Bollywood is a hilarious community all in itself. There is a sense of uneasiness from the Bollywood fraternity when an outsider tries to break in and make his name. The same fraternity when faced with allegations of nepotism from the outsiders who have made a name in the industry cry foul and shield their ‘family’ which have been in the business since generations. Shahrukh Khan was an outsider in this family once, a Delhi boy who made it big in the industry. It would have been understandable if Shahrukh Khan would have given a talk about his struggles in the initial days of his career but his daughter today would not be considered an outsider by any means. Therefore, when the first public interview given by Suhana Khan is full of her ‘struggles’, it is bound to raise some eyebrows.
In an interview given to Vogue magazine, Suhana opens up about how she realised that her dad was not the usual dad. The attention he received when he dropped her off at school opened Suhana’s eyes about his stardom. It is understandable that every person has his or her own set of challenges, but her challenges were unique. Shahrukh’s stardom and fan following ensured that Suhana Khan did not get a breather from public attention, quite understandable, but isn’t it hypocritical coming from a girl who gets her first shoot done with Vogue just because of the same attention his dad had ensured for her. She is not a struggler and she doesn’t need to be one in the industry today. People, at least in India, will recognise and follow her words like a commandment, all thanks to her star kid status. Through sheer ignorance of how the world functions and how the common people struggle to survive Suhana Khan and the interviewer term her privileged life as one ‘full of struggles.’
In her own words, “I realised quite early on that it was different for us. But I never really thought about my dad being famous. When I was about five, he would come and drop me to school, and people would point and stare. He wasn’t being addressed as Suhana’s dad, which is what I wanted. It confused me. He would want to hug me, and I would push him back in the car. I hated the attention, it made me very self-conscious.”
A car is a luxury, family vacations and shopping trips in exotic locations is a luxury for an average Indian family but Suhana Khan grew up thinking of these as prerequisites. Had she ever taken the time out to mingle with the people who watch her dad’s cinema and will likely flock to see her on the big screen, she would have known how difficult it is to make a living in this world. Landing a movie project would not be a big deal for her, a common girl of her age though, would have to do plenty of compromises, possibly face casting couch and would have to waste years to make the right contacts. Let alone the struggles of earning a living in Mumbai with the high cost of living, competition and the pitiable living conditions in the city of dreams.
There are no second chances for ordinary people in the Bollywood circles. If you fail once you might as well be finished. Suhana Khan wouldn’t have to face those and this is due to no fault of hers. Nobody has the authority to question Suhana Khan or Shahrukh Khan for the head start she gets in the film industry but again she should not belittle the others who didn’t make the cut. It is no fault of her that she was born in the family of a self-made man but then again her being called a struggler despite her privileged life would be belittling the hard work of the others who tried and failed numerous times and many who ultimately quit without ever achieving what she has already inherited.