The other side of King Khan

By the time this appears for readers, the Great Khan will have come back from Singapore where he went to visit the ZEE Carnival on October 11 and 12. It was easier to catch him from Changi airport in Singapore than it is to nail him down in India. Shah Rukh Khan, the unquestioned Badshah of Bollywood, opened out a side of him not easily seen in film glossies. This quote-centred profile offers a glimpse of this mega successful star, producer, television anchor and businessman, son of the late Meer Taj Mohammed Khan and Lateef Fatima, whose greatest regret in life is that his parents are no more around to share his success. Our correspondent offers us a glimpse about the same.

Did you know that Shah Rukh Khan finished reading Gregory David Roberts' 'Shantaram' much before the book hit Indian bookstores and recommended it to some of his producer friends? 'I asked them if they would want to make a film based on the book but there was no response. Now Hollywood has taken it,' says the star whose home library has a collection of more than 5000 books of which there are at least three he wants to turn into films. 'The other two I have really enjoyed are Mark Haddon's murder mystery - 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' and Yann Martel's fantasy adventure 'Life of Pi'. Right now, my reading priorities are focused on biopics about people who have led interesting lives.'

Now look who is talking. He has led and is leading one of the most interesting lives himself on planet earth. His face is an icon that represents the Indian film industry in the world. But he began small, with a bit of theatre in Delhi followed by not very significant roles in a few television serials like 'Fauji' in 1988 followed by 'Circus'. Few remember that he wooed his wife Gauri for eight years before they tied the knot 17 years ago. 'Gauri has known me for almost 25 years now and she understands me perfectly. I would not call her my pillar of strength simply because we have not known life separate from each other. What has sustained the relationship is the tremendous faith we have in each other. I have never looked inside her purse or even glanced into her wardrobe,' says Khan who turns 43 next month with an acting roster that goes beyond 60 films seven being his own productions. His roles have been a veritable rainbow of colours ranging from the psychopathic killer in DARR and ANJAAM to the star incarnate in OM SHANTI OM to the sickeningly melodramatic adopted son in KHABIE KHUSHI KABHIE GAM to the stern but determined Kabir Khan in CHAK DE. 'I am a lot like the no-nonsense hockey coach Kabir Khan in CHAK DE minus that stern stuff,' he confides.

Though he admits that the Indian film industry has a lot to learn from Hollywood 'In terms of organisation, technology and its distribution network, the stories are right here with us, in Bollywood. Our fantasies are attainable. Our fantasies are smaller. They are about having a house, perhaps a small car. We are not bothered about aliens,' obviously referring to Hollywood blockbusters like DEEP IMPACT and INDEPENDENCE DAY. And he has every right to make this statement because most of his fantasies sell extremely well both in the national and in the international market. OM SHANTI OM (2007) produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, his own production house, was the highest grossing Hindi film last year earning $45 million across the world. Some of the biggest hits in Bollywood over the past 10 years have Shah Rukh starring in them. Among these are - DIL TO PAGAL HAI (1997), KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI (1998), KABHIE KHUSHI KABHIE GAM (2001), CHAK DE (2007) and OM SHANTI OM (2007.)

He is all praise for choreographer-director Farah Khan who choreographed that famous chhaiyan chhaiyan number on top of a moving train in Mani Ratnam's DIL SE and went on to direct Shah Rukh in MAIN HOON NA (2004) and OM SHANTI OM. 'Women directors have a typical approach towards making films. They are sensitive and emotional. But Farah has gone for sheer entertainment and has the balls to make films precisely the way men make films and I respect her for that,' he says.

Things he will never do on screen are - riding a horse and kissing a girl. 'I am extremely shy of women and perhaps that is why I romance them so well when we are just playing make believe characters on screen,' is his surprising comment. 'I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the most beautiful and talented women in Indian cinema and at least half of my success goes to their credit. They have contributed to my dance numbers and to my appearance by teaching me how to look good. I am what I am because of what they have helped me to become,' says Shah Rukh with a modesty that belies the public image his publicity machinery as carefully constructed for him over the years. Incidentally, he is pairing opposite the heroine with who he has made fine screen chemistry in every film - Kajol. The shooting of Karan Johar's MY NAME IS KHAN with Kajol as his leading lady is scheduled to begin next year. He now has his sights fixed to the release of his current under-production RAB NE BANA DI JODI opposite 18-year-old model Anushka Sharma.

