I was eight when the Salman Khan starrer ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ was released. I watched it with my family at a cinema hall near my place. Those weren’t the days of multiplexes and going to the cinema was only to watch a movie, or in my case, to feast on popcorn, cold drinks and ice-creams.
My ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ experience was no different. My intelligence had informed that it was a typical song-and-dance affair with very little ‘dishum dishum’ or fight scenes. For an eight-year old that meant boring, dreary three hours in a movie hall which could have been better spent playing with friends.
I wasn’t wrong. It was fun for the grown ups who were in love or out of it. But boring for me whose love life was light years away! (I must confess that a few years later I watched the movie twice). At the time, I couldn’t get around what was going on except that I liked the pigeon, Salman’s black jacket, the ‘FRIEND’ cap and one more thing that I still haven’t mastered --- single-arm pushups. Those who’d have seen the movie would recall the ease with which Salman did those single-arm pushups in one of the scenes where Bhagyashree confesses her love.
From that day, Salman was always a star to me but never an actor. He had the looks, body, moves and of course the single-arm pushups. As an eight-year-old, I wasn’t a gym junkie but someone who wanted to emulate the Bollywood heroes. I came back home and tried it many times but just couldn’t do even a half of that single-arm pushup. The last two days I have been watching the Salman saga unfold on the news channels and all those memories have come back.
Salman is still a star for me but more than that a fantastic human being because of the charity work he has done. I don’t know whether at the age of 49 he can manage a single-arm pushup but he has single handedly re-written the script of being a star. I don’t know whether he is guilty or not, but what I do know is that law should not differentiate between a star and fan.
I can’t think of anyone but KKR’s Andre Russell to pull off Salman’s single-arm pushup. He is a strong boy and is surely making his presence felt both on and off the field. Post the win against Delhi Daredevils on Thursday, Russell blazed the dance floor as well.
I am also reliably informed that even my friend Sunil Narine showed some Caribbean moves. Unfortunately, I had some sleep to catch up with and missed all the fun. I am proud of the way Sunil had handled the pressure around him. I can assure you that it is not easy when you are under scrutiny like Sunil was and is. Besides all those dollars and contracts that a cricketer earns for his skills, it is his integrity which is at stake.
Just goes to show that you don’t need a six pack or single-arm pushups to be a hero.
(Dinesh Chopra Media)
The writer is skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders