…in conversation with Mushtaq Shiekh:
Dear Mushtaq, thank you for this chance to fire questions at you and still the curiosity of your fans here. What your fans here know already from a little sweet bird called “The Publisher” is that you have been extremely busy during the past months. So:
Can you tell us which projects are in the pipeline?
A: My latest screenplay will be seen at your nearest cinema hall soon enough — Billu Barber. I am also working on Shah Rukh’s next film with Anubhav Sinha. I am juggling with television, films and two more books that are smouldering on my editing table and I have promised myself that I will take out some time this month and get them both ready. But this time my readers have a surprise in the offing — my next book after Shah Rukh Can, isn’t on Shah Rukh, or on any other film personality or on films. I am going the fiction route and loving every bit of it.
Question:We all enjoyed the Shiekhspearean sense of storytelling and humour in OM SHANTI OM – what inspires you? Could you give an example for some such inspiration which you worked into the script?
A: Om Shanti Om was a movie about movies. I have spent half my life with creatures of this planet called Bollywood. They have always been my inspiration. You see these citizens of the Hindi film industry are a different breed. They are lost in their own world where they conjure up dreams almost everyday to earn their bread and butter – there has to be a side effect of that. Their chinks in their armour, their flaws, their dimples, their pimples, their scars and scabs, their highs and lows – they make my world of inspiration. With the palette of the Bollywood I get more than a writer can ever ask for.
Question:You write in your book, and Shah Rukh very often says himself that he can not tell anymore whether he acts or he actually is he himself. How does it appear to you?
A: It appears to me that this man is having a blast of a time facing the camera. It’s been years but everyday when he dons make up to hear the word action, he brings back the exuberance of the first time he had faced the camera. So somewhere I feel as far as Shah Rukh goes, the thin line of reel and real has got blurred…but who cares? He is pure magic and sheer eye candy to watch and he will remain the same till he is 99.
Question:Talking about observations and the journalist’s approach: Are you more of a silent observer when it comes to Shah Rukh or do you ask him or his friends and family the things you want to write about?
A: As a tool or device for a writer, observation is something that they rely on, and I am no exception. I am an observer by nature and the smallest of details remain with me for years. That is the one small edge I have when I am penning the life story of somebody. With Shah Rukh I applied the same device…and the remaining arenas where I needed various point of views I included close friends and work partners so they could throw light on the subject called Shah Rukh Khan. Moreover Shah Rukh is someone who loves to talk and when you are with him for so many years you learn to tone down your gift of the gab…for you have no other option but to turn listener with Shah Rukh around. Ha ha.
Question: What you keep a little too secretive about for my feeling is what kind of bond this is between you and Shah Rukh. Was it like meeting a kindred spirit, a soul mate, right from the start? And what is it that makes your friendship tick? Is it the sense of humour, or shared opinions?
A: For me Shah Rukh is like a beacon of light that guides me and inspires me. He is like family. He brings a certain strength to my presence. He has always been very supportive in everything that I have done. Stood by me…and I can’t ask for anything more. Like I always say it’s a blessing to have a soul like Shah Rukh even in your vicinity; it helps you to find balance in life.
Question:You accompany Shah Rukh to a variety of occasions – does the way people react to him frighten you at times?
A: No, not at all. Whenever I am with Shah Rukh, it really interesting to see people fall all over him and almost assault him with their love. It’s great to actually see his fans and how much love he receives. I have travelled with him across the globe and everywhere the love that this man receives is so awesome that it only thrills me, never frightens me. Anyway with Shah Rukh or otherwise I love people, whenever surrounded by people I am the happiest. Nowadays jokes apart thanks to my book, I have even German fans who make me feel almost like Shah Rukh Khan when they see me… Ha ha…it’s awesome to see so much undiluted love and warmth…
Question: You also wrote in SRK CAN how difficult it is to keep pace with Shah Rukh and that the most surprising new developments happen all the time – where do you see him in – let’s say in ten years – and where will you be? (apart from busily compiling SRK CAN vol. 5…)
A: I think I see him releasing his next film on the moon with Martians asking him how to get eight abs at the age of 45…ha ha…
Question: Looking back at the last two years in particular, Mushtaq, there is quite a considerable pile of successful projects with your name on it and media response. Do you realise any change within you due to this success?
A: I really don’t think there is any drastic change, and I know when I state it myself it’s a little immodest. But I would like to really say that the only difference is that I have got very, very busy and I don’t have too much time to enjoy my black coffee, play with my Labrador or spend quality time with my family. Apart from that everything else remains the same…I am just become a work whore…need to get off the bus and enjoy the rains a wee bit.
Source by Daniela Happel