Shah Rukh Khan
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; July 15, 2017)

Jab Harry Met Sejal has Shah Rukh Khan playing the role of a tour guide, a first in his 25-year-long career. Yesterday, the actor was in Jodhpur to accept the Honorary Membership conferred to him by the Jodhpur Tourist Guide Association. Since it’s King Khan we’re talking about, his welcome too was king size. The superstar was welcomed with a Rajasthani pagdi upon landing in the city.

Khan then toured across the usual haunts — Umaid Bhawan Palace and Mehrangarh Fort, and took in the local flavour by gorging on Dal Baati Churma, Pyaaz Kachori and Mirchibada.

Having closely studied tourist guides for his role in the Imtiaz Ali film, Khan said that he finds many similarities between their lives and that of an actor. Speaking to mid-day, he said, “When a guide is showing a place to a tourist, he speaks of it with utmost interest and excitement. It doesn’t matter to him that he visits the same place everyday. He wants to make it a memorable experience for the tourist.” Khan added, “An actor’s job is similar. We do the same work every day, but what matters to us is the pleasure we derive when the audience goes back happy from theatres.”

Known as the King of Romance in Bollywood, Khan will be seen wooing Anushka Sharma in the film as they traverse through the picturesque locales of Europe. “I hope Jab Harry Met Sejal reminds all guides of their love stories. I’ve tried to imbibe the intricacies of a guide. I believe I’ve come close to what these guys do in real life.”

This marks Khan’s first collaboration with Ali. The director, who is known for developing nuanced characters, thinks Harry is a deeply layered one. “Harinder Singh Mehra is a tour guide in Europe. He shows people exquisite travel destinations, but he doesn’t have an inkling of what he is looking for. He can’t find peace and that makes him bitter.”