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 ★ I’ll campaign for any party !

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PostSubject: ★ I’ll campaign for any party !   Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:04 am

★ I’ll campaign for any party !
Roshmila Bhattacharya, Mumbai Mirror | Jan 10, 2014

But for a hefty fee which will go to his charity, says Salman Khan.

Salman Khan is angry. Not just on screen but off it too. He takes a chair in front of Daisy Shah’s vanity van in the parking lot of Mehboob Studio. “Kya karoon? How can I convince people that my intentions are true, yeh naatak nahin hai?” he wonders, stirring his green tea vigorously.

What has provoked this soulsearching angst? Salman Khan ko gussa kyon aata hai? The actor has been watching news anchors dissect the Saifai Mahotsav which saw Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav enjoy Bollywood glamour, even as riot victims froze in Muzzafarnagar. Salman was among those who made an appearance, in exchange of a rumoured fee of six crores.

"Whether I get paid Rs 6 crore, Rs 8 crore or Rs 12 crore, it’s my hardearned money. I’m an actor who gets paid to entertain. Two lakh people watched me perform that evening," he glowers. "That money will be used to take care of the hospital bills of 250 kids and I bought equipment for a medical college in Aligarh. That’s more than what the shawl wearing folk, standing outside their sarkari bungalows, pointing fingers at me, will do. I was at a college in Nagpur before I flew to Saifai. Did anyone bother about what I did there?"

His friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Shah Rukh Khan has taken up for him, saying it is “unfair to nitpick on Bollywood” as they are just doing their “job” as entertainers. Despite this show of unity, buzz is that when the two stars were in the same studio recently but avoided each other.

"Shah Rukh is doing his job, I’m doing mine. If our eyes lock we will say ‘Hi’. Our relationship can never be what it once was, not now when both of us are so busy," he reasons.

SRK may not be a ‘good friend’, but Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan are. Salman has lent them an ear when they hit a low in their personal lives. “Aamir is a great guy. Hrithik came to my farmhouse, we chilled out together, speaking about work… everything. They are mature grown-up men who know how to handle their relationships,” he protests.

But the 48 year old admits that his chequered love-life is a smorgasbord of life lessons, many of them learnt the hard way. “If a person wants to go you cannot stop her from leaving. I’ve tried everything, from anger to emotional blackmail, from fights to tears, from possessiveness to gyaanbaazi. If they’d liked me enough, they would not have moved on. But if they’d stayed on it and been unhappy it would’ve filled me with guilt,” he admits.

And how does he feel when hisexes find new love? “I’m happy for them because they are all amazing people. I still care for and respect them but I understand that I have no place in their lives anymore so I stay away. I don’t want someone to be blamed because of the love we once shared,” he says quietly.

So what’s the status quo with Katrina Kaif today? Salman says that she used to be a friend, but today she is ‘somebody else’s friend’. “I respect that and I stay away because I don’t want to give someone a reason to tell her, ‘Oh you are still in touch with Salman’. The past should not intrude on the present,” he asserts.

Would he attend her wedding? “If I am invited, I will.” And what about walking down the aisle himself? He’s 48 and still single.

"There was a time when I wanted to get married but it didn’t happen. Today I’m no longer ready for it. And I say this to anyone who comes into my life. There’s no scope for a serious relationship or marriage," he avers.

The actor insists that he is happy with his life. “I travel a lot, I’m getting into production now. When you have someone in your life you need to give them time and attention. In the initial stages all’s well. Then the fights start and the reprimands, ‘You weren’t like this before’. I’ve heard it all before,” he sighs.

That’s a pity given that he’s looking better and fitter than he ever has. He looks away, embarrassed, saying he’s pushed his workouts to the next level now. Is that wise, given his health problems? Salman admits over-training could pose a problem.

"My analogen level is still 3.8 and for some people even 1.5 has proved fatal. But people with 6-8 have lived on for years too, if they avoid stress. I too try to be chilled out. It’s my fight; I have to suffer through it. At least the pain is gone," he shrugs.

But does he not play an angry activist in his next, Jai Ho? That sets him off again. “Jai Ho is not about yalgaar, going to war. It’s about a common man who joins hand with a good politician to bring down a bad neta. It’s about a man’s personal fight for his family and friends,” he says. “And it’s not about AAP or Arvind Kejriwal.”

What about his own political affiliations? “I’ll campaign for anyone who will contribute to my Being Human charity. I will be a hard negotiator because every paisa will be spent on the needy. But my vote always goes to Priya Dutt and Baba Siddiqui. I’m a Bandra boy, I’ve known them since my childhood. I’m not voting Congress, I’d vote for them even if they belonged to another party,” he insists.

Politicians are not the only ones who get his goat, reality TV contestants also do. He has hosted four seasons of Bigg Boss, but buzz is that he was not happy with the inmates’ antics and may not return for the next season. “I’ve left it open. But the show didn’t make me as angry as what is happening now. On my own TV show I’ll expose all these corrupt people,” he promises.

He’s excited about the Hero remake, his debut production. But his hero Sooraj Pancholi has the Jiah Khan suicide still hanging on his head. What if some new controversy flared up? “If it does we will take it head on. Some small people do it to get publicity. We have become soft targets.” There, Salman Khan ko gussa phir aa gaya.
Mumbai Mirror

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