Shahrukh Khan was conferred an honorary doctorate in the United Kingdom for his contribution to arts and culture by Bedfordshire University at a ceremony in London last week. In a brief chat from London, SRK reveals what the doctorate means to him. Excerpts...
So Doctorsaab, how does the new tag feel?
Very, very cool. It's an honour which would make a boy's parents very happy, so I am sure my mom and dad must be very proud.
Other Indian stars to have been given honorary doctorates in the UK, including Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar and AR Rahman. Do you think your doctorate has come too late?
Everyone gets what they deserve… and when they deserve it. I am an immensely satisfied and happy person with my life and achievements and always appreciate the achievements of my colleagues.
Is an honorary doctorate better than the many awards you have received as an actor?
The race I run doesn't have a finish line. There are no bests in the standards I set for myself. This doctorate is an absolute delight and matter of pride for me and my family and so are all the other awards, but the fun is in running not finishing the race for me.
The university received your nomination from Routes 2 Roots, an NGO that works towards people-to-people contact across the subcontinent, especially India and Pakistan. Are you aware about what they do?
Yes I am. They explained to me all the work they do and why they felt they should nominate my name.
You've said that you aim to use the award to help educate underprivileged children. How will you do that?
First comes the thought of making your life more meaningful, then the direction you want to take to fulfil the thought. The plans and modalities will follow after that. It is too early to give you the system and processes of the same but I will try and create an environment in my office and people to bring about education opportunities especially for little girls — and do it with as little show and publicity as possible.
Though you got the best student award from one of Delhi's top schools with you never finished a Masters degree. Do you regret not having gone in for higher studies?
Studies and trying to figure out things never end. It would have been good to complete my Masters degree but unavoidable circumstances led to it not being finished. But I don't regret it though.
What subject did you love and hate the most in school?
Biology was my favourite and so was English (Shakespeare). Mathematics was a horror especially as I was terrible in it. I did very well in Physics, Chemistry and National Income Accounting.
What does true knowledge mean to you?
The belief that the more you learn the more you know, the more you know the more you forget, the more you forget the less you know, the less you know the less you forget, the less you forget the more you remember, the more you remember the more you know… and the cycle keeps on going. There is no end to seeking and absorbing knowledge. True knowledge is unfathomable, uncapturable, unknowable… like life. but we got to keep living and just like life that we have to live, we have got to keep striving for knowledge without knowing what it leads to.