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    After Sri Lanka, it may be Pakistan for Shah Rukh Khan

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Friday, December 24, 2004
    The recent bomb blast during one of his shows at Colombo has left him shaken-- but that is no reason to stop performing, says Shah Rukh Khan, as he contemplates a visit to Pakistan.

    "I''ll go whenever I''m called...not merely as a goodwill ambassador, but as an entertainer," Shah Rukh Khan said in an interview to IANS.

    Talking about his films "Veer-Zara" and "Swades", Shah Rukh unveils his plans for the future, including, writing a book.

    Have you decided to stay away from live concerts?

    I'd still go to concerts. But I think losing one's life during an entertainment event is too high a price. I know people want to see me on stage. But I don't want to see people dead.

    Do you have plans to visit Pakistan?

    If people expect me to come and entertain them, then I've no problem going anywhere, whether it's China, Japan or Pakistan. The point is, people everywhere connect with me as entertainer. I've just done a show in Surinam before a 12,000-strong audience. They didn't know our language. But they enjoyed themselves. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable performing in any part of the world. Pakistan and India have very similar people and cultures. I've a lot of relatives in Pakistan. My cousins live there. Pakistan is a lot like India. That's what we said in Veer-Zara. Whatever the reasons might've been for the two countries to be separated are far beyond the comprehension of simple souls like you and I.

    Everyone from Bollywood in Pakistan is asked when you're visiting them.

    That's very humbling and sweet. I'll go whenever I'm called. We need to work out the nitty-gritty...sponsors, organizers, etc. There're talks...I won't go as merely a goodwill ambassador but an entertainer. I'm already a goodwill ambassador. I don't need to prove that. I'd like to go to Pakistan for a show to tell the people I've come to entertain them. I can't separate my two roles as goodwill ambassador and entertainer. One role automatically follows the others.

    Your Temptations tour of the US and UK were far more successful than other recent Bollywood shows abroad.

    I wouldn't know. I can't compare my shows to others. I can only compare the 'Temptations' tour to my earlier concerts. Commercially and creatively, I'd say this world concert was far more successful than what I've done in the past. And I don't mind doing it again.

    Did Veera-Zara and Swades gave you a chance to be different?

    I think the difference is in the media's head. I think I'm different in each of my films. To me it seems anyone who says I'm different in Veer-Zara or Swades is only recognizing what I've done in all my films. Those who don't understand cinema or acting would see the difference only when it's in-your-face, as it is in Veer-Zara, where the guy is hundred percent different. The nuances of acting are completely apparent only to the actor. It's very difficult for the outsider to cotton on fully to what an actor does on screen, good or bad. This applies to every profession. I mean I wouldn't really know about the craft of journalism, would I? Though I'm penning my thoughts in a book that would out soon.


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