In 1989, a 24-year-old boy was travelling in an autorickshaw in Delhi. When the autorickshaw halted at a traffic signal around Panchsheel Park, near Indian Institute of Technology, the boy casually started looking out. As his eyes met those of a young girl standing with her mother on the roadside, the women excitedly shouted in unison, “Abhimanyu Rai”, with a broad smile flashing on their faces.
From television serial Fauji to the recently released Chennai Express, the definition of success hasn’t changed much for Khan himself. “For me, success is defined by smiles. It has driven me all my life,” says Khan, who was in Pune on Friday for an event organised by Bajaj Auto.
Thrilled by the success of Chennai Express, which has not only broken the record for the fastest Rs 100-crore film at the box office, but has also achieved the highest international opening — the King Khan admits that though he loved the script of the film initially, he was a little worried about how it would shape up eventually.
“Even I didn’t realise that the second half of the film is a love story. Movie toh bante bante ban jaati hai (a movie makes itself in the course of things). The business it has done in just one week is overwhelming,” he says, adding that as a producer, he doesn’t think about numbers and simply makes the films he wants to. “The aim of breaking records is a negative way of looking at things. The positive way is to just do your job; if the record is created, it’s nice. Don’t work for prosperity, work for fun,” says the 48-year-old.
The film has also broken the conventional trend of introducing male actor’s name before the female actor’s. The idea struck Khan while shooting the Tata Tea ad film by R Balki. “Since I was producing Chennai Express, I could take a call. I will be doing it for my upcoming film Happy New Year, too, and also request other producers to do the same. It might just become a trend,” he says, acknowledging that unfortunately, the film industry across