Dr. Shahrukh Khan danced away with Melburnians obliging them with selfies

By Manju Mittal

”˜King Khan’, as he is popularly known and admirably referred to as globally, was in Melbourne as the Chief Guest for the 10th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, IFFM 2019.  The most loved Bollywood actor and superstar Shahrukh Khan not just in India but worldwide had fans eating out of his palm as he obliged any selfie requests by them starting right at the Tullamarine airport soon as he landed. Covered in his beanie and surrounded by security guards, he came out and let the fans in the selfies who had braved the cold windy weather to get a glimpse of him, a pic that went viral. It was a busy four days with Shahrukh for his fans as he officially opened the IFFM (Indian Film Festival Melbourne) on Thursday August 8, with the press conference along with other special Festival guests, and festival director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange. La Trobe university conferred SRK (his short name) with ”˜Doctors of Letters’ with hundreds of students of all denominations who had come to attend the ceremony as he was led in the doctoral robes by the Former Victorian Premier the Honourable John Brumby and Chancellor of La Trobe under the shower of falling confetti. Soon after he was doing the ”˜Lungi’ dance with fans on the podium put up by the university.

Shahrukh Khan has featured in more than 80 films and has more than four million Twitter followers. During his visit to Melbourne, Shahrukh Khan was honoured with the Excellence in Cinema Award and twenty years of his film ”˜Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ was also celebrated at the festival. Shahrukh’s charm enthralled the audience at Awards night on August 8 at Palais theatre Melbourne.

Unfortunately Melbourne couldn’t control the weather, despite the rainy, windy and cold weather I loved to watch thousands of fans gathered outside Palais theatre keen to grab a glimpse of their favourite super star Sharrukh Khan. He got a rousing cheer when he arrived from the crowd some of whom had stood for hours in cold wintry condition.

Shahrukh Khan joined special kids on stage, grooving to hit number from movie ”˜Gully Boy’, ”˜Apna Time Aayega’, he also gave them warmest hugs after the performance ended. He also did the hook step of his popular song ”˜Chaiyya Chaiyya’ for his fans. At the request SRK entertained the fans with popular dialogues from his hit films and some dance moves from his film songs.

One of the major highlight of the festival was when Shahrukh Khan was awarded an Honorary Degree by La Trobe university. The honour, which was presented to 53 year old actor on Friday 9th August, aims to recognise his efforts to support underprivileged children, his dedication to the fight for women empowerment through his MEER foundation as well as his achievement in the Indian entertainment Industry by former premier and chancellor of the university John Brumby.

On the occasion, the university also announced a Shahrukh Khan La Trobe University (PhD) Research Scholarship, a four year scholarship programme for a female Indian candidate to investigate a research theme in health, sports, information technology, cyber security or engineering.

“As a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment, I am delighted that this scholarship will give an Indian woman a chance to pursue research in a field which is likely to lead her towards an exciting and successful career. I thank La Trobe University wholeheartedly for giving someone this wonderful opportunity,” Shahrukh told the audience during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony Shahrukh Khan left Union Hall and performed for hundreds of devoted fans who had waited for hours in the cold and rain to see the king of Bollywood and they were not disappointed as he performed some of his popular numbers.

Shahrukh Khan is not simply the ”˜King of Bollywood’, even with all the success and with wax figure of him installed depicting a scene from his movie ”˜Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ at Sydney’s Madame Tussaud’s this year, he is considered to be one of the most humble and down to earth personality albeit his wit is unmatched by even the best in business. His larger than life persona continues to win hearts all over the world with a fan following going into billions.

Shahrukh Khan says: ”˜I am not making as many films, but I truly believe my job is to make sure people smile.’

SRK not only made his Melbourne fans smile but I can say that whole of Australia smiled and danced with him for the four days he was the guest at IFFM as people outside of Melbourne were glued to the internet through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest.

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