Calcutta (The Telegraph):
Too much of anything is good for nothing.
The Sourav Ganguly-Shah Rukh Khan relationship has been such a hot topic of discussion and debates that it would easily outscore even the spiciest of the Page 3 gossips. Both the parties have encountered queries on the matter either with a straight bat or a smiling face. But enough is enough, thinks Shah Rukh and he has advised the media to grow up on the Sourav issue.
“Can Sourav return as the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders?” — that was precisely the question put forward to Shah Rukh, during a promotional, at a city hotel, on Monday night. Just a few hours before the question was posed, the Knights had lost a match, which was very much for them to win, to the Chennai Super Kings, at the Eden.
Perhaps irritated by the developments of the day and disturbed by the question (which has now surely become one of the most irritating ones to him), the Bollywood superstar decided to confront the issue head-on. “To be honest, you have to outgrow this. If you don’t outgrow this, it is embarrassing not only to us, not only to me… But it is embarrassing for Sourav also,” Shah Rukh said.
Describing how often this question was directed at him, the principal owner of the Knights said: “Every time I come to Calcutta, I am being asked the same question… You bring it up for a few headlines and a few spicy titbits. I think it is little unfair to the great legend that Sourav Ganguly is… Whenever you are bringing up this topic, you are insulting him.”
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His advice for the media was plain and simple: “Grow up please. This is a sport. Let’s play it like a sport. I say this with love and respect to all of you.”
But if you think that Shah Rukh’s answer spoilt the mood of those present, you will be terribly wrong. The Baazigar’s answer was greeted with a loud applause.
Expressing his respect for the former India captain, who was once the chief Knight, Shah Rukh said: “Generally, what I’m saying is we have a lot of love for all the cricketing greats… Personally, I’m the greatest fan of Dada as far as cricket is concerned and I have the utmost respect for him. We have shared some wonderful moments together,” said Shah Rukh.
Friends — is how Shah Rukh chose to describe his relationship with Sourav. “I have known Sourav for many years now. I remember working with him in one of his first commercials. It was great fun. We loved each other’s company and became family friends.”
But how does he feel when he sees his ‘friend’ playing for a rival team? “I wish him all the best whenever he plays… I feel that in whichever team he plays for — whether it’s an IPL team or a domestic team — we should all be cheering for the greatness that he has achieved instead of making him small with these comparisons and belittling the importance of what Sourav has achieved in Indian sports history. He is one of the greatest legends the country will ever see in any sport,” Shah Rukh explained.
And for those who would still like to ask — Can Sourav return as the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders? — here’s what King Khan had to say: “I’m the mentor of this team… The owner of this team… The hero of this team. I’m the God of this team.”
With Shah Rukh around, a ‘filmy’ ending to the night was always on the cards. And no one complained either.