SRK receives honorary degree from Edinburgh, delivers public lecture on life lessons using titles of his movies
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.
According to a press release issued on Friday, the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa was presented by varsity chancellor Princess Anne. The laurel was bestowed upon Khan for his record of philanthropy, altruism and humanitarianism, and his global reach as an actor.
At the ceremony Khan delivered a public lecture. “Such occasions have a way of putting me right in my place!” he quipped, in the presence of a large number of Edinburgh’s South Asian students.
Read: SRK becomes ‘doctor’ 5 unforgettable moments from the grand ceremony
“Most people believe Bollywood stars aren’t insightful about anything other than the fateful occurrences that made them stars in the first place,” he said. The Bollywood megastar who has acted in over 80 films, said he will try to sound intelligent and went on to elaborate on his journey, punctuating the speech with helpings of humour.
“Twenty years ago, in the Indian movie industry, roles were very clearly defined. They provided the security of your stardom in a sense. If you’d been successful playing the ‘angry young man’, you’d pretty much be angry and young for the rest of your career. If you’d been a police inspector in three movies, odds were, you’d be one in the next 33 too. This applied to female stars as well: wives were wives, seductresses-seductresses, mother in laws- mother in laws, and so on. 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.”
Read: Shah Rukh deserved Oscar for My Name is Khan Paulo Coelho
He actually used the words that my face was not chocolaty enough, whatever that meant, Khan added. He said one shouldn’t let fears get the better of oneself. “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. I promise you, nothing will go wrong. But if you live by your fears, everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong,” he added.
As stated earlier, Khan spoke about life lessons that his journey taught him through the titles of films he acted in, ordering them chronologically.
“You may not see it with your youthful eyes, but NOW is as much time as you will ever get. Because tomorrow we will all be dead. And just in case there is no cycle of rebirth etc…why take a chance. I don’t want to end this on a cynical note by reminding you about the reality of death. I want to let you all know that how important your today, your now, is.”
Read: I have a very common life, says SRK
He validated his words by saying, “Take it and believe it because the man most unlikely to make it to Bollywood is telling you this… the most romantic hero who doesn’t look anything like chocolate or taste like it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.
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