The tiger is angry. And why not. As if endless promotional events around his upcoming release Ek Tha Tiger are not taking a toll on his already precarious health, Salman Khan also has had to stop some of the charity initiatives of his NGO, Being Human. “I’m so fed up. Ek toh round the clock promotions with no time to breathe, and then the advice that any charity work at this time will look like a publicity gimmick. How frustrating is that?” asks the 46-year-old, sipping green tea and looking every bit as tired as he claims to be.
We wonder if we should risk his infamous wrath by pointing out that he is wearing a tee that says ‘Being Tiger’, in an overt attempt to leverage on Being Human’s popularity to sell the film, and he seems to guess your thoughts.
“Of course I’ll use my star power for my NGO — and my film. At least I say, chhati thok ke, that I’m contributing five percent of everything I earn, towards the NGO’s work. What angers me is when people expect me to come for events for free, trying to use the charity card. Arrey, Salman ko bulao toh Salman ka price do. If I’ll keep doing everything for free, how will I fund my NGO? Just yesterday we organised a cataract camp. We are doing operations for 40-45 people everyday. What do others do...just talk?” he says and adds, “Even when I campaigned for the release of Sarabjit Singh who’s lodged in Pakistani jail, I only had good intentions. But I’ve had to put that on hold because I’m being told that, close to the release of Ek Tha Tiger, it’ll look like a gimmick. Ab kya karun, if I take it up after 5-6 months, you’ll say it’s a publicity stunt for Dabangg2. Bloody frustrating.”
Asking him about the film seems like a good option to calm him down, and the topic shifts to working with Yash Chopra’s banner for the first time. “I enjoyed it. The role was written for me, or so I’ve been told. They’d earlier also approached me for films such as Chak De India but things didn’t work out,” he says, smartly countering so-called rival Shahrukh Khan’s claim that he was the original choice for both the films.
Time again to hit the controversy button. So did he indeed have problems with co-actor and former girlfriend Katrina Kaif’s low-cut blouse while shooting? “Yes, I did. Seedha bolta hun. If a girl wears something inappropriate, I would tell her if I’m her well-wisher. Sometimes girls end up wearing dresses which are transparent against light. I always tell them if it’s not looking nice. I would’ve done the same (pointing a finger), if your top wasn’t looking decent,” he says.
Salman, Katrina sizzle in Ek Tha Tiger
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif's upcoming film Ek Tha Tiger directed by Kabir Khan has been making headlines ever since its announcement. SALMAN-KATRINA IN EK THA TIGER