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One of the privileges of the great is to witness catastrophes from a terrace.
I like to sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee on the terrace and read a book. I like to travel the world - and I'm lucky to see so much through cycling.
Some people say, 'Shah Rukh, you work so hard. Why don't you sit back with a glass of red wine or go out on the terrace for a smoke?' But that's not me.
Shah Rukh Khan
There was a time in my life when I was going in and out of houses that were extraordinarily different - from a working-class terrace in Northampton to the homes of friends who were really very wealthy. It was quite an odd position to be in, I realise looking back, and quite a nice one.
At home in Ghaziabad, everyone is a pure vegetarian. In fact, when I want to cook non-veg there, my mum shoos me out on the terrace where I have my cooking utensils. I'm told categorically that whatever non-veg or egg, etc., that I have to cook, I should do upstairs and not enter her kitchen at all.
But Portugal has a peaceful feel about it. I sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyard there and I feel cut off from the world. You need that sort of thing.
When I see a slippery slope, my instinct is to build a terrace.
I enjoy passing time in my house. I'll get up, head out on the terrace, think about what to do, fool around oiling the floorboards or hanging pictures askew.
They look outside the windows of their apartment in town and realize they're not living in a terrace anymore. This is a room full of dreamers who like to go to London for a day.
In the two-room flat where I live in Japan, I try to take time every day to step away from the bombardment of e-mails and opportunities and papers around my desk, for an hour, and just sit on our 30-inch terrace in the sun, reading something sustaining, whether 'The Age of Innocence' or the latest by Colm Toibin.
I grew up playing with kids from Hurt Village, playing with kids from other housing projects, Lamar Terrace, because my grandmother lived in that particular area. So, I always wondered how I would have turned out if I would have lived in that particular given circumstance.
When you do movies on low budgets, you don't want to have a location that requires a very big light right outside the window when you're 10 stories up. You have to find a location where you have a terrace outside, or you can light from a second floor, or you can light through the windows for daylight.
Coming eyeball to eyeball with a hummingbird on my terrace is as exciting to me as any celebrity I've met as a result of 'Downton Abbey.'
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