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As a child Shah Rukh Khan seldom played with toys

In an interview with GQ magazine, the star spoke about his failures while growing up.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Our Correspondent

Today, he is said to be the second richest actor/celebrity in the world with a fortune worth over $600 million. But Shah Rukh Khan has had his fair share of struggles and failures. The actor recently featured on the cover of a popular magazine (GQ India) in January, where he spoke about his failures growing up as a child in New Delhi.

The first failure happened on a racing track. “I remember running a 100 metre race in school [at St Columba’s, Delhi] against boys who were a little older than me. Till that point, I’d been running with boys my age and I was used to being in the lead. In that race, though, I came fifth out of six or seven boys. As soon as the race was over, the school officials rushed over to the winners and whisked them off to the podium. There were people around, but no one came to me. It was the emptiest feeling,” Khan said when asked about his first failure.

Khan has often said he regrets that his parents did not live long enough to see his success. The early loss of his father meant that the actor faced tough times as a child.

“I'm 51. I lost my dad when I was 14 or 15, and my mother when I was 25. That void never gets filled. If you lose your parents too early, you have to grow up too fast. You can’t play with toys, you have to start playing in the real world. I play with my children’s toys now. People find it odd, and think perhaps I’m just a good father, but that’s not true. I’m just a father who didn’t have toys.”

Failures and setbacks are lessons in themselves. Underlying the benefits of failure, the Fan (2016) actor said, “If you fail repeatedly at something, it can tell you that perhaps you’re not cut out for it. It can make you look at a situation more carefully, so you avoid repeating certain mistakes. It strips you of arrogance and can shake you out of your complacency. It can make you more humble and focused. But I think we say these things to make ourselves feel better, because the truth is, failure feels like crap. But it’s also inevitable.”