Top 10 gems from SRK's speech

Oct 16, 2015, 15:22 IST


Shah Rukh Khan has always been a bit of a poet at heart. Read his tweets, watch his interviews and you'll know what we mean. His oratory skills is exemplary—the fact that he has hosted so many shows and awards is enough proof of that. Add to that his innate charm that works with his fans all over. And it was no different when he took to the dais recently at the University of Edinburgh. The actor received an honorary doctorate for his contribution to film and his philanthropic work. Some of his charitable works include bringing solar power to rural villages in India, creating a children's ward at a hospital and supporting relief funds to assist areas devastated by tsunamis. The actor said he was "extremely grateful and extremely humbled" by the recognition. And then there were his life lessons from his own films and his words:

1. Madness (of the particularly nice/romantic kind) is an absolute prerequisite to a happy and successful life. Don’t ever treat your little insanities as if they are aberrations that ought to be hidden from the rest of the world. Acknowledge them and use them to define your own way of living the only life you have.

2. No matter how bad it gets, life IS the miracle you are searching for. There is no other one around the corner. Develop the faith in it to let it take its own course, make all the effort you can to abide by its beauty and it will not let you down.

3. Few actors would have willingly switched from romantic heroes to obsessively violent lovers. I took the leap…not because I was particularly brave, but because (a very dear director friend of mine sat me down and told me I was ugly. And being ugly necessarily meant I do bad guy roles. I wasn’t the romantic hero types, he said, actually he used the words, that my face was not chocolaty enough, whatever that meant.) So I started to eat a lot of chocolate and while waiting for it to take effect, I jumped into bad guy roles... Don’t let your fears become boxes that enclose you. Open them out, feel them and turn them into the greatest courage you are capable of.

4. I did a movie once called Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, in which I was the victim of a lover’s confusions and my next lesson is precisely that. It’s ok to be confused. Confusion is the route to all the clarity in the world. Don’t worry about it too much and don’t ever take yourself seriously enough to be so clear about your own ideas that you stop respecting other people’s.

5. Give of yourself to others. And while you’re at it, make sure you realise that you aren’t doing anyone any favours by being kind... Regardless of how rich, successful and famous you become, don’t ever underestimate the grace that other people bestow upon you just by being the recipients of your kindnesses.

6. You don’t always have to figure things out or find an explanation for the circumstances you are in. It’s more prudent to accept that sometimes there just isn’t one.

7. If you aren’t charged up about doing something, if you don’t have what in Hindi we call the “Josh”, the fire in your belly for it, then don’t do it. It’s a waste of your time and more importantly, of those who pin their hopes on your endeavours too. Redefine yourself if you have to but do it on your own terms and just get on with it.

8. Like my character in the movie My Name is Khan, don’t forget where you came from and who you really are. It ought to be the compass by which you navigate through life’s vicissitudes.

9. One of the biggest hits I made was an unexpected one and for once the plot was neither meandering nor barking mad. I was the coach of a beleaguered women’s hockey team that went on to overcome its struggles and win a world championship. Its title was Chak De, an inspirational martial cry that Sikh soldiers used while lifting logs in order to make bridges across rivers on their campaigns against their enemies... (So) whatever it is that is pulling you back, it's not going away unless you stand up and start forging your own path with all your might in the opposite direction. Stop whining and start moving, so to speak.

10. Live as hard as you can in this very moment. Live now. Live today. You may not see it with your youthful eyes, but NOW is as much time as you will ever get.