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 **06 March 1998 Little boy blue !!**

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PostSubject: **06 March 1998 Little boy blue !!**   Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:46 am

06 March 1998
Little boy blue
Deepak Karambelkar  
Self-Assured. That word is the sum total of an actor called Salman Khan. Be it in the way he walks, talks, eats from a dabba or deals cards in an impromptu Rummy session -- the nonchalance, the indifference reigns supreme.
At 9:45 pm, Salman arrives on the sets of Jaanam Samjha Karo at Kamalistan, straight from the sets of Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya at Filmistan. Though he is over two hours late, he reveals no hint of making up for lost time. Salman swaggers towards the make-up room with Somy Ali and half an hour later, they emerge. And head for the room where the shooting is in progress. There they plonk down on a bed and wait while actress Asha Sharma gives her shot. A pack of cards materialises and soon they are engrossed in a game of Rummy. Ten minutes later, it is time for Salman to face the arclights. He tosses his cards down and looks into the camera. Five minutes, a couple of takes and he is through. Then it's time for dinner.
Later, when you finally get a chance to meet him, you find Salmansprawled on a sofa, staring emptily at the ceiling. His hands are propped behind his head, serving as a handy pillow. He looks at you indifferently, shakes your hand limply and resumes his ceiling-gazing. For all purposes, you have ceased to exist. When interacting with Salman, it is easy to get rubbed up the wrong way. But to presume that he is arrogant and conceited, would be to condemn an intelligent man who is forever on mental 'trips', whose world is within. Salman frolicks in a rich sea of imagery and has a pipeline to a huge storehouse of experience with which he can amuse himself -- to death. He drifts away on thoughts which take him to places he cannot return from.
"I am talking to you, but I am somewhere else," he says. But where, he isn't sure. "I am living out a dream," he adds. His dreams consist largely of musings about what could have been -- things that have happened in his life, how he reacted and how else he could have. "Every extra second creates a new future. If I get up and walkout now, my whole life will be different from what it will be if I walk out two minutes from now," he says.
Salman believes there are parallel dimensions. "In one of them, there might be a truck passing over us right now, right here," he says. He feels happiness is volatile and ephemeral. One moment you may be on top of the world, the next moment you may hit rock bottom. "There are no questions or answers. Life goes on and people close to you die," he adds.
This attitude makes it easy to accept the bitter pill of age. Salman knows he too has a shelf life and, currently at the age of 32, he is steadily approaching his use-by date. He mulls over the various stages in an actor's life. According to Salman, in the early stages a wannabe star tries to please all and sundry. Once he makes it big, he reverts to his arrogant self. "Apni aukat pe aata hai," he says. As age catches up and the career graph dips, he goes back to his grovelling ways. "Jab ludakne lagte hai, to apne ghutne per girta hai," saysSalman.
But he asserts that he never went seeking publicity, even when he was a nobody -- a reason why he is in the bad books of the press. "They hate me because they cannot push me around. Every other star goes to them, so they wonder why the @œ%! doesn't Salman?" In fact, he has earned the reputation of putting down journalists. For instance, two reporters went to visit him after their magazine had carried a 'hot' story on him. They expected him to be grateful. Instead, he tore the magazine and threw it at them. Then, in true filmi style, Salman gave them the option of either running fast or waiting around to get bashed up. "You @œ$! with me and I'll @œ$! with you. Who are they? Am I here because of these $œ@œ%%$," he rants. It is perfectly okay with him if you write about his acting -- or the lack of it -- but not about his alleged affairs or personal life.
And on the acting front, Salman insists he is comfortable with all kinds of role. "Within my own limitations, I can handle comedy, action,drama, melodrama...," he says. But Salman does not believe in histrionics and needs glycerine to shed tears. "I am not a method actor. Whatever comes out, comes out," he says.
The only time the cat gets his tongue when Salman is asked to explain why he is the heartthrob of millions. There is nothing special about the way he looks or acts. He has nothing that others don't have. In short, he claims he is still to understand what makes him tick. Says he, "If I knew it, I wouldn't be thinking so much!"
Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.
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