A NEW FRONTIER: SRK AT TED TALKS
As the first Indian actor at TED, he explores a nation’s psyche
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.”