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Features |  22 Dec 2008 15:05 |  By RnMTeam

RJ Malishka - The King and I....

Meeting with a King, I'd assumed, would have a tiresome prelude. There'd be ministers to please and courtesans to put at ease. There'd be plotting vazirs and doting maharanis. Not quite right with his lordship, SRK. Ok, maybe there were two or three hyper P.R chics, a handful of cautious security guards and two sweet, snoozing dogs who seemed to say �the king can take care of himself.' That of course because the king was expecting moi? I dont dare to assume I'd get into the hallowed walls of Mannat or his office building so easily on a regular day.

The event: the Badshah had decided that radio deserves to be spoken to now that the �much awaited Rab's jodi' had released.

The events before this event: Let's see....I've met King Khan twice before and both times have tried to wangle an interview outta him. The first time was at the press conference when I dubbed for the sexy vamp Mona in the Hindi version of the animation movie THE INCREDIBLES, called HUM HAIN LAJAWAAB. Mr. LAJAWAAB-SRK in case you haven't guessed, was seated right next to me, so close I could identify the spices in his perfume and can recall with alarming clarity the lil' til below his right index finger! I turned to SRK when the press questioned me and drawled in my sexiest Marilyn Monroe cum Mona voice, Hello Mr. Lajawab kaise hain aap...? And SRK whispered with a naughty smile, Not now Mona darling. Let's do this later.... The impressed press burst into peals of laughter. And what is SRK if not a charmer of the press?

Cut to… Juhi Chawla's trailer where as I was talking to her and SRK just popped in and sat down! I used this opportunity to ask him to help with the charity event we were doing on air. I knew he wouldn't do it at such a short notice but I needed to know how he'd wriggle out of it. He did it with the smoothness of a Don. Hum musalmanon mein jab ek haath deta hai toh doosre haath ko pata bhi nahi lagne dete.... That was that. The most honest turndown I've heard. Couldn't argue with that, could I?

This is now two years later. After several postponements of the above-mentioned �rab ne bana di jodi' interview on the same day, I was at the 2nd floor office door. The P.R chic tells me that I have 5 minutes coz someone from RED FM has already been recording him for a while. Phew! I edit the twenty thousand questions I mean to ask, down to four and enter the room that holds SRK. There he was, not a vision in purple and gold as my celluloid-struck mind had imagined but a regular nattily dressed guy (nattily?? who says that anymore??) Thin, yes I remember thinking thin and…slight in built. The signs of age-not unsexy at all-around his face and a recognition of me that bowled me over, in his eyes! Ching! The king had recognized me.

A warm welcome saying, Hi, hi Malishka. How are you doing?... Handshake, air kisses (at least my imagination remembers kisses) and I ask him if he's too tired to talk. He replies with a smart, not at all..., and we're on our way...Five minutes.. tick, tick, tick but SRK's already used up about 4 minutes recognizing me and telling me how many times he's met me and being all nice and �I-know-I've-floored-you-and-I-will-do-it-some-more' kinds. So I start with the same Mona-tone, Hello Mr.Lajawaab kaise hain Aap?... Pat comes the much awaited reply, Main theek Hoon Mona darling. How are you?... I'm impressed with his memory.

Next I filmily say, Bahut papad belne pade tumhare darshan paaney ke liye Shahrukh... and he says with a boyish grin, Rab se milne aaye ho toh thoda wait toh karna hi padega.... Hmmm, he's done a quick plug for the movie and given me a glimpse of the famous SRK wit and immodesty...I like.?

My next question to the King: So do you listen to radio?... He gives me a mock glare and says Yes and to all the �tameez' ke things you all say about me.... I retort, but I never do!... and he mock-glares again and promises to sock me in the nose! Then as he talks he lights a cigarette and I, of course remark, Cigarette chee chee... and he says, You can't see the cig on radio so you can't ban me!... Cocky, cocky O king!

Now all this familiar, light-hearted banter could not but impress the others in the room and it did! And that's how King Khan keeps the media happy perhaps. Woh Masters in Mass Communication aise hi nahi haasil ki. I believe he remembers everyone and everything. Who said what and when and how and all that jazz. No starry airs here. The tantrums are thrown by the P.R chics who are without a doubt, well-trained in advance to tell the media when to stop. So yes, I did stop expecting to leave immediately when SRK decided to continue to converse… and this my dear friends, was the favourite part of my interview.

As we were wrapping up he asked me, So Malishka, are you putting your voice to good use?... (P.R chics looked unnerved here) I promptly began to tell him about the terror attacks and how I've been relentlessly involved with keeping the on-air pressure group going and yes that's putting my voice to good use even though it's gone hoarse with so much talking over the past few weeks...He clarifies, Are you doing any more animation voices? You are very talented. Very few people I know can modulate their voices so well. I was speaking about you to somebody the other day ...... Me: WHAT??? You speak about me to people?... SRK: Of course I do. I was telling them that the other girl who I know who can do that with her voice is Priyanka Chopra. She too is very talented. Please don't stop using your talent.... Uff Mannat mein Jannat had happened! I told everyone what SRK said. I'm sure every media person who interviews him has a story to tell back home.

Now see I'm really not star-struck. I treat stars like human beings… almost always. In fact that's my U.S.P. I cannot suck up to the stars! Yet SRK with his total honesty (not just about my talent?), his very real approach, his non-starry ways, even his cigarette smoking (which I thoroughly disapprove of just coz I want him to live longer) is every bit the star I wished to see and got a glimpse of. May other stars who have staked claim to the throne take a leaf or two out of his book and then maybe we'll consider another king.