In the movie Billu (2009), Shah Rukh Khan plays the character Sahir Khan, a fictionalized version of himself. This mega-bollywood-star comes to a small village to shoot a portion of his current movie near Budbuda, a town he heard about when he was a child.
The movie itself is a study in contrasts - poor vs. rich, humility vs. egotism, truth vs. fiction.
Billu lives in this small town and, as it turns out, he knew Sahir Khan years ago. But now Billu is living in poor conditions and it has been years since he last saw Sahir and he doubts very much that Sahir would remember him. The people of Budbuda hail Billu as the one person who can bring Sahir to visit with the people. When he fails to do so, the villagers turn on Billu.
Eventually the village school principal manages to meet Sahir and talk him in to coming to address the town at the school's Golden Jubilee Celebration. The whole town shows up, including a reluctant Billu and his wife who arrive after the event begins and are far away from the stage. However, they can clearly hear Sahir's address to the students through the loudspeakers.
Looking at you reminded me of my childhood.
You have good clothes, good books to read and good food.
Maybe you won’t believe me but in my childhood I had none of these things.
My childhood was very ordinary and simple.
I was not the film star Sahir, but just Sahir.
My father was very poor. We had nothing.
But in everyone’s childhood there is someone who makes a definite impression on us.
He becomes a partner in our mischief and shares our troubles.
He’s our friend and companion.
I had a companion who was just like that.
The blessing of my God.
Billu. Billu, my friend.
I still remember, during our lunch-break, children used to eat from their lunch-boxes. I just used to drink water. It was Billu who used to pat my back and give me his lunch.
Billu. My friend.
My hair was as long as a girls’. But I didn’t have money to cut it. It was Billu who cut my hair when his father was not in his shop.
Billu. My friend.
When I used to be sad thinking about my mother, he used to steal money from his father and take me to watch movies.
He was Billu. My friend.
While returning home, he used to get me to mimic characters from movies by promising to buy roasted groundnuts for me. Those evenings and those lanes … Billu had brought out the actor in me.
I didn’t have as much faith in myself as Billu had in me.
One day he sold his gold earring and bought me a ticket to Mumbai. He put the rest of his money in my shirt-pocket. I held his hand and told him that I would return the money. He told me that I didn’t have to return it. I should help the needy with it and remember him when I did. That’s enough.
Then I came to fast-paced Mumbai.
I became Sahir, the film star with no time.
I went back to my village to find him, but I couldn’t find him. Someone told me that he had fallen in love with a girl who didn’t belong to his caste. The villagers were against them so they ran away in fear of their lives. They left the village.
I would like to tell you the truth. I have everything … name, fame, all because of him. Wherever I go, millions of people flock. They call out my name. The air is filled with cries of my name. But even today amongst those millions of voices I search for only one voice.
The voice of my friend, Billu.
Sometimes we have no idea how much we mean to people in our lives. We seem to be unaware of how our life has touched another's and made a significant impact.
Here is the original version of the address as delivered by Shah Rukh Khan.