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When director Anand Mahendroo said Shah Rukh's career would go nowhere

The two had met for the first time in the late 1980s. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Keyur Seta

Filmmaker Karan Johar has revealed that he had met actor Shah Rukh Khan in the 1980s, much before their first interaction on the sets of Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun (1995).

While speaking about his upcoming production Ittefaq, Johar recalled the time when he had gone to audition for a television series. “I went for a screen test for a TV serial that I was acting in. It was called Indradhanush (1989). I was sitting in a room. It was 10 o’clock and the director was Anand Mahendroo. He hadn’t stepped out till about 2 pm. Opposite me was a man who was drinking tea and doing crossword for four hours. I didn’t know who he was,” he said. 

He continued, “Anand Mahendroo walks out after four hours, goes across the room to this gentleman who was standing. He said, ‘So sorry main late ho gaya.’ But this man just stood up and said, ‘No no, it’s okay I like the tea in your office and I wanted to finish the crossword. And I don’t want to do this serial. I just came to tell you that.’ He (Mahendroo) said, ‘You waited four hours to tell me you don’t want to do the serial?’ He said, ‘Ya, I just like the tea in your office.’” 

After Khan left, Mahendroo spoke to Johar about him. “He said, ‘Look at that man. You know who he is?’ I said, ‘No, who is he?’ He said, ‘He is an actor called Shah Rukh Khan. He has done a serial called Fauji and he is stupid to let go (of the opportunity),” added Johar. 

Mahendroo then decided to cast another actor and said something nasty about Khan's career. “He said, ‘Look at this man (while showing the picture of the other actor). I am going to make him a big star. He is going to do it. Shah Rukh Khan ka kuch nahin hoga [SRK’s career won’t go anywhere].’”