On 2nd November 1965 a normal occurrence happened at the Talwar Nursing Home in New Delhi. Just like many newborns, I was born with the umbilical cord entangled around my neck. A nurse said that it was by the blessings of Hanuman and that I would be a very lucky child. I don’t know if I believe in it but it is the one thing I was told by my parents about my birth that I remember.
I began my formal education at St. Columbia High School, New Delhi. It was near Gole market, run by Irish brothers who believed in discipline and a very high standard of education. I can recall my first day and the teacher who interviewed me, Mrs. Bala, asked me to tell her what my father’s profession was. And at that point my father had a transportation business, I had seen him dealing with tempos, trucks, etc. I believed anyone having anything to do with vehicles was a driver. So I replied that my dad was a tempo driver. Mrs. Bala told me that I had very cute dimples and then asked me to kiss her. That was my first kiss. Oh yes, and I was admitted to the school.
We were given black and golden stars for our behavior and test results. Five black stars meant lying across Mrs. Bala’s lap and getting spanked three times, I think. Being quite naughty I was spanked a lot. I wish the same treatment was meted out to me even now. Looking back one realizes that what one thought punishment was actually quite pleasurable.
Overall my early years of schooling were quite wonderful. I had my share of spanking, and was often made to stand in the corner with my finger on the lips. I was forced by my teacher to learn how to swim by being thrown into the water and expected to survive with gallons of water in my stomach, eyes and ears. Till date I hate swimming and my teacher for subjecting me to this torture. But all said and done I love all my teachers. They were very kind and sweet. I guess the essence of one’s life is developed during these formative years. And I feel I had the best formative years because of the nice teachers I had.
Here’s to all of them good morning ma’am and thank you ma’am.
Incidents and Accidents
One important turning point in my life occurred because I was very bad in Hindi. I used to get 2 or 3 on 10 and always failed in this subject. Once, my mother told me that if I got full marks in Hindi she would take me to see a Hindi film in the theater. I had never been to a movie hall before. So I stayed up all night and studied my butt off and managed to get full marks and my mother took me to see my first Hindi film, in a theater.
Two things happened because of this incident. One, I became quite the Hindi pundit and later always did very well in
Hindi. And secondly, I got the feel for Hindi films. My command over the language helps met immensely to essay my roles in films today. The moral of the story is, if your mom tells you to study hard, do it. You may just become a film star and your education will help you one helluva lot.
But if your mother is insisting on anthropology or biochemistry or perhaps aromatic therapy, then ignore her.
I remember sitting on the wall and blowing flying kisses to the schoolgirls passing by. Once a girl came complaining to my dad but my father was sure that it could not be me as I was too young. He made the girl wait so that she could see me and realize that it was the neighbor’s son who was teasing her and not me. But to my father’s embarrassment I walked in without my pants on and on seeing the girl blew her a flying kiss and told my dad that this was my sweetheart. This was the first and last girl I ever made a pass to. The girl was Gauri.
St. Columba’s was a disciplinarian school run by Irish. One could not wear the wrong uniform or grow their hair beyond a certain length. Many a times I had to get my hair cut in front of the whole assembly of students early in the morning. The barber used to be from a nearby street- side shop who hadn’t bathed or brushed his teeth. He was as sorry to be there as I was to be sitting on his uncomfortable chair. And before beginning his hack job, he would ask if I wanted a Dharmendra or an Amitabh cut. By the time he was through, I just hoped I didn’t look like a porcupine or a pineapple. My hair never recovered from these frequent attacks. This truly is the secret of my hairstyle, if one can call it that.
I AM SHAH RUKH KHAN
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©MAGNETIQUE TRUST-2014. Credit: Autobiography of SRK.