A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to attend a huge bollywood film premier in Toronto at the Bell TIFF Lightbox. This was special to me because the movie stared my favourite actor, Shahrukh Khan (SRK). I have been a huge SRK fan since I was a kid and have met him a few times as well. For most fans, their dreams would come true if they could meet their idol but for most SRK fans, just seeing him from far gets them hysterical and fulfills a life long dream. Shahrukh Khan is the biggest star in the world with a fan following of approx. 3.2 billion people. In 2008, Newsweek Magazine named him of the 50 most powerful people in the world. Since he doesn’t come to North America much, it is a huge deal for his fans when he comes to town. Toronto has been extremely lucky this year and with the opportunity to host the IIFA awards this past June and therefor, got the opportunity to see the King SRK twice!
As a diehard fan, I felt extremely excited and also in disbelief when he announced that he would be coming to Toronto to launch his film Ra.One (the most expensive Indian film till date).
When SRK arrived at Pearson International Airport on the morning of the 26th of October, there was absolute pandaemonium. Ear piercing screams, tears and loads of smiles – just hysteria, when he arrived. People lost all control and after a few minutes, they had to carry him out because people were pushing and shoving and he couldn’t even walk through with the 10 security guards he had. I got a check to hand him a gift of letters that we had gathered from fans all around the world. He shook my hand, took the letters and thanked me. It was an amazing moment for me. He shook as many hands as possible, gave autographs, and spoke a bit to the press. SRK, being the kind person that he is, still gave hugs and signed autographs even after being lifted out. He got up on the car in his trademark style and waved out, blew kisses and gave high-fives to everyone around him.
After the airport, I headed downtown to help at the red carpet and wait for him to arrive for the premier of the film.
The Red Carpet:
The official red carpet was to begin at 6:30pm. Fans started lining up quite early even though it was raining and cold, so that they could get good spots near the barricades. At 7:30pm, after a long wait and people freezing waiting for the main star, finally Shahrukh Khan arrived. Once again, the crowd went wild as soon as he got out of the car – all the tiredness and numbness from the cold vanished and people went hysterical. Shahrukh khan did a few interviews on the red carpet and then he spent a good half an hour just interacting with his fans – taking pictures, signing autographs, blowing kisses to crying girls.
All attending the premier got the chance to walk the red carpet and then get seating inside the theatre.
We all got seated and SRK came on stage at about 8:20pm and again entertained the audience with his wit and energy. He joked with everyone and talked about how he always gets the warmest welcome in the world from the Toronto crowds. He also thanked TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey for his support. He did a bollywood dance to “Chammak Challo” which was the hit song of the movie. He watched half the movie with the audience as well. The movie was thoroughly entertaining, action-packed, advanced in terms of special effects I had and a lot of fun.
Overall, it was a great experience in terms of being apart of star studded film premier, seeing my idol and favourite actor and spending a wonderful few days with other diehard fans and organizers.