It pains me deeply to say this, but I have a feeling that Shahrukh Khan may have contributed to the creeper culture in India. Now before you pick up your pitchforks, know that I love the man and his work very much too, but there have been many a time when I have watched scenes from his movies and cringed. I realize of course, its not SRK’s doing, its probably more the fault of the writer or director or someone else like that, but I find it uncanny how many SRK movies specifically, have this particular characteristic present in them.
So what am I talking about? Well, have you ever noticed that SRK always seems to have one at least one scene with his actress where he is a tad bit forceful in exerting his opinion on her? In Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham, there’s the scene where he puts the bangles on Kajol’s hand after shushing her and she runs away bashfully as the music to Suraj hua madham begins. In Dil to Pagal Hai, there’s the famous scene where he tells Madhuri to come closer to him “Pas…aur pas” and so on and so forth while she tremblingly obliges him, as if in a trance. Need I mention Dil Se where he was a more than sufficient creeper stalker to her the whole time, as she begged him to stay away? I’m not sure if it is his intense eyes but every time he does a scene of this sort, it reminds me of his role in Anjaam, which was a movie that made me shudder to my core. I’m sure there are several other examples of this intense creeposity littered throughout not just his other movies, but those of other Indian actors as well. Perhaps its tribute to SRK’s acting ability, how realistically creepy he was able to be.
I cannot help but think this probably did not send out a very good message to all the teen and adolescent men who watch and idolize these actors and their ishtyle. Imagine boys and men going out into the world thinking that first off, the only way to gain a woman’s heart is to follow her around from her school to her home to her work and pester her until she finally ‘gives in’ and ‘admits she loves you’ (while its is most likely a variation of Stockholm syndrome). Secondly, that women appreciate this sort of boorish imposition of a guy on her as an act of love as opposed to being really creeped out and probably making a mental note to order some pepper spray as soon as she got home.
I remember thinking as a young child how romantic it was that a guy would pursue a girl that way. While I can understand that the intention was good- yes, most women desire a loyalty in their partner, a willingness to stick by them, despite their mood swings or failures. I do think though, that Indian movies have a tendency to take loyalty one of 2 ways- either they show the whipped husband who feels imprisoned by his wife and desires freedom or as the husband who is realistically, a tad bit too jealous and creepy. Sure women want loyalty, just as men do, but women are going to react the exact same way to the above said people as a man would to a woman who followed him around from home, to school, to work. Not exactly romantic, is it?
In real life, there is a middle ground. A secure person who understands healthy love knows how to be loyal without being totally creepy or a slave to another. Let me quote Bl. John Paul II who said ,“Love consists of a commitment which limits one’s freedom – it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one’s freedom on behalf of another”. Notice how he said true love would consist in cutting off of one’s own freedom for the sake of another, not the other way around.
I can only hope that enough people have encountered real love in their families and amongst true friends so as to realize that the movies are truly fiction, but I fear my experiences have shown that more than one person has believed this romanticization of jealousy and inflicted it on others.Here’s to hoping the next generation will get a more realistic view of healthy love and relationships in their lifetime!