The Jawan of the moment, Shah Rukh Khan, has once again established his supremacy at the box office. The actor has marked his second big win this year, which has come after a lull of failures.
In this week’s edition of ETimes BFFs, we explore Shah Rukh Khan’s heritage, a journey that spans from Kashmir to Peshawar before finding its home in India.
Decades ago, SRK had already declared himself as the next superstar and worked towards his ambition with a firm sense of purpose. He has fallen and fallen hard, only to rise with more determination and that’s why he deserves the recognition that he has achieved.
As the country celebrates Shah Rukh Khan, the Jawan of the moment, ETimes traces his roots which go from Kashmir to Peshawar, from pre-Independence era to 21st century . Read on to know more about the Khan-daan, where SRK’s father was a lawyer, his grandfather a chief engineer, his mother a magistrate and his cousin sister a district councilor.
Meer Taj Mohammed Khan
Shah Rukh Khan’s father Meer Taj Mohammed was the youngest born of Jan Muhammad after siblings Mian Muhammad, Ghulam Muhammad alias Gama, Allah Bakhsh and Khan Muhammad and daughter Kher Jan. He was born in Peshawar, before partition. Taj Mohammed did his graduation from Peshawar’s Edwards College, where Prithvi Raj Kapoor had studied as well.
An MA LLB, Meer Taj Mohammed Khan was closely connected in the country’s politics during the pre-independence era. According to Shah Rukh Khan’s own admission, his father was the country’s youngest freedom fighter. After partition, Meer Taj Mohammed bid a final goodbye to Peshawar and moved to Delhi in 1948.
Giving an insight about his family, SRK had shared years ago, “My grandfather was Iftikhar Ahmed. He was the chief engineer of the Karnataka state, and he built the Mangalore port. He was educated in London, and was one of the top engineers of our country. My father was the youngest freedom fighter of this country, and he was jailed when he was 16 or 19. He had a lot of friends. One of his close associates, maybe related to him, was General Shah Nawaz Khan, who was one of the leaders of the Indian National Army with Subhas Chandra Bose.”
In the later years, Meer Taj Mohammed ran a canteen at the National School of Drama in Delhi. Shah Rukh Khan’s father passed away in 1981, due to cancer. In 2013, SRK established an NGO, Meer Foundation in memory of his father.
Lateef Fatima Khan
SRK’s mother Lateef Fatima Khan was born in Tolichowki, Hyderabad in 1941. She was a first-class magistrate and a social worker. Hailing her achievements, SRK had shared, “She was among the first few Muslim women to have achieved so much.” A black and white picture of Lateef Fatima Khan with former Prime Minister India Gandhi is often shared on social media, linking them as close associates. Lateef Fatima Khan passed away in 1990 due to complications arising from diabetes.
Shah Rukh Khan
Lovingly referred to as the Baadshah of , Shah Rukh Khan was born on November 2, 1965. He spent his first five years in Mangalore, living with his maternal grandfather, Iftikhar Ahmed. The actor had once described himself as “half Hyderabadi (mother), half Pathan (father), and some Kashmiri (grandmother).”
Living in rented apartments in Delhi, having experienced poverty, SRK grew up in a lower middle-class family. He did his schooling at St. Columba’s school and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in economics at Hansraj College. Shah Rukh Khan then enrolled for a master’s degree in mass communication at Jamia Millia Islamia but quit the same for a career in films. He was exposed to the film world when his father ran a canteen at NSD and thus began his tryst with acting.
Shah Rukh Khan came to Mumbai with just Rs 1500 in his pocket and embarked on the journey to become a legend. After acting stints in TV shows like Cirkus and Fauji, SRK went on to embellish his career with roles that were rejected by others.
Some of his initial hits were to feature other actors, Deewana was turned down by Armaan Kohli, Baazigar was rejected by Salman Khan and Darr was initially offered to Aamir Khan. SRK successfully broke his bad boy image and emerged as nation’s favourite romantic hero with hits like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Over the years, Shah Rukh Khan has amassed huge wealth and immeasurable love. Besides a sprawling sea-facing bungalow, he owns a successful production house and also a state of the art VFX studio. Despite the many lows, the fandom for SRK has never diminished.
