Varun Dhawan on his fond memories with Shah Rukh Khan

Mumbai, November 2 (CINEWS): I cannot exactly remember what age I was, but I remember hearing the song Koi Na Koi Chahiye from Deewana when I was a child. I loved every time it played on screen. I was really young then and obviously, had no clue who Shah Rukh Khan was. I just saw this man riding a bike and jumping around cars.'

There was another song which was a favourite of mine. Badi Mushkil Hai Khoya Mera Dil Hai with Madhuri Dixit-Nene (in Anjaam) and that was also picturised on the streets where Shah Rukh Sir was jumping around.
So, my earliest memory was about this man doesn’t do things like other people do. He was always jumping over cars and I found it really cool at the time.

As I grew older, I watched his films and I realised what a great actor he is. I watched DDLJ and Kuch Hota Hai and like the millions and millions of people who love him, I, too, became a fan of his. But before that, his sheer energy and passion and the exuberance he exuded on screen, drew me towards him as a person.

More than the iconic things that we’ve seen him doing on screen, I love the way in all his action scenes, Shah Rukh Sir would jump, hit, deliver and fall. The way he would actually get beaten up in films — I would try doing that.

His hair, too, was really cool. I remember he had this long mane. I always wanted to have a hairstyle similar to his, but since I was in school, I could never do that!

I remember the first time I got to meet him in person. He had come home to meet dad (David Dhawan) and I had no clue that he had come. So when I walked into the room, I saw my dad talking to someone who was sitting on the ground aaram se chauki maarke. He was looking up and when I came ahead, I saw it was Shah Rukh Khan.

Usually when people would come home, they would sit on the chair, he was different. He was sitting on the ground. My earliest memories have always been around the fact that there was something that separated this man from everyone else. From the simplest of things he did to the most complex ones, he always did everything very differently. The way he behaved, the way he walked, the way he spoke…

Once again, I met him while travelling and I was with my mother. There was something about him that you couldn’t ignore, not that he made a big hoo-haa about all that. He doesn’t do that even till date. But there’s a certain charm, there’s a certain energy which draws people towards him. That was always there and maybe, it’s more now. But he’s very casual and not at all in-your-face about who he is and how he is. This man is really cool.

He has a lot of energy. I don’t think anyone from this generation can match him. While doing some scenes or even during rehearsals, he’s relentless at it 24X7. Even when we’re at the PlayStation, he is like a teenager who will be telling you, ‘Lets do this, let’s do that.’

It sometimes baffles me that he’s a senior and is so much older than me, but the way he is, he can relate to everyone. Shah Rukh Khan is someone who can relate to an eighty-year-old and at the same time, he’s able to relate to an eight-year-old as well. That’s what makes him so popular because he comes across as someone who can relate to any age and any demography. The audiences feel like knowing him in person and also owning him, so they feel really comfortable around him.

During My Name is Khan (Varun was an AD on the sets), Shah Rukh Sir would remain very serious because the film and the role were such. He didn’t really fool around much on the sets.

But on the Dilwale sets, he really fooled around a lot. He’s a producer as well. So he kind of took care of all of us, saw that everything was done in the best manner for everyone on the sets. But on the sets, he’s always fooling around with Rohit Sir and the entire crew. What he does brilliantly as an actor and as the leader, is getting the entire team together.

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