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 **“I am a primitive man in a modern world”-Salman Khan (August 19, 2007)!!**

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PostSubject: **“I am a primitive man in a modern world”-Salman Khan (August 19, 2007)!!**   Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:37 am

S. Ramachandran sees another side of Salman Khan — the bad boy of Bollywood reflecting on his problems and achievements

For years now, Salman Khan has been seen as a bad boy in Bollywood. He’s run afoul of the law, been accused by his girlfriends of physical and mental abuse and shares a love-hate relationship with the media. All the same, it’s hard to hate Salman. He has a loyal fan following in the film industry, an industry that thrives on sycophancy and politics. What makes Salman so attractive not only to women but also to his audiences'

Perhaps the fact that he doesn’t flash his celebrity status, is down to earth and honest, sometimes brutally so, and time and again shows his softer, more compassionate side.

He’s a superstar and yet Salman never shies away from being seen in public, never hides behind dark glasses or a dark-tinted Mercedes. In fact, he’s regularly seen in public. Ask him if he doesn’t feel worried and he cuts us off mid-sentence. “Worried about what' Am I the Kohinoor diamond that I need to stay out of sight' Yes, I am a star but it’s the audience that goes and buys tickets for my films, watches them and makes me that star. They like me and when someone likes you they can’t harm you,” he barks, vociferously protesting our suggestion that some crazed fan might harm him.

For someone often accused of acting high-handed and banking on his celebrity status, Salman is surprisingly humble about his achievements. “I don’t think I have achieved anything spectacular. I was fortunate enough to be born to my father (scriptwriter) Salim (Khan) and get a lucky break with Maine Pyaar Kiya. I am not a Sunita Williams who has gone into outer space. Acting is no rocket science,” says the hunk.

For a long time, Salman was just muscles and good looks. But he showed a softer, more serious side when news of his painting skills broke out. Salman the painter is quite different from Salman the actor and the wild child. “I started my own charitable organisation Being Human, SKF. By selling my paintings, I earn some money for my organisation.”

Of course, the path of charity is never easy and the donations don’t come steady. Salman found a unique solution to this. “People can deposit their money in my organisation’s bank account and can decide which needy family they want to donate the interest they earn on that money to. After a few years, if they decide to withdraw the amount they can do so. If they continue to keep it, it’s even better. Their money remains with them and yet they can do something good,” he elaborates. Signs of a maturing Salman' Maybe, maybe not. But he’s serious as hell about this. “If you remove my name from these paintings, no one will buy them. But the money is going to a good cause. So no matter how late it gets when I reach home I finish them.”

Back to his stardom; no one can dispute the fact that he is one of the biggest stars in the country. Salman can’t go anywhere without more than a few heads turning and some feet running towards him for autographs, even in a relatively star-immune city like Mumbai.

Does he have the same experience when he goes abroad' “There are quite a few places where no one recognises me but I only like that for 10-15 minutes. After that I look for a place where people recognise me. As for foreigners, they now have access to films from Bollywood. Did I just say Bollywood'” he grimaces. Yes, he did but why the grimace' The term was coined by the industry. “No it wasn’t. It was some brain-dead journalist who came up with that term. I mean, would you call Poland’s film industry ‘Pollywood’'” Salman laughs.

Whatever its name, the film industry has given Salman a lot — fame, fortune and even love. He’s done more than 70 films in his years in Bollywood and is still going strong. Which is his favourite film and his least favourite' “Maine Pyar Kiya. But my debut was in Biwi Ho To Aisi in a supporting role. My father had come to the sets of Biwi Ho To Aisi, on the first day of the shoot and he told this particular gentleman there was a flaw in the plot. Now my father is one of the most respected script writers of the industry and here he was giving his suggestions. But this man didn’t get the point. He tried convincing my father that he would shoot in a manner in which it would be taken care of. So my father came up to me and said ‘You are in very good hands’,” Salman laughs without directly naming Biwi Ho To Aisi his worst.

The film left Salman somewhat embarrassed and even though Sooraj Barjatya saw the film he gave Salman his first lucky break with Maine Pyar Kiya. “I told him that after this film my career as an actor had to be over and maybe I should work as his assistant. But he told me my test for Maine Pyar Kiya was great.” As for Biwi Ho To Aisi, Sooraj just said: ‘Salman bhai, why were your eyes looking so big in the entire film'’, Salman tells us between peals of laughter.

Maine Pyar Kiya broke records and did astoundingly well. But Salman was still out of work for six whole months before Deepak Shivdasani offered him a cameo. The actor turned it down but offered him a plot that Deepak liked a lot. “He told me ‘Let’s do it, you have the script, right'’ I told him I did, though I didn’t. The idea was just on the spur of the moment. I wrote the script in three days and that’s how Baaghi happened.” The rest, as they say, is history.

On the personal front, Salman’s made a lot of news. For his public fights, for his relationships with Sangeeta Bijlani, Somy Ali, Aishwarya Rai and now Katrina Kaif. Throughout his trials and tribulations, his family has stuck by him. Who is he the closest to in the family — brothers Arbaaz and Sohail Khan or sisters Alvira and Arpita' “I am close to all of them,” he says, without elaborating.

We prod further anyway. Is he the possessive elder brother who bashes up his sisters’ boyfriends' “No, I am a chilled-out kind of a guy but the problem is I think I am a primitive man in a modern world. I would love to react to things and get angry but that only creates more controversies,” he says sagely.

Ah, controversies. The word that Salman is almost never mentioned without. What is it that makes him so susceptible to outbursts' “The other day I was in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, for my hearing and this journalist provoked me by banging on my car door and opening it so I would react angrily. I was so upset wondering why he would do that and so I fired him. Now I do it openly because that’s what is going to be shown,” he fumes.

He’s miffed about stories of his rumoured marriages circulating in the press too. “You know they have already got me married some 20 times in the last month. Why would I hide my marriage' Am I ashamed of the woman I am marrying' No. When I get married I will let everyone know. I don’t need the press to go and announce it for me.” Sounds like he’s already married! Is he' “Oh no. And I am not getting married anytime soon either. I’m still a kid. A 42-year-old kid!” he chuckles.

The enthusiasm and the demeanor are certainly child-like, which is why Salman is still going strong. And from what we can see, will continue to go strong for quite some time to come. We’re not complaining. After all, you can’t have too much of a good thing.

---The Telegraph
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