What do you say about Shah Rukh Khan that hasn't already been said? That he is the most stupefying phenomenon to happen to India after Amitabh Bachchan? That he has become the biggest brand name in the history of Indian cinema? That there is no stopping this Khan's incredible rise to fame? What do you say about Shah Rukh that hasn't already been said?

I chose to take a fresh look at the milestones in the career graph of the star!

1987-88: Shah Rukh Khan, a product of Barry John's theatre group in Delhi, bursts on to the small screen with Fauji. He is cast as an army brave heart and makes immediate impact. Is hailed as an upcoming star by the television fraternity Aziz Mirza's Circus and Dil Dariya follow soon after. Far away in Mumbai, unknown to Shah Rukh, he has caught the attention of top producers.

1990: Shah Rukh bags his first film with Mani Kaul, called The Idiot. 1991, he loses his mother. Later, he will admit that it was his mother's death that eventually pushed him into Bollywood.

Shah Rukh packs his bags and moves to Mumbai. Bollywood has sniffed out the future star's arrival. Within a day, Shah Rukh lands three major films with Hema Malini, G.P. Sippy and Rakesh Roshan.

1992: Shah Rukh Khan pumps Bollywood with four blockbusters, a year after he arrives in Mumbai. Raj Kanwar's Deewana releases to packed houses in june.

Two months later, he has Rajesh Mehra's Chamtakar. Industry barons sit up in surprise as this Naseer-Shah Rukh-Urmila starrer sets the cash registers resounding. Shah Rukh smugly follows this up with more hits like Aziz Mirza's Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and Hema Malini's Dil Anshna Hai. He is grudgingly acknowledged as having ARRIVED...and in doing so flags off the Khan mania!

1993: Rakesh Roshan's King Uncle with Shah Rukh making a special appearance, is thumbed down. But giving Shah Rukh an upper in the same year, is Kundan Shah's KabhieHaanKabhieNaa, releasingto great critical acclaim. The critics dub his performance 'a marvel, which just misses being world class. But 1993 still has to see Shah Rukh do the unimaginable... He plays negative characters in both Baazigar and Darr, and walks away with thundering applause! Shah Rukh indulges his taste for pain and also makes sure that the films turn out to be the biggest grossers of the year....

PS: Very few people know that Shah Rukh turned distributor with Kabhie Haan Kabhie Naa. He also takes up the distribution rights of 0 Darling Yeh Hai India, later in 1995.

1994: The actor tries recreating the Darr dream, with Madhuri Dixit this time. Realises, it won't work every time. Moves onto...

1995: Yash Chopra's Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, where he plays the chocolate hero. With Karan Arjun, Shah Rukh moves into the mainstream masala genre. The actor's dramatic turn around after doing negative roles, is unconditionally accepted by Indian audiences.

1997: Koyla with Shah Rukh playing the bonded laborer, flops. But in the same breath, Shah Rukh has two resounding victories in Dil To Pagal Hai and Pardes. Subhash Ghai and Yash Chopra go on record to tout Shah Rukh as the next superstar, one of their all-time favorites.

1998: The year opens indifferently for Shah Rukh Yash Johar's Duplicate and Mani Ratnam's are both cold turkey at the box-office Shah Rukh goes on record to say that he holds these films very dear. But the latter half of 1998, has a huge surprise in store for him..... Best buddy, Karan Johar s Kuch kuch hota hai, is a thorough tearjerker. The media the audience the industry Kutch kutch is unanimously declared a HIT! He proves yet again, that the law of averages exists where he is concerned.

1999: Shah Rukh turns producer with Phir bhi dil hai hindustani His company is called (typically) Dreamz Unlimited was started with Aziz Mirza and Juhi Chawla for partners Shah Rukh maintains that Dreamz Unlimited was started with all three of them pooling in Rs 500,000 each Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani is yet another turning point in Shah Rukh s graph.

2000: The millennium will see Shah Rukh working with Yash Chopra, Mansoor Khan David Dhawan, Adeyaman, Sanjay Leela Bhansali Shashilal Nair, Karan Johar. Ask Shah Rukh if he would call himself the biggest star of the 90s and he smiles Star of the 90s? Make that the star of 2010 or better still, 2020!'' Touché to that, Mr. Khan!


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