Salim Khan made his foray into Bollywood in 1960, with the film Baarat. But surprisingly, the veteran screenwriter began his career as an actor. It was only a decade later that he joined hands with lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, thus becoming a formidable force in the industry.
Now, Khan is wielding the microphone. He has turned radio jockey for 91.9 FM Radio Nasha and will host The 70MM Show every weekend. On the show, he will talk about his experiences in the Hindi film industry. His first show took place on August 13.
Ask him if he consulted his family before doing the show, and he says, “My family consults me. Why should I ask them about it (laughs)? I’m the head of the family. Do you think I asked Salman (Khan) if I should do this show?”
Khan was never in two minds about hosting the show after Kiran Kotrial (conceptualiser and co-host) and other representatives from the radio channel approached him for it. “They knew about the kinds of stories I could share. Once, Ashok Kumar (the late actor) told me that I am the right person to write a book on Bollywood, because I have seen the industry since the time of actors such as Raj Kapoor to Dharmendra, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and now, Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. But you cannot write an honest book. Bahut problems create kar degi woh (such a book will create a lot of problems). You have to be selective about what you want to say,” he says.
Speaking his mind
In July, Khan made news for lambasting Naseeruddin Shah for his comment on late actor Rajesh Khanna. “It was unfair to talk about a person who is no more. Back then, everyone had a problem with Rajesh Khanna. But that was then. His peak period was from 1969 to 1975, and it was almost certain that to make a hit film, you needed him. So, everyone was demoralised,” says Khan.
A proud father
Khan, however, starts beaming when you mention Salman and his last release Sultan in the same sentence. He narrates an anecdote, saying, “When Aditya Chopra (producer) came home with the script of Sultan, he told Salman that if he doesn’t do it, he will not make the film. If you see the movie now, you realise that no one but Salman could have played the role. Casting is that important.”