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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June 2005, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Bollywood star brought to book
By Lata Khubchandani
BBC News, Mumbai

Shah Rukh Khan
The star's autobiography has been seven years in the making
Don't get stuck in the past, don't look too far into the future and don't be cynical is the advice of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Khan, the 39-year-old star of about 50 films, is currently penning an autobiography, written intermittently between shoots and on "boring two-hour-long" drives to locations.

But he warns readers not to expect award-winning prose.

"I am not some great writer. The writing is really off the cuff," he told the BBC News website in an exclusive interview.

What they can expect is a "sweet book" detailing his experiences in the film industry.

"I read a lot and I think it's a funny kind of look at what I've done over the years. People who read it will get a look at my perspective on life."

Persuaded

Khan, who was selected as MTV India's youth icon for 2005, was the star of the Bollywood epic Devdas, the most expensive film ever made in India when it was released in late 2002.

I am not some great writer. The writing is really off the cuff
Shah Rukh Khan

He said he was persuaded to write the autobiography by leading filmmaker, Mahesh Bhatt, during the making of Duplicate in 1998.

Seven years and a number of chapters later, Khan said he was now committed to publishing the book.

Just like the movies it has a "beginning, a middle and an end" he says, covering his arrival in Mumbai (Bombay), his entry into the film industry and the births of his son and daughter.

"It's about incidents that have left an impression on me. I have tried to analyse them and find out why I have turned out to be the person I am."

Realistic

Khan said sitting down to write opened a floodgate of memories "I hadn't thought about in years."

Shah Rukh Khan
Khan says actors have to "make the best of what we have"

Khan is also helping out with an official biography, written by leading Mumbai-based film writer, Anupama Chopra.

"She's talking to people all over the country and abroad," Khan said.

Now approaching mid-life, Khan said he was realistic about his Bollywood role and his choice of films.

"How much of a choice do you really have? It's a question of doing a professional job. I am in a job where I can't wait for the greatest film to come my way. It may not be an ideal situation but we cannot be cynical."

Khan said his new film, Paheli, based on a folk tale from Rajasthan and directed by Amol Palekar, was a "nice and subdued" film.

He added: "I don't hold to the past. I move on. I don't look into the future. I don't even have dreams. Even if I daydream, I'll be daydreaming about my next film."


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