He was 18years old when he first saw his wife Gauri. She was all smart and confident, while he was shy and nervous. She was in her own world, dancing with a guy, while he was busy thinking of ways to get her to dance with him.
Enters Shahrukh’s buddy…. And after a short conversation between Gauri and the friend, Shahrukh’s hopes went crashing down as she lied that she was waiting for her boyfriend.
It turned out that there was no boyfriend but her brother that she was referring to.
Recollecting those crazy day, Shahrukh said: “He went and asked her but she said ‘No, I am waiting for my boyfriend.’ I had a heartbreak thinking I’ve lost her. But later on I realised that it was actually her brother and she lied to everyone so that no one comes and asks her to dance with them. Later on, I called her one day and told her “Mujhe bhi apna bhai samjho”.”
Thereafter, there was no turning back for the duo. Shahrukh-Gauri’s fairytale love story had its fair share of ups and downs.
There was Gauri on one hand, who was born in a typical Hindu Brahmin family, so much that, they even had a temple within the house, and then there was Shahrukh Khan, a Muslim in India. Them becoming one was indeed a tough task to accomplish. But they say no, “love conquers all”, the duo, who met in 1989, fought their way out, and they finally said ‘I do’ in 1991. The period from 89 to 91 has to be the toughest time of their lives.
Gauri recalls how Shahrukh was willing to do anything to get her in his life. He payed a visit to Gauri on her birthday, posing as Abhimanyu, the character he had just started to play in the television serial Fauji.
Says Shahrukh, “Once I even went to her birthday party incognito. I used the name I was called in Fauji. Her parents innocently remarked that I looked like a distant relative of Mr Dilip Kumar. But when they got to know my identity later, all hell broke loose.”
Things were not all rosy between the couple either. Shahrukh was a super possessive boyfriend. He would often fight with her if she wore a swimsuit to the pool or even if she left her hair loose. He hated it when other boys looked at her. In the superstars own words: “I was extremely insanely possessive”. There came a point where Gauri was tired of all that was happening and wanted to simply give up. Apparently, she went to Mumbai with her pals, running away from all the tensions, without informing SRK.
Shahrukh, who confided in his mother, ended up telling everything to his mother who was supportive and open-minded as always. Not only did she give her son Rs 10,000, she also advised him to go to Mumbai and get his love back. Shahrukh went there with his friends, and what followed sounds like a chapter straight out of fictional romantic legends.
In a huge city like Mumbai, Shahrukh and his friends kept looking for Gauri, especially around the beaches, as she loved water. On the last day of his stay in Mumbai, he decided to give one final try and so taking the advice of a cab driver, Shahrukh, with his friends went to Aksa Beach. From there, they ferried across to a place called Gorai and, after searching frantically, managed to track her down. Recollects Shahrukh, “…and there she was. Standing in the water, wearing a T-shirt. By then it didn’t matter even if she wasn’t wearing anything. She came over and we hugged, and cried. It was then that I realized I was being unreasonably possessive. I also realized that no one could ever love Gauri the way I loved her and that gave me tremendous confidence.”
25th October 1991, Shahrukh Khan and Gauri tied the knot. Their wedding took place in the strangest circumstances. They had already rung up Gauri’s parents from her aunt’s place and told them that they were married. Pandemonium broke loose, her mother stopped eating and the whole atmosphere at Gauri’s place was like a house in mourning. Says Shahrukh, “I entered to meet her father. I felt guilty. I think when I spoke to them they realized that they had no other go but to take this risk. I really identify with this feeling when I do a film like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge.”
It was a Hindu style wedding as well as a court marriage. Even on the wedding day, things were rough. Says SRK, “Normally the dulha comes on the ghoda and he isn’t supposed to see his bride till the pheras are over. But the car that was supposed to pick her up after her make-up was done, conked out. Then panic struck because the mahurat was at a fixed time so I picked her up, dropped her, went back and returned on a horse. And then halfway through, I changed over from the horse to an elephant. Climbing the elephant was a major problem, my friends pushed me up.”
Gauri’s parents couldn’t help but be insecure about their daughter, the kind of person Shahrukh was – irresponsible, immature and unsettled.
To be continued….