Shahrukh Khan’s biggest and craziest fan Sandi Mann shares her story ‘SRK & Sandi’. She has met Shahrukh a few times. One of the meetings involved spontaneous flying to Mumbai just to meet SRK. Sandi has also had articles written about her in the press several times, and her name is mentioned in Mushtaq’s book on SRK, and in Anupama Chopra’s book on SRK.
I’m a *Senior Teenager* of Indeterminate Vintage, Australian born & bred, who discovered Shah Rukh when I was living in The United Arab Emirates. The first SRK movie I saw on TV was Koyla, just bits of it, then KKHH was on TV. I thought no way will I watch a whole 3 hour movie with no subs (actually it was subbed in Arabic) so I’ll just watch a bit to see what all the fuss is about this guy. I watched 15 mins, then thought…just another 15 mins, etc, etc to the end! I’d known about him for probably 7 years at that stage, cos I saw his film clips on MTV Asia, but I didn’t want to get sucked in to all the hype about him. So, I wasn’t one of those who fell in love with him immediately. He just seeped gradually into my consciousness and eventually, I just couldn’t resist any longer. (I’m only human!)
I went out & bought 7 videos at the same time…DVDs weren’t even out then. Most of them didn’t have subtitles, but eventually I bought everything available, then DVDs came out & I bought them all over again. I became well-known in Dubai as the white girl who loved SRK.
I first met SRK at a Press Conference in Dubai for about 2 minutes in 2001, but I think that paved the way for me to meet him again on the set of MHN in 2003.
I started and ran about 7 Yahoo SRK groups, and was a *Power User* with the biggest & most active SRK group on Yahoo… one year I chose several members and bestowed *The Order of Sharu’s Angels* (OSA) on them and bought them each an 18 carat bracelet.
My first SRK movie in cinema was 1,2 Ka 4…Eventually, the cinema manager realised what a big fan of SRK I was, & he gave me posters etc, and once a free ticket to see Asoka, cos I’d been to see it 12 times. He also let me & my husband into the cinema for free just for the interval so we could see the trailer of Devdas. then we walked out again. I never watch any Bollywood movies unless SRK is in them, cos I miss him too much and keep looking out for him.
Probably the craziest thing I’ve done was asking my boss could I have the day off to go to FDFS of Devdas…everyone at work high-fived me for risking my job to ask to go to a movie. (I worked with a few Indians)
Another kind of crazy thing I did was to take off to India on the mere chance that I might meet SRK. I had 5 days off from work and my husband was working offshore & I didn’t tell him till he got back. By the end of my first day in Mumbai, I thought it wouldn’t happen – went to Mannat but no luck. Tried again on Sunday and was told SRK was not home. My driver said *we’re quite close to Mehboob studios, do you want to go there & see who’s there?* So we did and to my amazement, Farah (& SRK later) was filming and my driver knew the driver of someone official, so my driver and I were allowed to go on the set. I was certainly not expecting that! I was told that Farah was shooting a song (for some other movie) but to my delight, found she was actually directing MHN. She made me welcome, made sure I had lunch with the crew, and let me know when SRK arrived. (5 hours later!) The rest is history! Haha
Shah’s first words to me, after his enthusiastic greeting, was *have you eaten?* he was very sweet and told me to come back anytime as they would be there for another 5 days. Sadly, I had to be back at work, and have regretted it ever since that I didn’t go back to see SRK again.
SRK gave me his email address & I still email him occasionally, though he’s never answered yet! He mentioned me in his Press Conference for his 44th birthday. Oh yes, I forgot, I had a star named after him in the Scorpios constellation, and I also bought him a block of land on the moon…
Then 10 year later, on 6th October 2013, I spent time with him in Sydney the night before his concert. He remembered me and said I was his special fan as I was the first non-desi fan he met. Coincidentally, both times I’ve spent significant time with SRK, it’s been on a Sunday.
I’ve seen SRK in concert 4 times (counting the Zee awards in Dubai in 2004) I’ve really had to go out of my comfort zone (as I’m really shy) for SRK… I flew internationally thrice which was challenging for me, just to see him in concert and in person.
As I always wore an SRK t-shirt when I went out, I’ve had some interesting experiences. I made t-shirts for each new movie and wore them FDFS. This resulted in being interviewed on (Indian) Radio Brisvaani, and I got to pick all the music for the one hour show. (all SRK songs ofcourse) I’ve also had articles written about me in the press several times, and mentioned in Mushtaq’s book on SRK, and in Anupama Chopra’s book on SRK.
I’ve been a fan now for 15 years and the things I’ve done for SRK are too many to mention (if I could even remember them all!)
So, apart from that, I did all the things every SRK fan does…HOWZAT? just your average SRK fan, you think?
Pix attached: on set of Main Hoon Na, 29 June 2003; 2 pix on 6th October 2013 in Sydney, the night before his Temptation Reloaded concert; and me at Zee Cine awards in Dubai 2004. (I flew 15 hours each way just for that, but was unable to meet up with him then)
My message to SRK for Dilwale:
Many of your biggest hit movie titles have started with the letter *D* … my loving wish is that Dilwale will be bigger than all of them combined… God bless!