SHAHRUKH KHAN’s speech at Yale: I feel like a street artist…


All I am is a funambulist trying to balance my action and exterior reaction to my naked show of who I am inside. I start to feel like a street artist who feels his audience is just a bunch of pausing passersby applauding out of a mixture of curiosity, pity or even disregard.Yet when I am playing this real life illusion out, more often than not, my honest self is sitting in the audience, applauding my performance while laughing heartily at my own stupidity. So my friends (kids?), learn to laugh at yourselves too. Never become cynical about yourself and your life. Becoming cynical about your life is the single most destructive thing you can do to it.

For you have to remember… Creativity is your gift to the world. It was never meant to be bartered for anything, not even appreciation. You have to dig deep. I do it while drinking vodka after vodka, listening to self-pitying, loser songs. You should find a less destructive way – however you do it – but you have to believe that you create only because this is the biggest gift you have to give to your world. Maybe that’s why we even say God is a Creator.

It’s not about the cars or houses. It never was. Those are peripherals. They never come about because of your talent or your creative outpourings; they come out of a business that people around you do. Those people are in the business of barter – not you. Yours is the business of giving and learning. Your work of art may never be complete in your lifetime. Your fulfillment will always lie in your creative expression not in its products.

PREVIOUS| SRK on being this… And that! |NEXT| Shahrukh on the important things in life.