Born on October 8, 1970, Gauri Chhibber entered SRK’s life, much before he became the nation’s ultimate crush. Born to Savita and Colonel Ramesh Chandra Chhibber, Gauri studied at Modern School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi and graduated with BA (Hons.) in History from Lady Shri Ram College. She had also pursued a course in fashion design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Gauri Khan (at the age of 14) crossed paths with Shah Rukh Khan (18 at the time) at a party in Delhi. Their teenage love graduated to an intense romance, a real life love story which will be remembered for decades. Gauri’s family was not in favour of her marriage with SRK, but the couple braved all hurdles and got hitched on October 25, 1991. Legend has it that SRK borrowed a suit from the costume department of Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman for his special day.
Currently, Gauri Khan has established a thriving career in interior designing, having worked on numerous celebrity homes. She is also a producer of several movies featuring Shah Rukh.
Aryan Khan Shah
Rukh and Gauri’s first child, Aryan, was born in November 1997. He studied at Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai, post which he attended the Sevenoaks School in London. In 2020, Aryan graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production from University Of Southern California.
Aryan began his journey in front of the camera in 2001, when he played SRK’s younger role in a scene from Karan Johar’s ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…’. He is currently directing an OTT web series, which will be produced by Shah Rukh Khan. Apart from this, Aryan Khan also explored his entrepreneurial aspirations with a luxury collective brand, launching premium alcohol and apparels
Shah Rukh and Gauri turned parents to daughter Suhana in 2000. She graduated from Ardingly College and went on to hone her acting skills at New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts. Following her father’s footsteps into acting, Suhana is all set to mark her acting debut with Zoya Akhtar’s musical ‘The Archies’, which is set for an OTT release on December 7.
In May 2013, Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan welcomed son AbRam through surrogacy. He was born premature at 34 weeks. Explaining the meaning of his son’s name, SRK had shared, “AbRam is a Jewish connotation of Hazrat Ibrahim, so I think it is a good mix. It sounds very nice with the name of Hindu god Ram in it.”
Shehnaz Lalarukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan’s elder sister has always stayed away from the limelight, but she is often spotted at family celebrations. Shehnaz Lalarukh Khan has an MA in Psychology. Years ago, SRK had revealed that his sister was deeply affected by the demise of their parents. The actor had revealed, “She hasn’t ever recovered from the loss of her father, the suddenness of him passing away. And then, it got compounded because my mother also expired 10 years later. She didn’t cry, she didn’t say anything, she just fell and hit her head on the ground. And two years after that, she didn’t cry, she didn’t speak, she just kept looking in space. It just changed her world, now she’s better but she has got some deficiencies.”
Shah Rukh Khan’s uncle Ghulam Muhammad aka Gama was an active participant in the country’s politics, he reportedly supported the Akhand Bharat movement and was in jail until 1954. He then migrated to Bengal and in 1971 returned to Peshawar where he settled with his family. His daughter Noor Jehan, who lived in Shah Rukh Khan’s family’s ancestral home, served as a district and town councillor. Noor Jehan and her husband Asif had visited Shah Rukh Khan in Mumbai a few years ago and were welcomed warmly by the actor and his family. In 2020, she passed away after a prolonged battle with oral cancer. She was 52 years old.
Shah Rukh Khan’s family has links from Kashmir to Peshawar Shah Rukh Khan’s ancestors hail from Kashmir and had settled in Peshawar centuries ago. They lived in Shah Wali Qataal area of Peshawar’s famous Qissa Khwani (Kahani) bazaar. The birth place of SRK’s father is a few hundred meters from icon Raj Kapoor’s ancestral bungalow, while legend Dilip Kumar’s birthplace is also closeby. Contrary to popular belief that Shah Rukh Khan is a Pathan, his family has confirmed that they speak hindko language and have roots in Kashmir.
Over the years, Shah Rukh Khan has visited his paternal family only twice. He first visited them when he was 13 years old, in 1978 with his father and his second visit was in 1980. Shah Rukh Khan’s cousin Maqsood runs a bamboo ladders business close to Shah Wali Qataal.
Source: Times of India