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Shahrukh seeks Dalai’s blessings for "Ashoka"
The Indian Express

MYSORE -- Enthusiastic Buddhist monks mobbed Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, who flew down to Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement here yesterday, to seek blessings of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama for his new film Ashoka The Great.

Shahrukh Khan shooting for Ashoka The Great.

Khan, casually attired, was escorted into the monastery under tight security and was soon joined by the Lama who later said he had ‘‘blessed Shahrukh and offered him a traditional shawl’’.

Before he knew it, the Josh man was surrounded by hundreds of fans in the Tibetan settlement as Buddhist monks young and old waved at him smiling, hoping to catch the star’s eye.

Later, speaking to The Indian Express, Khan said he wanted Dalai Lama to see the new movie produced by him, to be released in October.

Khan said his period venture, about the king whose patronage saw Buddhism flourish beyond borders, would spread ‘‘the message of peace and love’’.

He said, ‘‘I am not a religious man but I have great respect for all religions’’.

An avid reader of the Dalai Lama’s books, Khan said he had high regard for the exiled Tibetan leader who spends his life propagating peace and love and hinted that he wanted to include his teachings in the film.

‘‘The Lama speaks in the manner our forefathers spoke,’’ he said.
Wishing he had brought his son Aryan to meet one of the sages of this century, he said he would make it ‘‘a point to call on the Dalai Lama with my wife Gowri and children’’.

When asked about his sudden shift to a different genre of films, he said he was always interested in making different kinds of films, especially those that changed people’s notions on love, non-violence and kindness.

Khan said Ashoka The Great was also being dubbed in Tamil and would be released simultaneously in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil actor Ajit of Kaadaluku Mariyade fame and other Tamil artistes figure in his film’s starcast and this prompted him to dub it in Tamil, he said.

‘‘As of now, there are no plans to dub the film in other regional languages, though I had thought of dubbing the film in Malayalam. But it is difficult to make films with low budgets,’’ the actor-turned-producer said.

Refusing to disclose the total budget of the movie, Khan said post production work is still being done. He said the film is ‘‘shot with total involvement’’and he hoped for the best.

Admitting that regional language movie offers did come his way, he said his handicap in picking up languages made him decide not to act in them.


Updated: 4-8-2001

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