He hates to talk about his back problem caused by his grueling work schedules that demanded the insertion of a titanium disc into his spine for prolapsed disc in 2004. May be that is what stops him from riding a horse for his roles in films. 'What is the point of giving thousands of my fans who love and adore me so much something that they might needlessly worry about? Why should I burden them with a little pain I should be able to cope with myself?' he asks, rhetorically. He prefers to remain silent about documentaries made on his life, books written on him and the unceasing number of awards that keep flowing in. Because, in his opinion, 'None of this would have been possible without help of my co-stars.'

Do you know what Shah Rukh means? It means 'face of the king.' This is one 'king' who hosts television shows with a grace so natural that it charms you and takes you by surprise at the same time. It is the same man who tamed his unruly lock of thick black hair with a mix of homemade glue and water when he began his career in films. This is one 'king' who loves to dote on son Aryan, 11, and daughter Suhana, 8, who think 'I am the best dad in the world because they do not have much of a choice.' Shah Rukh insists that he never crosses a red light, and is a law-abiding citizen. But after this, he lights up his cigarette, unable to stick to this new law of not smoking.
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Himesh performs live in Concert

The multi talented man is a rockstar and after Sunday night, he has left no doubts! Himesh Reshammiya performed live in concert for the KARZZZZ Curtain Raiser at Andheri Sports Complex. The event that was hosted by Bhushan Kumar of T–Series and Star Plus.

Himesh performed live, along with some of the hottest Bollywood beauties like Ameesha Patel, Neha Dhupia, Amrita Arora, Riya Sen and singers like Tulsi Kumar, Vineet and Akruti Kakkar. The compeers of the evening were the ever witty Cyrus Broacha and Mona Singh who complimented each other with their funny liners. Some of the guests who had come to watch the concert were Gulshan Grover, Arpita Khan, Sameer, Shweta Kumar and more.

The packed stadium came up alive with Himesh's grand entry, who performed last and sang couple of his previous songs unplugged. The surprise element was however a colourfully decorated rickshaw that made an entry on the stage. Having called over kids onto the stage, Himesh was having one ball of a time crooning to songs from his upcoming movie along with the kids that made up as his chorus group!

Although Urmila Matondkar and Satish Kaushik were missing, the rest of the cast and crew of the movie came to cheer their hero.

With top Bollywood actresses sizzling on the stage and a rockstar like Himesh, this show nothing lesser than a blockbuster hit. The concert will be telecast on one of the popular channel.

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Cute Genelia on FHM Cover

It seems that Genelia D’souza is the flavor of the season after her blockbuster movie Jaane Kyun Na Jaane Na. She is already a popular actress in Telugu and Tamil movies, now she is popular in Bollywood too. FHM guys decided to bank on her popularity by roping her for their cover. Genelia can be seen in a real cute avatar in the latest FHM issue.
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Hrithik Roshan Wearing John Players

There is only one actor in Bollywood who scores ten out of ten in all departments (acting, dancing, action, style, body). Yep, you guessed it right, but no prizes for guessing as the name is already in the title, and moreover the pictures give away everything. :D
Here is Hrithik Roshan displaying John Players Jeans - Autumn Winter ‘08 collection.
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Hrithik excited about Bhansali's project!

Hrithik Roshan is still riding high on the big success of Ashutosh Gowariker's JODHAA AKBAR, despite stiff opposition from the genre (historical), politicians and a section of the trade. When we had last heard, Hrithik Roshan was on verge of completing a long shooting schedule of his home banner's international project KITES in Los Angeles. The superstar is expected in Bombay, anytime this week.

