First of all, who is Shah Rukh Khan, and why does it mean so much for me and my dad to meet him?
If you are not a Bollywood fan, you might not already know that Shah Rukh Khan is an influential and powerful Indian actor. He was also one of the world’s highest-paid actors in 2015 according to Forbes.
My dad and I have a lot of things in common. Film is one of our passions. Our go-to film would always be a Bollywood comedy/drama/musical one because its hybrid and uplifting content pleases everyone in the family.
The story of how I met Shah Rukh Khan is rooted in my dad’s youth. In May 1975, when my dad was only 18 years old, he took a 12-day train ride to Varna (Bulgaria) from Hanoi (Vietnam). He spent more than 4 years studying and working in Varna before coming back to Hanoi for good. He had always loved Bulgaria very much and yearned for another visit to this country.
My dad had always said that one day he would take me to Bulgaria and show me how beautiful the beaches of Varna were. So I added Varna to my travel bucket list.
In July 2015, we finally made it to Bulgaria, and it was our first Europe trip together. Before arriving in Varna (where we recreated the photo of my dad and granddad), we visited our relatives in the capital Sofia.
In the evening of the 18th of July 2015, our relatives spontaneously took us to a shopping mall. While hanging out in a stationery store, I suddenly saw someone who looked a lot like Shah Rukh Khan. I stayed calm. I called my dad. We both confirmed that was indeed Shah Rukh Khan.
We approached the actor. I asked if he was Shah Rukh Khan. His bodyguard stopped us but Shah Rukh Khan reassured the guard. I asked if we could take a photo with him. Shah Rukh Khan nodded his head. I immediately introduced that we were his fans from Vietnam. Then the guard took one photo for the three of us. Only one photo, and it was not blurry.
No one else in the store recognized Shah Rukh Khan. My dad and I met the actor in a casual and quiet setting. We were absolutely over the moon because it took us zero effort to meet our idol.
Not until we found out that Shah Rukh Khan had been in Bulgaria to work on his 2015 film Dilwale did we believe that we had not been dreaming. We did not know that 2 days before we met him, Shah Rukh Khan had posted about his time in Bulgaria on his Twitter.
Connecting with the past and loving your parents will bring you incredible surprises that you would want to treasure forever. Everything seems possible.
Unexpectedly meeting the King of Bollywood in Sofia and effortlessly taking a photo with him was a surreal and unforgettable moment. This once-in-a-lifetime encounter all started with my dad’s natural longing for his time in the beautiful Bulgaria.
Most importantly, that was the peak of our unbreakable father-and-daughter bond.