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The High Tides And Low Tides In The ‘Sea’ Called Salman Khan

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Ali Peter John

I have a strange association with Abdul Rashid Salman Khan (popularly known as Salman Khan). He was born in 1965 when India was fighting its first was being fought and ultimately won by India. It was also the year my elder brother who had joined the Indian Air Force went missing and my mother was first diagnosed for high blood pressure and died the same year. And for me it was a very special year as I had to appear for my SSC exams for which I had to give my Principal(priest called Fr. Jude Fereira) in writing that I would pass in all the seven subjects I would appear for my exams in and in spite of days of starving and walking to the centre of my exams, had passed in the first class with sixty-two percent marks which was considered quite an achievement in those days (compare it to the ninety-nine point seven percent marks hundreds of students get these days) and it was the beginning of a new journey in life for me, a journey I had to navigate myself into.

I and my younger brother were forced to join the boarding school at St. Stanislaus High School in Bandra, but missed being ‘imprisoned’ as the Principal (another priest who my brother and me were sent to buy a cruel aunt who did not want to take the responsibility of taking care of us, her own brother’s sons, had gone on leave and we thanked the good God for it and the aunt did not try to get us admitted again, especially when she came to know the fees she would have to pay. Years later, I came to know that Abdul Rashid Salman Khan and his brothers, Arbaaz and Sohail were sent to the same school which was very close to their house…

I had come to know some people who worked in the film industry and one of them was a man called J.K Bihari who was an assistant to producer K.C Bokaria who was a fan of K.A Asif who had made himself immortal with the making of “Mughal-E-Azam” and was making “Love and God” with Sanjeev Kumar and Nimmi in the roles of lovers. Asif had died before he could even complete a major part of the film and it was his fan,K.C Bokaria who finally released the film which turned out to be a miserable flop.

J.K Bihari wanted to make a film called “Biwi Ho Toh Aise” and had signed Rekha and Farouque Shaikh to play the main role and was looking for a new face to play a young man in the film. Someone has told him about the eldest son of the writer, Salim Khan, who was known to him. Bihari had a talk with his friend, Salim Khan and the lean-looking Abdul Rashid Salman Khan was signed to play that role. The film, however flopped badly and no one thought casting the young man who had now cut down his name to Salman Khan.

It looked like the son would have no future, but it was Sooraj Barjatya who was once the thirteenth assistant of Mahesh Bhatt during the making of “Saransh” who had seen sparks of talent in the Salman Khan of “Biwi Ho Toh Aise”  who took a daring decision to cast Salman in his first directorial venture, “Maine Pyaar Kiya” with Bhagyashree who was the daughter of Vijay Singh, the former Prince of Sangli in Maharashtra, who had done a serial or two week Amol Palekar who was a neighbour with a bungalow of his own (the bungalow has now been turned into a swanky hotel and Amol lives a retired life in Kothrud in Pune. The film, “Maine Pyaar Kiya” turned out to be a massive hit, especially because of the music by Ram-Laxman and the lyrics by Asad Bhopali who used to write in a government liquor shop where a glass of liquor was available for twenty-nine rupees and you could have a choice of liquors like ‘coffee’,‘naarangi’ or ‘mixed fruit’. He was one of the regular customers and sat all through the day and other customers laughed at him when he said he was the poet who had written the songs of “Maine Pyaar Kiya”….

Salman however signed a couple of films which also did not do well. It was while he was shooting for one of these films called “Sooryavanshi” which was being directed by Rakesh Kumar who had directed Amitabh Bachchan in films like “Khoon Pasina”,“Mr Natwarlal”,“Yaaraana” and “Do Aur Do Panch” that I saw Salman for the first time. His face was covered with artificial blood. My over-enthusiastic photographer, R.D Rai went berserk clicking Salman’s pictures till he lost his cool and abused Rai and even threatned to beat him up if he continued taking his pictures. Rai was a die-hard news photographer and threats were not a shock for him. He continued clicking pictures till Salman left the sets.

The incident was brought to the notice of our editor who in a fit of rage decided to ban Salman and soon this ban was imposed by all the other magazines and newspapers and Salman always had a grudge against me till last October after almost thirty years had passed. It was the birthday of Subhash Ghai and he was the last guest to walk in at one am. That night, I decided to try and have a patch-up with him and he gladly agreed.I am now waiting for another meeting to know if he meant what he said that night.

Salman’s charms have always been working wonders ever since he started and I remember how little girls and entire families saw his films like “Andaz Apna Apna” only because of him.

The charm continued growing as he kept working in one big film after another, which also turned out to be big hits and he was ranked among the five most popular, handsome and successful stars.

