As the first In­dian ac­tor at TED, he ex­plores a na­tion’s psy­che

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Prashant Singh

Be it bring­ing the house down with his wit or putting a new spin on things, Shah Rukh Khan never fails to charm a live au­di­ence. That’s ex­actly what hap­pened when he be­came the first ever In­dian ac­tor to speak at TED Talks, in Canada, on Fri­day morn­ing (IST).

“It feels very nice,” says Shah Rukh, speak­ing to us on the phone from Canada. “Over the years, I’ve been a big fan of TED (tech­nol­ogy, en­ter­tain­ment, design) Talks. It has al­ways been my dream to do a Ted Talk.”

With a smile in his voice, he adds, “Of course, I’m not an in­no­va­tor, tech­no­crat or a sci­en­tist to imag­ine that I’d make it to this plat­form. But I think the or­gan­is­ers were very kind. It was a plat­form com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers I’ve been to, and I’m happy that I did a lit­tle well [here], too.”

Asked if it re­quired much prep, Shah Rukh laughs and says, “No, I’m a nat­u­ral. I’m kid­ding! Chris An­der­son (TED’s head cu­ra­tor) and Juliet Blake (TED Talks cu­ra­tor) were very sweet and told me I was free to talk about what­ever I wished to.

“I tried to turn it into a phi­los­o­phy of what the In­dian mind is, and how for so many years, peo­ple have loved me in my coun­try be­yond the tal­ent that I have, in spite of where I come from, what I stand for.”

As a speaker, Shah Rukh comes across as a very wellinformed per­son­al­ity. Talk­ing or act­ing — what gives him a greater sat­is­fac­tion? The re­sponse is char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally Shah Rukh. He says, “In this world of com­par­isons [be­tween] ev­ery­thing, I’d like to stay away from com­par­ing two of my own favourite emo­tions. I think I have an ex­pe­ri­ence of a life that’s very spe­cial, and not be­cause I am a big star. I be­came a big star be­ing who I was. And it’s im­por­tant to talk about it. It’s quite a feel­ing to [mas­ter] a 20-minute speech with­out hav­ing a mon­i­tor to read from… and feel­ing it, writ­ing it, more than learn­ing.

“One day, maybe, when I write my book, I’ll com­pile all the speeches that I’ve made.”

He seems per­fectly cut out for a ca­reer as a mo­ti­va­tional guru. Shah Rukh quips, “Yes, if they pay me for it. I’ll be very ex­pen­sive.” Then, more se­ri­ously, he adds, “Ac­tu­ally, I’d love to, es­pe­cially since I al­ways wanted to be a teacher.”


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