Almost a decade ago veteran film journalist Shaheen Raaj had encountered Badshah Khan who had turned nostalgic while reminiscing about his Bangalorean roots and his deep attachment with his ever-increasing Bangalorean fans.
At that time King Khan Shahrukh had officially visited the Garden City, a favourite city of his and had the Bangaloreans eating out of his hand, it was for the grand ‘Temptation 2005 show at Chinnaswamy Stadium. The Rain Gods playing havoc had marked his 1st round, but he had made it up with his 2nd visit within a fortnight. The show was indeed a grand success. The Khan magic had worked wonders.
What you don’t know is that at that point of time Khan was on an undetected unofficial visit to his aunt’s place in Jaya Mahal. It was strictly a family affair, a kind of a religious ceremony to herald the on coming Holy month of Ramzan. Present herewith is the ad verbatim account in first person.
“I have a special affinity for Bangalore, as I belong here. I can say, in a way, it is like my hometown. I have spent a greater part of my life, especially my childhood and teen summers out here. In fact, my maternal family still stays here and they had all come for my Temptation show (in Chinnaswamy Stadium)!”
“Let me tell you why I love my Bangalore so much. My mother Latifa Fatima hailed from Bangalore. She was born & brought up here and shifted to Delhi only after her marriage. She was a pucca Bangalorean you know. In fact her sister, my aunt, Ahrar Fatima with her entire family including my 1st cousins, Moin Ahmed Shahbaz & Tasneem still reside out here at 18, Nandidurga hills, near Jaya Mahal. Originally, my maternal ancestors were all from Hyderabad but had migrated to Bangalore in the 50’s era.”
“My maternal grandfather Salim Ahmed was an Engineer-in-Chief in Bangalore, a post that was especially created for him, and which ended with him, by the Government of Karnataka.”
“It was my paternal ancestors who hailed from Peshawar and later on migrated to Delhi I think somewhere in the late 50’s era. No wonder I studied in St. Columbus College in Delhi and then acquired my Economic Honors Degree from there.”
“Coming back to my Bangalore days. I still recall two very vivid memories. My cousin Tasneem was a great Amitabh Bachchan fan she used to drag me to various places like M. G. Road, Brigade Road, Commercial Street, City Market & Majestic Circle to hunt for his posters and then she would stick them all up in her room & her vanity cupboard.”
“One fine day I got so bugged that I retorted, ‘You just wait baby, one day you will have to stick my posters too’ and off I went to Brigade Road alone and got my portfolio done in a small dingy studio near Kohinoor Hotel, a Muslim joint which I think still exists. It was the Summer of 82’ and I think my journey to showbiz & stardom began from there. Soon I was back in Delhi and passed my snaps around which got me my small screen break in ‘Fauji’, ‘Doosra Kewal’ and a couple of Telefilms.”
“And you would be surprised to know that it was the same set of snaps, which got me my big screen break in ‘Deewana’ too and the rest, as they say, is history. But the irony of the whole thing is that Tasneem still refuses to buy my posters leave alone sticking them around in her room.”
“My favorite hang out places in Bangalore at that that time was undoubtedly my cousin late Shahbaz Khan’s “Bombay Kababs” joint at the extreme end of Millers Road.”
“Besides how can I forget my movie going trips to Plaza. The Sunday evenings were spent watching the latest English movies with chips, burgers, sandwiches, samosas & soft drinks. Never imagined I would endorse one of them in the near future.”
“Then how can I forget the New Year Nites that I had spent here when we all freaked out by dancing our blues away in ‘The Club’ discotheque on Mysore Road. If time permits, I always make it a point to visit with my best friend Zayed Khan, their family’s resort ‘Golden Palms’ for a chill out spree.”
“Oh! There is so much to speak about Bangalore. But I won’t reveal anymore, as it’s all there in my autobiography to be published soon. Abhi sab bata doonga toh my Bangalorean fans will not pick up my 1st ever written book. Khuda Haafiz”!