He is on the top, but feels lonely. He has all the luxuries of life and the love of his family, friends, millions of his fans, but all that superstar Shah Rukh Khan craves for is a day of his life just for himself.
"I want one day of my life for myself, but who do I take it from? Even when I am free, I can't expect everyone to spend time with me, because their lives are going on. So at times you do get lonely," Shah Rukh said.
Along with his professional commitments, the 47-year-old has so much on his plate on a daily basis that he often finds it hard to spend quality time with his family and friends.
"It's lonely not because it's sad, it's just that the work takes a lot of time. Your life gets dedicated to others. I have to do so much in a day. I would like to go and sit with my friends, but when I go somewhere, there are 40 people who want to meet me. So I have to dedicate that private time to public," he said.
Apart from being a successful, A-list Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh endorses several brands; is the CEO of motion picture production and distribution company Red Chillies Entertainment, and the animation studio Red Chillies VFX; and is also co-owner of Indian Premier League (cricket) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
Caught amidst his shooting, promotional and business work, the actor admits he often misses the smaller joys of life. Even going for a movie with his wife Gauri Khan and children - Aryan (15) and Suhana (12) - is sometimes a task.
"I feel, because you start catering to other people more than your personal life, you don't have any personal life left. My family doesn't take me with them to watch a film. They are like 'you get disturbed and so do we'. You realise that the personal life and small things get taken away from you. So you find that personal life in your work, like working with a friend," he said.
In his film career of two decades, Shah Rukh has been a part of over 70 movies including "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge", "Pardes", "Yes Boss", "Dil To Pagal Hai", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Chak De! India" and "My Name is Khan".
He is now awaiting the release of "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (JTHJ), the last directorial of late filmmaker Yash Chopra. Shah Rukh had a strong association with Chopra, whose sudden demise Oct 21 affected the actor in many ways.
"It makes you realise your mortality. It makes you realise that life will not be forever. No matter how big a man is, he cannot escape death. It makes you realise that even good people have to pass away," said Shah Rukh, who is happy that Chopra "passed away without any pain".
"If it was for my father, I would wish him the same," he added.
No one can direct a film like Yash Chopra, who used to weave his experience and his personality into his movies, says the filmmaker's last hero, Shah Rukh.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)