The Wankhede ban on Shah Rukh Khan has been lifted. While the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) did not give any specific reasons for this, it's learnt that the Bombaiya in SRK prevailed. SRK has often spoken of his loyalties split between Mumbai and Kolkata when it came to the Indian Premier League (IPL). While he sees himself as the owner and ultimate fanboy of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), he also thinks of himself as "Bollywood ka badsha".
"I was not a very good actor that fateful summer's night in May, 2012. If I had hammed some more, I'm sure the MCA would not have banned me. Instead, I was trying to be earnest and protective of my children. They did not recognise this side of me. Even that guard (who later swore to be a diehard SRK fan) did not think it was me. He behaved with me in such a high-handed manner. I recall him telling me, 'Don't give me the SRK flop show, only star airs work here in Bombay'. At first I thought he was talking complete rubbish and abused him - that too without any dialoguebazi - just straight from the hip MC BC that we speak - not what you hear in the films."
Vikas Dalvi, the security guard in question, said he'd prefer to forget the NASA scientist-wallah SRK. "For me, Swades was a crap film. Too much reality, that's not how Bollywood is. And when he said he'll hit me with a hockey stick it reminded me of Chakde! India - another film for pseudo intellectuals who have tried their best to stop SRK from overacting - if I wanted to just see good acting, I won't pay so much money. For poor people like me, the more money I pay, the more acting I want to see."
SRK regretted missing out on two seasons at the Wankhede where he could have sat shoulder to shoulder with the Ambanis and the Tendulkars. While the Ambanis were unavailable for comment, Sachin Tendulkar said he was not aware of the SRK ban and would prefer not to comment without knowing the whole truth. "Anyway, if the ban has been lifted, there's nothing left to be said," he added.
The actor says he does not want to rest on his laurels and hopes to be banned from the Feroz Shah Kotla (Delhi was his home before Mumbai) and Eden Gardens. "The Kotla is such a third class stadium and the Delhi Daredevils (DD) are such a third class team, but because of my commitments to KKR, I have to go and watch these one-sided crappy matches. Gambhir has such a bloodlust when it comes to DD, we all know he will beat them every time, especially in Delhi, no matter what. Also when I'm in Delhi, all those pile-ons from St Columba's and Hansraj come out of the woodwork... avoiding them is becoming serious hard work... and yeah, my in-laws are here also."
As for the Eden Gardens, SRK says that being banned from there is the ultimate challenge. "If you would've noticed, especially in the World Cup quarter-finals in 1996, Eden has very low standards. The crowds are the ultimate badmash. For me to be banned from there, maybe I'll have to be at my best behaviour ever. Then I suspect it will not be up to the low standards of the stadium. Mamatadi is very protective of me and even if I am banned, I'm sure she will blame a cartoonist and ban the poor artist instead."
When asked what the next big thing for him in the IPL was, SRK was non-committal at first but then took a deep breath and said since he'd already been banned protecting his daughter, Suhana, he'd now love to be banned shielding his youngest son, AbRam. But where does that leave his elder son, Aryan? "He's a big boy now, he should be looking to have his own Wankhede experience!"
The Wankhede security guard, Dalvi, confessed that if Aamir Khan ever found himself in a similar situation as SRK, he had full faith the actor would give his most OTP Satyamev Jayate performance. "That's why Aamir will never be banned, he gives you full value for your money. Before brandishing a stick at him, I'll be drowning in a pool of my tears", he added choking on his own words.
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)
First published here