Waiting impatiently for KITES, the fans of the super choosy actor are keen to know as to whether Hrithik is doing a film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, as per media reports. Well here is the exact situation.

While Hrithik's business manager neither confirmed nor denied the news, a very reliable source, quite close to the super star assures us that Roshan junior has indeed signed the film. And before we leave, here is more joy for Duggu fans. The superhero is super excited about the script of the Bhansali film, which he says is his best till date!
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GOLMAAL RETURNS clapboards turn 'GOL'!!!

Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd's upcoming release GOLMAAL RETURNS is running circles around everyone! Doing away with convention, this roller coaster ride, which is being eagerly awaited by audiences, has everything associated with it true to theme!!!

Director Rohit Shetty, keeping in mind his fun title, had the clapboards designed to be circular in shape as opposed to the conventional rectangular boards!!!! Says the director, "There was nothing planned or deliberate about round clapboard! We just used to have a rocking time and the entire subject dealt with nothing but fun so the idea of having a round clapboard, when it was suggested by my assistant, appealed to me which is why we went ahead with it!"

Well, with everyone on the sets having a whale of a time, GOLMAAL RETURNS is surely going to make this Diwali even more festive and fun!

The film starring Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Amrita Arora, Shreyas Talpade, Celina Jaitley, Tusshar Kapoor and Anjana Sukhani is slated to release during Diwali.
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If SINGH IS KINNG was expensive, listen to this!

A section of the trade was of the view that the steep prices that some of the sub–distributors of SINGH IS KINNG paid, reduced its profits and also made it lose in Bihar, despite its humongous collections. But if those prices were too high then listen to this!

Believe it or don't but the producers of the Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone starrer, CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA, are quoting Rs. 20 crore for the distribution rights of Bombay circuit and Rs. 10 crore for Delhi–U.P.! For C.P. Berar and Rajasthan rights, they want Rs. 3 crore each and for C.I. circuit, they want nothing less than Rs. 2 crore. As per the latest, due to its postponement to January 2008, many of the territories and circuits are still being negotiated for.

Well, we just wonder what the trade feels about the going rates of the Nikhil Advani directed CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA!
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I won't be a mother again: Vidya Malvade

"Chak De!" girl Vidya Malvade, who to everyone's surprise played Minissha Lamba's mother in "Kidnap", says she won't play a mom again.

"I have played a mother's role in 'Kidnap', (but) that doesn't mean I will be doing these types of roles again. I won't accept an offer from any producer or director if he comes to me with a mother's role, " Vidya told.

"Kidnap" was offered to Vidya before the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "Chak De! India", in which she played the captain of a women's hockey team.

" 'Kidnap' came to me when I had nothing on hand and I accepted it as it was an interesting role. Moreover, what excited me was that I was offered a role opposite Sanjay Dutt whom I have known for a long time and respect a lot, " Vidya said.

Directed by Sanjay Gadhvi of "Dhoom" fame, the film that released last week was panned by most critics.

Vidya said she was disappointed to see many of her scenes being edited out.

"After seeing this movie, I came to know how important editing is. Many of my scenes that I was looking forward to were edited out and it surprised me. But I think it depends on the director and the editor and they have done what was best for the film."

Although Vidya has decided not to play a mother's role again, she doesn't regret doing "Kidnap".

"I played a character. As an actor we should think of the character rather than our image and other things. At that time it was the best offer; so I accepted it. I don't repent playing the character as long as the film is good and successful, " said Vidya.

"As I don't belong to a film family, I don't have many options. I have to be content with what I get, " said the model- turned actress who debuted in 2003 with "Inteha".

" 'Chak De' gave me recognition and I am happy that people know me now. Now I want to be a complete actress playing diverse roles. I don't want to stick to a particular image. I want to move on, " she quipped.

The actress currently has three films in her kitty. In "Tum Milo To Sahi", she plays Suniel Shetty's wife. Directed by Kabir Sadanand, the film also stars Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia.

"I also have an interesting part in 'Striker', which revolves around a family and I am part of that family, " said Vidya, not wanting to reveal anything more.

