★ ‘When I look at myself I am not impressed at all’ -Salman Khan !
Mehul S. Thakkar | August 03, 2014
Mumbai: It’s 7 pm in Mumbai and for a change, Mehboob studios is wearing a deserted look. Salman Khan, dressed in jeans, T-shirt and a cap is sitting in a makeshift tent right outside his vanity van. It’s a relatively relaxed day with not many people around the actor; not even the usual bunch that form part of his entourage. We try to gauge his mood as we settle down for a chat. Because, depending on his mood, the star can talk at length on any topic or dodge simple questions.
His latest film Kick is creating waves at the box office, we ask him if he’s going the Rajinikanth way when it comes to superstardom.
To which he rubs his face with both his hands, looks up at the sky and after a long, dramatic pause says, “I have never been able to understand this; it’s beyond my understanding. I really don’t know how to react to it because when I look at myself, I am not impressed at all. Nowadays, sometimes I am talking to myself and I don’t know if I am making sense.”
He adds, “After Maine Pyaar Kiya, I have only seen a rise. It goes up, then comes little low and goes higher. I am familiar with downfall too. What happens is, when this stardom goes to your head, other people’s success, which ideally you should also enjoy, starts bothering you. It’s all very dirty.”
It’s almost a norm now that when his film releases, his dance moves, dialogues and mannerisms become the language of all the Bhai fans. Does he consciously try to speak the language of the masses? Is it a lot of effort? “S**t load of effort,” he says. Talking about himself in the third person he says, “He (Salman the star) should never reduce the distance between his fans and himself, and should only grow. I (the person) should be able to maintain the distance between the fans and the star.”
His take on his humongous fan following is that he will keep this alive to make it difficult for the younger generation, who will eventually have to set a new benchmark of fan following. “I want to compete with my contemporaries and I want to make it very difficult for the younger generation; only then will the industry grow,” he says adding, “But it shouldn’t be by cutting someone down.”
He doesn’t care much for commercial success anymore. He says, “My life’s dream was earning `10 lakh and I achieved that long back. Till the time I can do romance, action and young kids say ‘hey Salman’, I am ok with it,” explains the actor.
In the last one year, Salman has undergone a visible transformation, and is looking very fit and has lost a lot of weight, an effort he consciously put in for Kick. Choreographer of Jumme Ki Raat, Ahmed Khan in one of his interviews said that Salman is looking like a 25-year-old. Talking about his new daily workout, Salman says, “I have started doing a lot of cycling, intensive cardio and have started doing gymnastics as well. Then there’s punching and also kick-boxing.”
While not much is hidden about his upcoming films or his personal life, one can’t say the same about his charity initiative Being Human. He explains, “Right now the funding is done by this guy called Salman Khan and he cannot afford so much. The more awareness or publicity we get, more people will turn up to seek help and I can’t afford it at the moment. Hence, I’m trying to cut down a little.”
What is the focus right now of his charity foundation? “We are taking care of patients who have serious ailments or life-threatening diseases and who will survive 100 per cent. If money can save you from death, we are there.” He also mentions that the foundation is far better managed now than before. “Today, when I say ‘zara dekh lo’ for any case that comes to me to anybody in my team, the work immediately gets sorted and done.”
He shares an incident about a fan who came to meet him on a film set a few years ago. With him was his little boy who all through was asleep on his father’s lap. “When he was leaving, I asked the father what was the matter with the kid. He said his heart is functioning only 5-10 per cent and doctors had given up on him. Today, the kid is rocking, it’s destiny,” he says with a proud smile.
So, what really irks Salman Khan while trying to save people’s lives? He candidly reveals, “Aap gaadi mei aa rahe ho aur mujhse paise maang rahe ho. There are people who are very well off who seek my help for their staff. I’m like, he works for you, why can’t you help him? They don’t want to take any responsibility beyond paying their salary. I tell them aren’t you ashamed? You earn big bucks and you can’t do this much for someone?”
Salman’s life has been a paradox. On one hand, he has been helping the underprivileged, and on the other hand, he has been painted the ‘devil’ by many, especially the media. Commenting on the negative news about him he says, “That is also a part of me. You are going to piss me off, I am going to get pissed off. If you are going to mess with me, I am going to mess you up. It’s my thing.”