When Shah Rukh Khan together with Imtiaz Ali and Anushka Sharma decided to head to Varanasi he asked Bhojpuri cinema’s superstar Manoj Tiwari to play host.
Says Manoj, “I was at a Bhojpuri film festival in London when I got a call from Shah Rukh Bhai. He said he was going to Varanasi for promotions, and would I join them? Without a second thought, I flew back from London and headed for Varanasi not only to join Shah Rukh Bhahi, Imtiaz Ali Bhai and Anushka Sharmaji, but also to play their host on Monday while they visited the Holy City.”
On Monday for a good 6-7 Manoj Tiwari had a blast with Shah Rukh. “By asking me to join them he not only honoured me but the entire Bhojpuri film industry.I made sure Shah Rukh Bhai and his colleagues had a fun time in Varanasi. The crowds in the city went berserk when Shah Rukh bhai and I danced to Bhojpuri songs.”
All the security arrangements were taken care of by Manoj Tiwari. “I made sure nothing would go wrong during their visit. I didn’t want Shah Rukh Bhai to feel he made a mistake coming to Varanasi.”
Interestingly Manoj and Shah Rukh have been friends for a long time.
Says Manoj fondly, “In fact I sang a song for Shah Rukh in his film Fan. And now in Varanasi I did a live Bhojpuri version of one of the songs in Jab Harry Met Sejal. The crowds loved it.”
Manoj describes Shah Rukh as very inspiring. “He told me to not give up on Bhojpuri cinema. I’ve been pretty much taken up with my political activities. I’ve cut down on Bhojpuri films. Shah Rukh Bhai made realize I need to get back to cinema, do at least a few good Bhojpuri films. Shah Rukh Bhai said, ‘You do a Bhojpuri film. I’ll make a guest appearance in it.’ In fact Imtiaz Bhai also offered all help to revive Bhojpuri cinema. I am grateful to them for motivating me. Imagine what the fate of Bhojpuri cinema would be if Shah Rukh Khan were to join hands with me.”