Kabir Khan, the renowned Indian film director and writer, began his career as a documentary filmmaker and cameraman. When he first arrived in Mumbai, he only knew one person, Shah Rukh Khan. Kabir and Shah Rukh had a connection dating back to their college days at Jamia Millia Islamia University, where Shah Rukh was Kabir's senior.
However, Kabir only knew Shah Rukh as Gauri Khan's boyfriend at the time. Kabir made his directorial debut with the documentary The Forgotten Army in 1999, which centered on the Indian National Army founded by Subhas Chandra Bose. He made his feature film debut with Yash Raj Films' Kabul Express in 2006, starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi. When Kabir came to Mumbai looking for work, he didn't think Shah Rukh would ever agree to be in one of his projects as he was already a big star.
In a recent interview with Humans of Bombay, Kabir revealed that he has known Shah Rukh and Gauri for decades since their time in Delhi. He said,
"Shah Rukh was my senior in Jamia, but I didn't know him as that. I met Shah Rukh more as Gauri's boyfriend. Gauri and I did a production of the musical West Side Story where we were both dancers. West Side Story is the story of two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. We were both in the Sharks. Gauri is a fabulous dancer. I was probably not too bad. We practiced for six months, and Shah Rukh would come and meet her. That's how I got to meet him."
Kabir's latest film was the sports drama 83 in 2021, which depicted the events of the 1983 Cricket World Cup when India won its maiden title. Starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Jiiva, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, and Saqib Saleem, the film was more successful internationally than at the Indian box office.