The 'badshah' of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday.
The Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) star received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal in Edinburgh.
Khan, who has appeared in more than 80 films, was presented with the degree in recognition of his outstanding record of philanthropy, altruism and humanitarianism and his global reach as an actor.
He is known for his charitable work which includes bringing solar power to rural villages in India, creating a children's ward at a Mumbai hospital and supporting relief funds to assist areas devastated by tsunamis.
"It is a pleasure to be honoured by the University of Edinburgh and tread in the footsteps of so many of the world's illustrious thinkers, leaders and personalities. To have the opportunity to address one of the most esteemed educational institutions in the world is a special moment," said Khan, after receiving the honour.
"I look forward to the University continuing on its path as a great civic university, demonstrated by its partnership with India, addressing health, academic and research excellence and social justice. I hope that many more of India and South Asia's brightest minds get a chance to learn, think and grow at Edinburgh."
Shah Rukh also gave a public lecture, which was attended by the University's South Asian students.
Here are SRK's seven most important lessons. You can read the text of his entire speech here.
Eamonn McCormack via Getty Images
"So here’s my first life lesson, inspired by the movie title Deewana: Madness (of the particularly nice/romantic kind) is an absolute prerequisite to a happy and successful life. Don’t ever treat your little insanities as if they are aberrations that ought to be hidden from the rest of the world. Acknowledge them and use them to define your own way of living the only life you have. All the most beautiful people in the world, the most creative, the ones who led revolutions, who discovered and invented things, did so because they embraced their own idiosyncrasies. There’s no such thing as “normal”. That’s just another word for lifeless."
"If you ever find yourself cheated of all your money and sleeping on a grave, do not fear, a miracle is near, either that or a ghost.
All you have to do is fall asleep! In other words, no matter how bad it gets, life IS the miracle you are searching for. There is no other one around the corner. Develop the faith in it to let it take its own course, make all the effort you can to abide by its beauty and it will not let you down. Use every resource you have been given, your mental faculties, the ability of your heart to love and feel for those around you, your health and good fortune: all of the thousands of gifts life has given you to their maximum potential. Honour your life. Honour each gift and each moment by not laying it to waste. There is no real measure of success in this world except the ability to make good of life’s endowments to you."
Karwai Tang via Getty Images
"Darrmeans fear in Hindi and everyone always tells you that you ought to be brave so I’m not going to bore you with that idea. Instead let me tell you this: Being brave means being shit scared all the way to the party but getting there and doing the Funky Chicken in front of all your teenage kid’s friends anyway. Let me just add on behalf of all the fathers of the world who have embarrassed their children by doing this…it takes a lot of bravery resolve and grit to do this.
So do it. Don’t let your fears become boxes that enclose you. Open them out,feel them and turn them into the greatest courage you are capable of. I promise you, nothing will go wrong. But if you live by your fears, everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong and you wont even have done the Funky Chicken."
"Life lesson number four rears its head: Give of yourself to others. And while you’re at it, make sure you realise that you aren’t doing anyone any favours by being kind. It’s all just to make you feel that sneaky little twinge that comes from being utterly pleased with yourself. After all, the one that gets the most benefit out of any act of kindness or charity that you do will always be you. I don’t say this, as many see it, in a transactive or karmic way. Its not an “I do good, I get benefit” equation with some white bearded figure taking notes from the heavens above. It’s a simple truth. An act of goodness becomes worthless when you assign a brownie point to yourself for it, no matter how subtly you allow yourself to do so. As benevolent as your gesture might be; someone else could have made it too.Regardless of how rich, successful and famous you become, don’t ever underestimate the grace that other people bestow upon you just by being the recipients of your kindnesses. You might be able to buy your friend a Rolls for his/her birthday but its no substitute for a patient hearing of your sulky rants on a bad hair day."
"When life hits you with all the force of its resplendent rage, the Rolls isn’t going to give you comfort. A friend’s grace will, and if you can’t find resolution as easily as you would like to, don’t panic. Everything evolves as you go along, Chalte- Chalte as we say in Hindi (and yes, that was another movie I did but no more mad plots for God’s sake!!)
Even disasters eventually resolve themselves. Give life the space to move at its own pace, pushing it ahead only by way of being kind to yourself when you are hurting or in despair. You don’t always have to figure things out or find an explanation for the circumstances you are in."
"All the names you give yourself, or those that others call you, are just labels. You are not defined by them no matter how flattering or uncomplimentary they are. What defines you is your heart.
Ask The Artist Formerly Known As Prince!! And learn a thing or two from him, if you don’t believe this insanely sexy Indian Superstar standing in front of you. And I say this out of experience because if I was to go by what all I am called on Social Media I would be an old desperate manipulative has been star who swings both ways while making crap movies, and these are just the good mentions."
STRDEL via Getty Images
"Whatever it is that is pulling you back, its not going away unless you stand up and start forging your own path with all your might in the opposite direction. Stop whining and start moving, so to speak. Sadness and happiness have the same quality of transience. Life is a balanced exchange of one with the other. And this is lesson number eight: Don’t attach yourself to either, they’re both going to change with the same certitude. Take them with the ephemeral spirit of their impermanence and manage them with a healthy dose of good humour. Laugh at yourself when you are despairing, shed a tear or two when one of my movie plots makes you hysterical with laughter."
(With inputs from PTI)
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