"Striker" is being directed by Chandan Arora and also stars Siddharth of "Rang De Basanti" fame.

The third film she is doing is a comedy titled "King Con". "It's a fun film where I play the part of a car racer."

Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia, "King Con" will also feature Govinda, Rimii Sen and Celina Jaitley.
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Dil ki ghanti kab baj jaaye, kisi ko nahin pata: Gul Panag

Q.Your man’s must-have qualities?
A.He should know what I want without me having to say it.

Q.Can your friendship for him blossom into love?
A.Yes, why not, it can happen that the person, who I may have always thought to be just a buddy, may suddenly become someone I love. Dil ki ghanti kab baj jaaye, kisi ko nahin pata.

Q. If he is among current Bollywood hunks, he would be like...
A.Most girls would love to choose Hrithik (even though he is happily married) as he is the ‘take home and show mom’ type of guy. If I wanted somebody more interesting, then it would have to be Bachchan Junior.

Q.Is changing partners okay with you?
A.It’s normal, one does grow out of love. Today, I may like A, tomorrow B may come along and in that situation if I still stick to A, then I would be doing injustice to him, for though I will be with him, my heart will be with the other guy.

Q.If other girls make a pass at your man...
A.I would feel jealous and ask those chicks to stay away from my guy. I will not give the PC answer that I am happy that my guy is being appreciated.

Q.His metrosexuality?
A.I bet metrosexual men are vainer than women. They spend more time in front of the mirror than their women. Some men have houses full of mirrors, where they keep checking their profile. On the whole, I like a metrosexual man for there is competition right at home ? on who looks better.

Q.Is an approval from your parents for him a must?
A.Yes, I would prefer a love marriage which is arranged by them. If my parents don’t like my guy, I would try to convince them lovingly. It would be totally wrong to dump my folks who have brought me up.

Q.He should take you out on a romantic evening to...?
A.A beautiful sea-facing restaurant for an expensive candlelight dinner under the stars.
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Watch Dostana to know about gay insinuations: Abhishek Bachchan

Abhishek Bachchan on shooting through stress, & otherwise...

Lots of activity and stress in the family. Does it bog you down?
No. I don't stress about what happens outside my work area. I focus on my work area. Everyone is under pressure. You just have to deal with it.

My stressbuster is my work. That's my main concern in life. And if I can't focus on the work then I've no business being an actor. That's one of the first things you're taught at acting school.

How was the Unforgettable tour?
It was…unforgettable! It was the audience that made it such. I realized the immense value of the connectivity with the audience. They love you unconditionally. They don't come to the concerts to criticize or judge but to participate.

And it's so wonderful to reach out to them on on a one-to-one basis. It was just great. And to be on stage with all my family and friends was just overwhelming

Did you see your father in The Last Lear?
It's the first English-language film I've seen dad do. It's a theatre-based film. But he balanced out the theatrics with a very subtle performance. That's a very hard thing to do for any actor. His best? He just keeps getting better with every film. So his best one is always the next one.

Drona gave you a new image?
I've never done a film like this. I had to prepare myself for wirework (which I learnt from Mr Shyam Kaushik), sword -fencing (which I had learnt in drama school), stunt riding on a horse, etc. Richard Ryan, the sword- master from Troy trained and choreographed my sword- fighting scenes.

Then since I had to do an underwater scene I had to learn scuba diving which I had never done before. I literally had to be underwater for 8-10 hours. I loved it! When I was out breath there were people who rushed underwater with oxygen masks.

It took about six months before we started shooting. By the grace of God there were no accidents. But a stunt director from South Africa during a train sequence dislocated his shoulder. But he was back shooting in the next day.

You looked very different in Drona.
My director Goldie Behl was very sure about the look he wanted for my character. He wanted Drona to have a beard since he was a king and needed to look regal. Hence the long-flowing hair, hence all those hair bands that the media was having field day speculating on.

What about speculations regarding the film's extensive re-shooting?
I find it very childish to keep clarifying such things. But since you are asking…Drona started in December 2006. We shot for 70 days. Then we took a break and resumed shooting in September. Then we were done.

