heart.

There will be a time when you have to deceive life or the people around you, but try not to give in to that moment of weakness. What has always held me in good stead is an honest and gentle heart.

Praising the UAE, he said: “I love the multiculturalism of the UAE. The roads here are well developed. It’s a happy place. It has some good restaurants. It has become a world center. And I also have a house here.

SRK’s “Pathaan” is set to be released next year. Speaking about it, he said, “I may sound pompous, but I’ll be honest with you. I’m not going to be nervous at all before the release. My film is going to be a great hit. I work 18 hours a day. I do stunts at 57. I’m very excited for the film and not at all nervous.

SRK has just celebrated its 57th birthday. Sharing his success mantra, he said, “The day I feel tired or stressed, I walk out of my house and see people showering their unconditional love on me no matter what my job is. Their love that I feel is beyond my work. This is what allows me to move forward. »

Before saying goodbye to his fans, SRK regaled his fans with his famous dialogues of “Baazigar”, “Don” and “Veer Zara” and left the audience to see him on January 25, 2023 when “Pathaan” was released. “.

Mumbai resident and die-hard SRK fan Noor had arrived at the book fair at 2 p.m. to secure a front-row seat. Sharing his happiness, he said, “I love her. I am his fan. I even went to see his Mannat house in Mumbai. The day I learned of his visit to Sharjah, I decided to be here.

Ayesha, another Sharjah resident and SRK fan, who is studying in grade 12 in Dubai, said: “I came at 1 p.m. to get a seat inside the auditorium, but I was surprised to see that people came long before me. But it was worth the wait. »

For the Bollywood star, whose fandom spans across Europe, the Middle East, the Americas outside of India, his presence at the Sharjah Book Fair marks the first awarding of the SIBF Global Icon award of Cinema and Cultural Narrative.

The award is an initiative of the SIBF to recognize and honor individuals whose efforts in their careers have helped transcend cultural barriers and whose contribution to the arts has created cultural connections between different identities.

The multifaceted actor, producer and businessman, SRK or King Khan – as he is popularly known – has appeared in more than 80 films over a three-decade career and enjoys a following of fans who crosses ages and races.

The versatile actor is best known for his romantic roles in blockbuster hits such as ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Devdas’ and ‘My Name is Khan’, among a host of other record-breaking hits.

James C. Tibbs