There’s something about Salman Khan and Eid, and it’s not just his runaway festive hits during this time year after year. As Bajrangi Bhaijaan opens with a big greeting, the 49-year-old people’s star shares some fond childhood memories from the festival.
“All my brothers and sisters would get together. An old recollection of the festival is that we would celebrate it in front of our house. Our house was like a cottage, and there were two buildings in the front. Since the small area was cordoned off and the road was a bit far, all the families would get together there. While some were Muslims, others were Catholics. People from all religions and backgrounds — Kolis, Catholics, Parsis — they would all join us,” says the actor.
Calling it a “big party,” the actor remembers, “Since there was an aangan (courtyard), there would be lunch and festivities for everyone — whatever would be cooked in our houses would be served outside to everyone. While kids would play cricket or football, parents would do their own thing ... everyone was part of one big family.”
Sallu also had a few eventful rozas those days. “Once, while I was studying in Scindia school, I had dived into the swimming pool and some water went into my mouth during the fast. I tried to spit it out but nothing worked! Another time, I had woken up late for sehri (pre-dawn mean), so I did it inside the blanket,” he says.
Does he feel the fervour around such festivals has lessened now? “No, it’s the same. Now, you will notice that we all participate in each other’s festivals in a bigger manner. You will see a lot of Maulvis supporting a particular area’s Ganpati mandals. The same zeal is true for Christmas, Holi or Eid. It’s nice,” he says, adding cheekily, “And on top of it, agar unke favourite hero ki film aa jaaye toh woh dekhne chale jaatein hain!”
So he agrees he’s the ‘Eid king’? “Not at all. Whenever a good film releases, it will do well. The only advantage of coming up with a film during the festive period is that people are on holiday; they have got their salaries, and families get together to enjoy. And that means lunch, dinner and movies. A new release gives them more entertainment!”