The only reshooting we had to do was when our set in Bikaner got washed away by a freak of nature. Have you heard of torrential rains in Bikaner? We had to re-erect the set and shoot.

Then we needed a year of post-production since Drona is very FX-centric film. Now we're ready. I've never done this kind of action scenes before…like hanging under a moving train. Goldie's dream was to make something never done before.

Goldie was wanted to make a crime thriller with me. But one weekend when I was shooting for Guru he came down to Chennai and said the calling of the moment was we had to be adventurous.

The minute he narrated Drona I knew we had to do it. Goldie made the film exactly the way he wanted to do it.It's definitely the biggest film I've made.

You've acted with your mom for the first time in a Hindi film.
We were together in Laga Chunri Mein Daag, though not as mother and son. Unfortunately she had a very small role in Drona. One of these days I hope to do a full-fledged film with her.

There's talk of all three of you coming together in Rakeysh Mehra's Bhairavi.
That's not true. Bhairavi is not happening right now. Rakeysh is doing a film called Paanch Kaurav with me and Dad. Mom isn't in it.Again, an action film. I enjoy action. My first film Refugee was an action film.

Next you've Karan Johar's Dostana.
This was a film I had agreed to do right after Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. After Drona that's just the comic break I need. Every year I get a chance to be versatile. Last year after Guru I had Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom. In fact I had immensely exciting roles right from Dhoom. Now there are the 3 'd's coming up in my life Drona, Dostana and Delhi 6.

What are all these gay insinuations in the trailer of Dostana?
They explain themselves when you see the film. It's a mad comedy. And it was wonderful to shoot with John Abraham again. Just because we shot in Miami doesn't mean that the pleasure quotient was increased. We were working. But it was fun on the sets because we were all friends.

Now you're working with your wife and Mani Ratnam again?
And I'm very excited. Every time I come together with Mani there's something special happening. Guru gave me a role that I didn't expect to get at this age and stage of my career.

When Mani or Ramu are there they're bound to give you a challenging role. For then it isn't about commercial viability. It's about conviction. Some of my closest friends had told me Guru won't work. It went on to be one of the biggest hits of the year.

But a lot of people feel it clicked because you and Aishwarya were together?
These things don't influence the audience. Why didn't Umrao Jaan work ? It came just three months earlier. Guru went far beyond the initial curiosity to see us together just because we were engaged.

Cinema history is peppered with instances of real-life couples not doing well together on screen. In my very first film I was introduced to the public as Mr Amitabh Bachchan's son. Why didn't it work?

If they don't like your film they won't go to see see a pair whether they're together or divorced. And Sarkar Raj did exceedingly well although we were not really a couple in the film.

I'm sure Mani's new film will be very unique to both of us. We start in October. He's giving me another role to sink my teeth into.
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Rahul is not my boyfriend, he is my friend: Payal

Only Rahul Mahajan could get close to her, kiss her and scold her in season two of reality show "Bigg Boss", but actress Payal Rohatgi has denied any romantic involvement with him after her eviction from the show.

"Rahul is not my boyfriend, he is my friend, " Payal told over phone from Mumbai.

In August, Rahul, son of the late Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former union minister Pramod Mahajan, formally parted from his wife Shweta after a Gurgaon court passed a decree on their mutual divorce petition. His closeness with Payal was an alleged reason for the break-up.

But Payal, who was evicted from the reality show Friday, maintains that "Rahul is only a good friend".

Viewers were witness to their intimacy on "Bigg Boss" when they were assigned the task of playing volleyball in a swimming pool.

Commenting upon their physical proximity on the show, she said: "The pool was six feet deep and I'm only five feet six inches tall. I needed someone to shift me around and hold me in the pool. I was more comfortable with Rahul because I know him. We have partied and have had dinners together.

"I couldn't let others like Debojit (Saha), Ashutosh (Kaushik) and Raja (Chaudhary) come as close. After all they are men, " she said.

