Shah Rukh Khan's fairytale rise to superstardom started with a TV serial — Fauji — that saw him portray a young and free-spirited soldier, Abhimanyu Rai. Incidentally, he wasn't the first choice for the role.
After his father's demise, Khan was looking for a smaller house for the family and around the time found an owner whose father-in-law was producing a show (Fauji). But the role he was first offered wouldn't have made him the star he is today.
"When I went there, Colonel Kapoor (Producer-director) offered me this sweet role, where I make a mistake and the Major would ask me to go a tree and count the number of crows in it. Once I reveal there are four, he asks me to be 'Saavdhaan'. I was embarrassed to go back and tell my mother that my role was all about counting crows," he told the media on the sidelines of a book launch.
What changed? The producer's son, who was also the cinematographer, had been signed up as lead, but he could work on only so much and that was when Khan came into the picture.
"The colonel couldn't find a replacement in time, so he said, 'Hey, you. You are the one. You are good, jolly good. Come on. Go there.' And I became Abhimanyu Rai, overnight. And he was the nicest to me. All of them treated me like family," the Dear Zindagi actor added.
This nuggets of information is additional to the heavily-detailed book — SRK 25 Years of a Life — that Khan was at the launch of.
In his initial days, Khan had done quite a few TV shows, which are remembered even today. Aziz Mirza's Circus was one of them. His transition into films was unheard of in those times. He started out with supporting roles and played antagonists, the kind people loved to hate.
However, after four years of working on off-beat films, Khan took up Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which was the start of his glorious career at the Hindi film industry.