An action-packed drama that ended on a happy high – this is how hundreds of fans who thronged the Galaxy apartments at Bandra, the Bombay high court and the sessions court to catch a glimpse, pray and show their support for actor Salman Khan would define Friday.
It all started around 8am, as anxious supporters started gathering outside the actor’s residence. The buzz only grew louder, as the time of the high court hearing neared. While those waiting at Bandra were still unclear about the verdict, seeing the steady stream of visitors after 11.30am they realised that the HC may have passed an order. Once the verdict was out, Khan’s friends were seen visiting his residence, provided the much-needed fan moments for those waiting outside patiently, battling the scorching heat.
The scene was no different outside the high court. Even as the police kept trying hard to control the actor’s fans, star-struck lawyers kept jostling for space in the already-packed courtroom. Amid the restlessness, Gaurango Kundu, 32, consumed a poisonous liquid and collapsed, which only added to the chaos and confusion. The situation was brought under control after a lot of struggle, only to become chaotic again within a few minutes, as TV channel reporters and social media announced the “good news” for the fans.
Realising the actor may visit the sessions court to complete the formalities, most started heading towards the spot, which was just two blocks away at Kala Ghoda. Most of them reached the premises, some even occupied seats in the courtroom, almost three hours before Khan arrived. Those who weren’t as lucky to get a seat, however, managed to block the traffic outside the backside entrance of the HC. With no respite in sight, some motorists had to get in touch with the traffic police to get the way cleared.
But inconvenience caused to them and others failed to deter the determined fans. “I had full faith in God, the order had to go in Salman’s favour. He is a good human being, and has done a lot for the needy,” said Pinky Shah, 42, one of his ardent admirers, who was present at the sessions court.
Sohail Shaikh, a 16-year-old fan, who came from Nanded, said, “I do not want to become an actor like him, but want to become a doctor and help people, like he does.”
The wait for the fans ended at 5.30pm, as the actor entered the court premises to complete the formalities. From there, the fans started heading towards the Galaxy apartments, adding to the hundreds who were already in queue. The mob went into a frenzy everytime a car slowed down near the building, only to be disappointed on realising it did not belong to the actor. Cops flung lathis in the air as the crowd went out of control. But no action, or fear could stop the fans.
Charkop resident Nitin Kharat, who suffers from polio, but stood with the actor’s portrait for hours, was a case in point. “I want to gift him the painting. He is an artist like me. He helps the poor. I am happy he is home,” said Kharat.
Khan reached home around 6.30pm. To thank those who stood by him in his difficult hour, Khan came out in the balcony with his father and waved out to his supporters. Some started chanting Bhai, as he is called, while others flung their jackets in the air to get his attention. This time, the police let the crowd catch a glimpse of the star they waited for through the day.