Payal was criticised by her inmates for her closeness to Rahul, her cat fights with item girl Sambhavna Seth, wearing a bikini on the show and constantly wearing make-up.

Sambhavna alleged that Payal is "fake" and that she used to backstab people on the show.

But Payal denies her allegations saying: "I was very neutral. I was not there to make friends for life. I just wanted to be cordial and nice to people so that we could live together in peace. So there is no question of having backstabbed anyone. It would have been so had I nominated Rahul, who is a good friend, " Payal said.

As far as being called "fake" is concerned, she said: "I was there to gain visibility for the benefit of my career. If I dabbed on make-up to look good on the show, why are people complaining?

"She (Sambhavna) has said that I used to wake up at six in the morning to touch up and then used to sleep again. But then why was this footage not shown? It would have made for a juicy shot. 'Bigg Boss' was not a house, it was a house-like situation and being an actor, I had to take care of the way I looked on screen, " Payal said.

After coming out of the "Bigg Boss" house, the actress says she is dying to pamper herself with "a manicure, pedicure and a good massage" to rejuvenate herself mentally and physically.

"I am very happy to be back in the real world. I was there to gain visibility and show the other side of personality and I have been successful in doing that. People had only seen the glamorous side of Payal Rohtagi, but now they know that I even cry, " said Payal who is now looking forward to getting some "lead roles in good films".

Payal was seen in films "Dhol" and "Corporate". In Madhur Bhandarkar's critically acclaimed "Corporate", she danced to the popular item song "O Sikander".

Now she is looking forward to her next film "Dil Kabaddi", in which she will be seen with Soha Ali Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma and Irrfan Khan, among others.
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Shah Rukh and Priyanka's Item Song

According to sources it was a toss-up between Rani Mukherjee and Priyanka for the third item song with SRK in Billo Barber.

"But after Rani appeared on Salman Khan's game show Dus Ka Dum and knowing there's no love lost between Salman and Priyanka, the scales tilted automatically towards Priyanka, " says the source.

What Shah Rukh Khan wants Shah Rukh Khan gets. This, Priyadarshan realized as soon as he began shooting for Billoo Barber.

Says Priyan, "Since Shah Rukh plays a film star in the film I needed him to do some big glamorous song and dance numbers with some top heroines."

Priyan decided to stay completely out of the picture.

"I left the choice to Shah Rukh. I knew all he had to do was pick up the phone and ask any of his leading ladies."

One item song with Kareena Kpaoor was shot at the very start of the shooting.

"At this very moment I'm shooting a second item song with Deepika and Shah Rukh. That's again a very catchy number and Shah Rukh is having a ball shooting it with Deepika, " informs Priyan.

Interestingly Priyan was supposed to launch Deepika two years ago in a film called Pirate. "But that didn't work out. She made her debut with Shah Rukh. Now she's working with him again. And I also got a chance to work with her.Don't ask who's the lucky one."

Now a third item song has also been finalized for Billoo Barber.

Priyan informs the third lucky luscious lady to shake with Shah Rukh would be Priyanka Chopra.

Though SRK has done item numbers earlier with Aishwarya Rai in Shakti and in Rakesh Roshan's Krazzy 4, this would be Priyanka's first item number.
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SRK to retire in 3 years

A source reveals, “Shah Rukh knows that his time in Bollywood as an actor is limited. An actor can only go on for so long and with the kind of roles he plays – young romantics – then he will not be able to do that for any longer. He is already getting old. Shah Rukh hopes to retire from films within the next ¾ years after which he will concentrate on production business. Shah Rukh will not make a complete exit from acting but intends to star in at least one film per year, but this will be for his own banner and the role will be of a supporting actor.”

The source adds, “Shah Rukh has already started looking – and it has just been announced – for land in Dubai where he intends to build housing and shopping complexes. It is on this patch of land that Shah Rukh will build his much famous abode Mannat. He has already told his wife Gauri to make the plans and get the ideal design created. It has to be identical to Mannat in Mumbai. The Khans are much fond of this house.”

Well that’s a sad news but we wish SRK good luck in whatever he desires.
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