x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

SRK's got the moves, and so have the kids

Ra.One star surprises hearing-impaired youngsters by giving them an impromptu lesson in his dance style at charity dinner.

Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor dance to the song Chammak Challo from their new movie Ra.One with students from the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre at a charity dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor dance to the song Chammak Challo from their new movie Ra.One with students from the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre at a charity dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

DUBAI // Shah Rukh Khan thrilled nine hearing-impaired children when he showed them his hip-swivelling Bollywood moves at a charity dinner in Dubai.

The movie star leapt on stage to join the students from the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre who had practised for more than a week to replicate Khan's steps. The star of Indian cinema was in town for the world premiere of his big-budget superhero movie, Ra.One.

"This is extremely touching," Khan told the students on Monday night. "This is the best part of the whole movie that we have made."

As Khan and the audience clapped in time to Chammak Challo, sung by American hip-hop artist Akon in Khan's new movie, the students danced - to music they could not hear.

Then Khan hopped on to the stage, asked for the song to be played again and gyrated to the music while encouraging the students to copy his tricky dance moves.

"The children are so excited, they are flying high," said Mohammed Yunnes, a dance and drama teacher from the Rashid Centre.

"They are big fans so it was like their dream to dance with him. They were shocked when he jumped up and he was shocked that they are hearing-impaired. They can't really hear the music, but they can feel the music so they were actually acting out his dance."

"I'm very happy he came to Dubai - happy to see his smile, his face," said an excited Zia ul Huq, a 14-year-old pupil from Pakistan who impersonated Khan's character in the dance.

Another student, Mehek Mansuklal, 15, danced the part of Khan's lead actress Kareena Kapoor, who also joined them on the stage.

A star-struck Mehek had prepared a large yellow card titled "Autograph please!" and decorated it with pictures of Khan and Kapoor. She was thrilled that both actors danced with her and signed her card.

"I like him because he is cute," said a beaming Mehek. "He is someatimes funny. I see all his movies in theatres and some in my home."

Fans paid between Dh1,000 to Dh2,000 to attend the charity dinner - Khan's last function in Dubai before he headed to premières in London and Toronto.

The event raised Dh30,000 towards building a workshop where children at the Rashid Centre will learn carpentry and sewing.

The money was raised in the auction of an autographed action figure of Khan's character in Ra. One, G.One.

The Dh73 million budget movie tells the story of G.One who uses bolts of electricity to fight off a challenge from the villain Ra.One, played by Arjun Rampal.

Khan, Rampal along with Indian actresses Kapoor and Shahana Goswami signed autographs and shook hands with fans who yelled out their names and crowded around the stage at the Grand Hyatt hotel.

Marium Othman, the director of the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre, said she hoped people in the Emirates would spare time for special needs children in the same way the Bollywood actors did during their packed Dubai schedule.

"Shah Rukh is a superstar and Kareena and Arjun are really famous but they still found time to think of our children," said Ms Othman. "People like to imitate actors, so they should also imitate these good qualities."

The money raised at the dinner would be used to construct a workshop for students who have completed their education but needed to develop other skills, she said.

rtalwar@thenational.ae