Except for a few voices, there is an eerie silence in Bollywood on the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the Mumbai drugs bust case. As Aryan spent the weekend in Arthur Road jail, there was an array of questions in Bollywood circles: Why is it taking so long to get bail? Why have they kept him in jail if they haven’t found any drugs on him? Is he being targeted because he’s Shah Rukh Khan’s son? These questions might not have immediate answers, but Bollywood is definitely riled up with what it considers the latest in a series of attacks on the fraternity.
Despite being one of the most recognised faces in the country, 23-year-old Aryan has primarily been a recluse and mostly kept a low profile. Unlike his superstar dad, he doesn’t attend award shows, hates being papped, and even made his social media page private a few years ago. While a lot of reactions from big stars and SRK’s friends have been muted, a few names like director Sanjay Gupta, his one-time co-star Pooja Bhatt, and actor-politician Raj Babbar came out and spoke in Aryan’s favour.
So what exactly is happening behind the shiny marbled walls of Mannat? India Today spoke to a close friend of the family who revealed that both SRK and Gauri are devastated from the day the news broke. The source revealed, “It didn’t dawn on them that this will go on for such a long time. While the news of the arrest sent shock waves through the industry, SRK immediately sought legal advice on the matter dialling up some of the best experts in the country. Satish Maneshinde was approached, and he gave SRK the confidence that Aryan would be out sooner than expected. However, that wasn’t the case as the court rejected his bail plea on the grounds that it was ‘unmaintainable’ and that news really shook the family.”
The source adds that Gauri’s brother Vikrant Chibber and his wife Namita have rallied around her to give support. Bollywood friends like Maheep Kapoor and Seema Khan met a distraught Gauri and consoled her. Other friends like Hrithik Roshan’s ex-wife Sussanne Khan took to social media to offer support. In fact, Hrithik was one of the first big names to come out in SRK’s favour and offer Aryan some comfort.
The source adds that Shah Rukh Khan has been spending sleepless nights, following up the case and maintaining contact with NCB officials on his son’s well-being. “Gauri and SRK make multiple calls through the day to check on his health. Even though there is no direct access to Aryan, information on his well-being is conveyed to the family. There even was a request made to send home-cooked meals and his personal belongings to Aryan.”
On the professional front, Shah Rukh Khan has put all his work on hold. India Today was the first to report that SRK has put the Spain schedule of his film with Deepika Padukone on hold. Shah Rukh was shooting for Atlee’s film with actor Nayanthara days before the ship raid.
The source adds that SRK is not likely to issue any official comment or statement on Aryan till the dust settles and he’s back home. The family is contemplating what future course of action he will take. Will Aryan move to the US or the UK to continue his social life? Or will he stay in India is something that the family will decide once he’s out.
The source adds that the family feels let down by the legal system and delays. Also, a lot of actors who reached out to SRK have kids of their own and wonder if they could be the next targets. “This arrest has proved that no one is safe, and it could be any other star son or daughter in the coming days. To live in fear or to have an open social life is a choice that every celebrity kid will have to make,” the source said.