Shah Rukh Khan’s Mangalore home becomes tourist hub


TOI, 26-08-2013 10:36:18


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Harbour House, which stands in a quiet bylane of the port premises in Panambur, is now a tourist attraction.

SHAR

The sprawling bungalow has gained popularity of late and is seeing both fans and school kids making a beeline to catch a glimpse of it. Located in the high-security zone, the on-duty guards are having a hard time handling the sudden increase in tourist activity.

"Ever since Shah Rukh Khan revealed (in an interview to Bangalore Times) that his grandfather was the chief engineer of the Mangalore Port and that he too lived here, this house has become famous. I served as a guard there and never imagined that one of the grand kids would become such a huge star," says a security officer at the New Mangalore Port.

King Khan was an infant at the time of his grandfather Ifthikar Ahmed’s deputation to the Mangalore Harbour Project. "He arrived here after working on the Sharavathi Dam in Shimoga and was our first chief. He was here from 1963-67, during which time we were closely associated. In my 33 years of service, I can vouch that he was one of the finest officers I ever met," says Nagesh Marol, who was an assistant engineer at the time of Ifthikar’s tenure, and subsequently, retired as chief engineer. The Ahmed family, he says, first resided in the heart of the city at Hat Hill, as the official quarters at the port were still being completed. "After a year, Ifthikar, his wife and daughters moved into the bungalow at Panambur and stayed there till his term ended. Even though he was from Hyderabad, he was conversant in Kannada," says Nagesh. He recalls having once escorted one of Ifthikar’s daughters and her infant to Bangalore. So, was that baby SRK? "It was the boss’ daughter. So, I didn’t even ask her name, forget the baby’s. It could’ve been him, but I never tried to find out," he says. Meanwhile, King Khan’s revelations have created a buzz on Mangalore’s social-networking pages. "The family’s driver Mehmood is still around," said one, while another said how Chennai Express is doing well now that Mangaloreans feel a kinship with him. The port authorities, too, want SRK to visit his childhood home. "He can see first-hand his grandfather’s legendary status," they say.

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