But, if he had a string of hits, he also had some very miserable flops, especially films like “Tubelight”,“Veer” and “Tere Naam” which was one of his better films with him in one of his best roles, but which was still rejected by the masses, even though the critics appreciated and loved his performances.

He was however not to be given up so easily. He hit back with films like “Wanted”,“Kick”, the “Dabangg” franchise and “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. His last attempt to prove himself as a patriotic hero, “Bharat” also did not appeal to the whole of Bharat and he has now gone back to the “Dabangg” franchise. He was all set to start work on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Inshallah” with Alia Bhatt who was less than half his age, the sets were ready, the shooting was to start. The film was planned as an Eid release like Salman likes all his films to be, but a sudden swing of mood made him find faults in Bhansali’s script and after several discussions, the two men who were once very good friends and had done films like “Khamoshi–The Musical” and “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” decided to shelve the film called “Inshallah”, which means that there will be no film of Salman for his fans to celebrate Eid with him this year. Salman has only one more “Dabangg”  and all the other ambitions and plans are on hold as of now.

Salman has had a number of mishaps in his career, of which the case of his Land Rover running over some people sleeping on the pavements outside his house, killing one and injuring my others and the main witness Ravindra Patil being found murdered made the case very mysterious and intriguing, but he hits still to be seriously affected by it as the courts have been kind to him as people say.

The other serious case in which Salman was involved was the shooting down of cinkaras in the forests of Jodhpur. But this case too has taken its own time and even though Salman has had to spend some time in jail, he is now free on bail.

Salman’s affairs of the heart have also been a serious subject for discussion. He had some stormy affairs with actresses like Somy Ali, Sangeeta Bijlani, Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif, but all of them have ended on a bitter note.

People have often asked why Salman, the most successful and richest star in India is not thinking of marriage and he has put off the questions by saying that he is suffering from a very dangerous disease of the nerves which can even be fatal and he would not like to play with the life of any woman who would marry him. But the truth is something only he knows.

Salman is always known for his goodness and his large-heart and there are hundreds of people in the industry and outside it who thank God for giving them a man like Salman who has helped them in various ways and even in battles between life and death. His trusts, Being Human and the Salman Khan Welfare Trust has been doing great service to deserving cases and especially to the poor, sick and the downtrodden.

He has been doing work that is useful for himself and for all those he wants to be of use to others by being the brand ambassador of several products and causes and by doing reality shows on TV like “Dus Ka Dum” and “Big Boss”.

And if there is one thing that marks out Salman from the other stars, it is his way of going out of his way to help his co-stars and other artists as can be seen the instances below…

He has mentored a number of aspiring actors.He has also been an inspiration for some actors like Hrithik Roshan and Arjun Kapoor to get into perfect shape. Saawan Kumar Tak, the director of “Sanam Bewafa”, was helped by Khan as he worked “Saawan… The Love Season” for free.

He has recommended composers like Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid–Wajid. He supported Sanjay Leela Bhansali to make “Khamoshi: The Musical” and then “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”.Actor Govinda’ s career was rescued by Khan as he was offered a parallel role in “Partner”. Similarly it was Khan who suggested Mohnish Bahl to Sooraj Barjatya for “Maine Pyar Kiya” and later in “Baaghi: A Rebel for Love” after his stint as hero failed.Bahl has also done important roles in Salman’s “Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!”, “Hum Saath-Saath Hain” and “Jai Ho”. Similarly he was instrumental in getting Ravi Kishan the role in “Tere Naam”.

Salman is now reportedly according to whom? mentoring Rinzing, son of Danny Denzongpa: Ali, son of Raza Murad and Vaibhav Anand, the son of late Vijay Anand for their launches. Similarly Aditya Pancholi’ s son Sooraj Pancholi and Suneil Shetty’ s daughter Athiya Shetty were launched by Salman in his production “Hero”.He has also decided to offer Sonu Sood his role in the Hindi remake of Mahesh Manjrekar’s 2010 hit Marathi movie “Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho” since he lost many offers due to an injury that happened in the CCL while playing. Salman has decided to mentor his longtime loyal bodyguard Shera’s son as well. Armaan Kohli, who had a failed career, played a major role with Khan in Sooraj Barjatya’ s “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”.

I know of people who are die-hard Salman fans who never go to bed before saying a prayer for him and I believe it is the prayers of such devoted fans that have taken Salman to such dizzy heights from where he can fall only if he makes mistakes that he knows are mistakes and even blunders. Till then, let Salman enjoy the fruits of his thirty-one year of labour and the love it has resulted in and I can hear the crowd on the streets dancing in a procession to bid farewell to Salman’s favourite God, Ganpati Bappa singing,“Jai Ho, Jai Ho Salman.

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Salman Khan, Maine Pyaar Kiya, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Dabangg, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

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