Shah Rukh Khan — the son like none other
I often mention an interview Shah Rukh Khan gave where he said that Tabu looks gorgeous even when she cries. I have no record of this interview except that I heard it on FM years ago. That interview made me notice Tabu, and particularly when she cried. Obviously SRK was right.
At the same time, he has also mentioned that he thinks “he” looks unattractive when he cries. And SRK cries a lot in his movies. A lot.
Now, despite all that I find problematic with SRK, the worst being him choosing to endorse a fairness cream, I think he looks incredibly gorgeous and vulnerable when he cries on screen. Perhaps that comes naturally to him. I can see that he emotes from the bottom of his heart, giving his entire soul to the scene.
When he won his first Filmfare Award for Best Debut for the movie Deewana, we see Rekha announce his name and give away the award. In his extremely short acceptance speech, he says, “The first time I got a medal in school, in third class, I came running home to show it to my mother. I was very excited. It’s very sad she wasn’t there. First time I’m getting an award, a major award in the film industry, and she’s still not here. So this one, it goes out to her. This one’s for you Mum.”
This perhaps explains SRK playing the ideal son in every movie. The chemistry he shares with his onscreen mothers is stunning. It almost feels like the women birthed him; that’s the kind of love the mother and son reflect — pure, untainted. I’ve often thought that the women might have felt more love for SRK than for their own biological children. These are the scenes where I think he is at his vulnerable best.
And so, here’s my list [in no particular order] of SRK being the most ideal son to his reel mothers:
Jaya Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
In this weepy melodrama, Nandini (Jaya Bachchan) is shown to love elder (adopted) son Rahul (SRK) more than her biological son Rohan (Hrithik Roshan). No brownie points for guessing why, though. “Wou meri zindagi bann gaya” is what Nandini tells her fuckall husband Yashvardhan (Amitabh Bachchan).
Jaya Bachchan in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
While Jennifer (Jaya Bachchan) is only Aman’s (SRK) neighbour, you can perhaps get that she loves him wee bit more than her own children. Also, just HOW good do they look together!
Farida Jalal in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
She wants the best for her daughter Simran (Kajol), who’s in love with the charming flunky Raj (SRK). While this scene from the wildly popular DDLJ is quite patriarchal, re “aankh se aankh milaakar le jaana” and wanting “BabuJee ki ijaazat”, SRK and Farida Jalal share the most fun and easy chemistry.
Farida Jalal in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
She’s mother to a widower son. She knows he’s lonely and that he should have a companion that he can share every victory, every heartbreak with. Can’t really call this a conventional mother-son duo though, because Rahul loves to use the word ‘sexy’ to describe even his onscreen mother.
Reema Lagoo in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
I’m quite used to seeing Reema play mother to Salman Khan, and while their chemistry is indeed fantastic, SRK will probably win any mother-son contest.
Kirron Kher in Main Hoon Na (2004)
She left her husband because he had had an extramarital affair whose product was SRK. But she has to succumb to SRK’s Ram act. “Mujhe mere dono bete chahiye”.
Raakhee in Karan Arjun (1995)
When we’re not making fun of “Mere Karan Arjun aaenge”, Durga Devi seems to have a special place for Arjun. Bechara Karan idhar bhi haar gaya.
Kirron Kher in Veer-Zaara (2004)
“Tere mulk ka har beta tere jaise hai kya?” “Ye tou nahi pata…par haan…mere des ki har Maa, aap jaisi zaroor hai.”
Again, Kirron isn’t SRK’s mother here, but she visits him to beg him to leave her daughter Zaara (Preity Zinta). In this exquisite love story, this scene featuring Kirron and SRK has all my heart.
Kirron Kher in Om Shanti Om (2007)
The over dramatic, over protective mother in Kirron is terrific. Whether she’s wiping sweat of her son’s forehead, and believes he will indeed become a superstar, the mother-son here too, are someone you root for.
India in Chak De! India (2007)
Kabir Khan is a hero. He’s India’s hero. He has rebuilt himself, winning back the nation that had unfortunately betrayed him. But Kabir Khan holds no grudges. For his nation now wants more of him. India can’t get enough of its son. “Teeja tera rangg tha main tou, jeeya tere dhangg se main tou” will always and always remind me of SRK’s tears of joy, his redemption, his victory.