Shahrukh Khan’s life story, in a book – ‘Still Reading Khan’

Mushtaq Sheikh is not a new name. After writing the book ‘The Making of Asoka’ his association with Shahrukh Khan comes to the forefront once again when his book ‘Still Reading Khan’ (abbreviated as SRK) that is all set to see the light of the day. On the eve of the launch of his book, we present to you an exclusive slideshow and interview with the author regarding his book.

Tell us something about the book?
It’s the journey of a star. It’s the journey of my friend. It’s the journey of a film-star whom I have known for the last 11 years. It’s not a biography. I think a biography is the wrong word to use for a man who has just begun. It is not the end of his career but just the beginning. I look at it as a travelogue of a person whom I have known for so long. I have seen his highs and lows, have seen him become bigger and bigger everyday. It’s the story of a Delhi Boy who comes and becomes a phenomenon.

Why a book on Shahrukh Khan?
Why not a book on Shahrukh Khan? I think he is the biggest star we have in the country and is iconic to millions. His story is inspirational on what he has done in life and how he has achieved it. He has done it so at his own terms. He has redefined success. What better story can there be better than this? If it was anyone’s story then it needed to be told and the fact that it is of Shahrukh Khan makes it even more special.

Shahrukh is a public figure and both his personal and professional life is kind of over-exposed. So what new will your book unveil about him?
You will have to read the book and find out what I have offered on the table and what is new. I know him as a friend so my access to him and my knowledge about him could be slightly better than an outsider writing about him. If it is not, then it will be a compilation of a man who everyone adores. I wish and hope I am giving the readers something that they have not heard about the man. The people who have read excerpts from the book seemed to be surprised and by the reactions I am quite happy.

How did the initial idea of making this book start about?
I have written a book called ‘Making of Asoka’ with Shahrukh and that’s where my association with writing of books came. A lot of publishers came up to me and told me this idea but I did not take it up seriously that time. One day I just decided to do the book so I packed my bags and went to Delhi. Once I went there I spoke to his old friends, college buddies and school teachers. I then realized that this is the book that I need to write.

What is your favourite part of the book?
There is a chapter called ‘The Others’. A lot of his friends and colleagues and people have spoken about him and discussed small knick-knacks about him. What I find amazing about that chapter is how one man can mean a 100 different things to 100 different people. It throws so much light on this personality called Shahrukh that it makes an interesting read.

What do you say is your target audience for the book?
The target audience for this book is anybody who has been touched by a Shahrukh Khan’s performance, who has known him, who has known him to be a super-star, who has even felt his presence on screen and wondered what makes this man tick.

But don’t you think that the book being priced at Rs. 3000, it might prove a bit too costly? It is an international product. They say if you give peanuts you will get monkeys. When I got to the market and see books of such magnitude they are priced at over Rs. 8000. So if I am giving you a personality of Shahrukh I don’t think I am restricting myself. If it was priced at Rs. 1000 then the same people would buy it for Rs. 3000 as well. Those who believe in Shahrukh and the ones who believe in the investment they are making will buy my book. If you see my book you will know that it is value for money and not any less.

What is the meaning of the title ‘Still Reading Khan’? Are you reading it or is the audience?
The meaning is obviously that I’m still reading Khan. The other interpretation is that I’m looking at Shahrukh as a still painting and reading him. Another one is that I’m still reading him because there is a long journey ahead and finally the initials stands for SRK. This title gives me a kick on the creative side.

So did you choose the title to fit in SRK’s initials?
Not at all! I didn’t force it rather it goes the other was around. I could have had various other options but I wanted this title.

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