Amitabh Bachchan once said that his first impression of Shah Rukh Khan was that he speaks very fast, because he thinks very fast.
Given Khan's witty statements in his interviews, press conferences and chat shows all these years, we dare not disagree with Bachchan on his observation.
It was a custom-made role for Khan when Gauri Shinde cast him in a slice-of-life film, Dear Zindagi, in the role of a therapist. Along with the dialogues, the mere presence of Khan on the screen was therapeutic.
To see him dish out all the gyan felt organic as he has been doing so even off-screen, including at the four universities he was invited to deliver speeches at, at various times in the past.
To add to that list, he has now been invited to give a speech at Oxford University.
The principal of the prestigious institute, Alan Rusbridger tweeted to Khan inviting him to address the students at the Lady Margaret Hall of the university:
— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) November 28, 2016
While Khan is yet to respond to the invitation, in the event of a 'yes', it will be the fifth such occasion when the superstar has been honoured by an international university. Here are excerpts from his best speeches at institutes of higher learning:
At University of Edinburgh
"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."
At Dhirubhai Ambani International School
"When I was 10, my father gave me an old chess set. The first thing it teaches you, is that every move has its consequences. Not a single moment of living is empty. Sometimes in order to move forward, you need to take a few steps back. Don't always choose what is more desirable if something tells you it's going to get you into a whole lot of trouble. Don't forget the little ones — the small pawns. Life is like that. If you are foolish enough to imagine that the little graces you are given are of no value, you end up nowhere. When you look around you, learn to look at the tiniest things that make your life special and privileged."
At Yale University
"When you are in this place of despair, where the world is staring you down into yourself — there's only one thing you can do to survive — hang on to who you are inside. The world will be unkind to you, it will not be able to see you. You must learn at such times to be able to see yourself."
Along with these three universities, Khan was also honoured with the Order of Arts and Literature by the French government for his "exceptional career". Khan charmed the audience there as well, by delivering a significant portion of his speech in French. Khan was also given an honourary doctorate in arts and culture by University of Bedfordshire, UK. On that occasion, Khan displayed his wit and humour by saying that it took him quite some time to convince his children that he will not be getting a stethoscope since he is going to become a doctor.
Oxford University is arguably the most prestigious university that has invited him for a speech. Going by his track record, we are sure that Khan will not disappoint if he accepts the invitation.