A week prior to Bodyguardfs release, HT Caf?fs guest editor Salman Khan opens up about his relationship with the media, real-life bodyguard Shera, anger management, religion, Sanjay Dutt and Shah Rukh Khan among other things.
Given that you are the guest editor today, what is the one thing that youfve read about yourself in a newspaper or a magazine that is beyond belief?
Pretty much everything that I read about myself is beyond belief. I just feel that you guys (media) know me more than my own family. Seriously, I have this strange capacity of letting go of a lot of things till it comes to one point where I feel bahut ho gaya (Ifve had enough). At that point of time, I cut myself off totally or I react to it.
Of late, something strange has been happening. I have not been reacting to anything because I feel agar kiya hai toh bhukto, agar nahi kiya hai toh nahi kiya hai (if youfve done something, then regret it, and if you havenft done anything, then you havenft done anything). That has become my thing. But sometime, somewhere, somebody will get it and it will be justified. The problem with phone interviews etccis that I may recognise you by a face but I donft know the name. For example, there was this lady who was writing a lot of stuff about me. Non-stop churning out storiescand then she would come and do an interview with mec And one day, someone called out her name, and she turned around and I said, gB***n ch** (laughs), Ifm so nice to you and you go andch and she said, gThat is my job.h
Have you ever beaten up any journalist?
Yeah, once. Not journalists, but photographers. Once, there was an incident where I came out (of a court) and I had already posed for pictures. If you check the footage, the real one, which was taken off air the next day, someone said, gB***n ch** ko chhodna nahi. Yeh Musalman hai m***ch** (donft leave him, he is a Muslim).h Yes, these were the exact words. gIsko lo (catch hold of him). Apne aap ko bahut shana samajhta hai. Yeh Dawood Ibrahim ka aadmi hai. Isko chhodna nahi (he thinks very highly of himself. He is a Dawood Ibrahimfs accomplice. Donft leave him).h And then one hand pushed me from behind. I was letting all of it go while walking out. But I lost it that one time. Then, I sat in my car and pushed. And you know, my Land Cruiser had big dents.
And therefs another funny story attached to it. When I sat in the car, there was a man already sitting in it. He said, gHaan beta, main yahan par khada tha. Aur unki planning chal rahi thi. Aur main ruk gaya or socha, aisa thode hi ho sakta hai Sallubhai ke saath. (Son, I was standing here and they were planning something. I stopped and thought, This canft happen to Sallubhai.)h I said, gChacha, aap hai kaun? (uncle, who are you?)h So he replied, gArrey beta, main toh aise hi khada tha wahan pe (I was standing here without any reason).h So I asked him, gAap gaadi mein kaise aa gaye. Kahan rahte ho? (how have you entered the car. Where do you live?)h He replied, gYahin chod de mujhe. Chala jaunga main (drop me nearby. I will go).h
Did you hire Shera (his bodyguard) around that time?
Shera came to me by default. We bumped into each other two-three times when he was someone elsefs bodyguard. Sometimes I thought, Maar khayega (he will be beaten up). Once Whigfield (pop star) was in Mumbai and my sister wanted to meet him. I saw Shera was standing at the entrance. I thought, Bada lamba chauda aadmi hai yaar (he is a really well-built man). Isko request hi kar sakte hai (I can only request him). Nahi to izzat ki m** b***n ho jayegi (otherwise I will risk my reputation).
So I asked him, Chhoti behen hai, milna chahti hai Whigfield se (she is my younger sister, wants to meet Whigfield).f And he let us go. Next time, I was doing a concert in Indore and Shera was guarding someone else and he was very tired. I gave Shera a drink and told him, Bahut energy deta hai (it gives a lot of energy). And suddenly, he got charged up and I thought he is a good guy, isko rakh lo (letfs hire him). Then, Shera started coming with me on every trip.
Today, all major stars have their coterie of friends in media houses. You are the only Indian star who is so successful despite media. Do you agree?
Of course, I agree 100 per cent. There was a journalist, who at one point, told me, gI will destroy you.h And I told him, gDestroy, isme kya hai (whatfs in it?). After that, I want you to meet me and make me. Then I will swear by the media.h And he replied, gHow can I do it?h So my reply was, gThen donft say you will destroy me.h It doesnft work like that. When you go home, you want to enjoy and relax. And those feelings (destroying someone) are not in my conscience. Look at all the journalists, who have been really mean and nasty. Look at their end. It has actually been very scary.
Also, these days, do you feel the line between news and PR is blurring fast?
I got to know that people had PR only about two-and-a-half-years ago. Till that time, I wasnft even aware of it. One day, I was told, gThis is Katrinafs PR.h So, I said, gYeh PR kya hota hai? (whatfs PR?).h Then, I was made to understand what PR means ? PR woh hai jo aapki khabar bahar deta hai (PR is someone who spreads news about you.) Earlier, I used to wonder ki koi chaar baje subah mandir jaa raha hai aur us time pe photographers khade hai (if someone is going to a temple at 4 in the morning, how are photographers also there?).
Main chaar-paanch baje kahan kahan ghoomta rehta hoon (I move around the city at four and five quietly). No one is there. Yeh kya hai? Phir sabse pata chala (whatfs this? Then, I found out). I got to know that they (stars) used to call up and tell the media that I am going to the temple. Later I got to know that itfs a PR exercise. If I have to go to a temple or a masjid, I will not do it around my filmfs release because itfs my bread and butter.
I would go there when therefs a health problem or if I am passing by it. I wouldnft do it dikhane ke liye (to show off). But everyone has his or her own beliefs. For instance, Katrina goes to Ajmer Sharif. She goes quietly and comes back quietly because she really believes. There used to be one guy who used to give out information about her visits. Now even that guy doesnft know when she is going. Arpita (my sister) keeps going to several temples like Siddhivinayak and all. My sister also goes to Ajmer Sharif. Both Alvira and Arpita recently went to Golden Temple.
Do you believe in God? Are you a God-fearing person?
Yeah, I am. But why to fear God?
Are there any religious places you usually go to?
I donft believe you have to go a special place. I am sure therefs a lot of energy (at places of worship) because everyone goes there and brings their energy along to the places. If you go to a mandir or masjid, therefs damn good energy because when you enter the place, you leave your kameenapan (bad traits) outside and enter as a good and pure person. As soon as you enter these places, your energy stays there. But once you come out, you are back to your usual self.
What according to you is brand Salman Khan?
Right now, apart from films, the only thing Ifd bank on is Being Human.
Any plans of coming up with eco-friendly T-shirts for Being Human?
I think we are doing organic T-shirts. Organic hi bolte hai na use? (it is called organic only right?)... I think we are planning some edible underwear (laughs).
Since you are off to the US for treatment, for how long will you be gone?
I hope Ifm here for my next release. The shooting is going on for Ek Tha Tiger. From the US, Ifm directly going to do some ad films.
Family going to miss you?
I hope so.
Are you on painkillers currently?
I am not on painkillers as they mess up the liver and kidney. Ifm very health-conscious. The only thing that actually gives you some relief is alcohol. And Ifm going through Ramadan right now, so there is no relief for me. Till date, I have not undergone any major surgeries besides one billion stitches (smiles).
Scared of the surgery?
I am not scared of surgeries but the MRI process is scary. I have a sinus problem, so when I lie down flat, I canft breathe. And on top of that, the machine is very close to my face and has funny sounds coming from it. Earlier, I tried to go inside the MRI machine but I could not go. I tried again and again but I couldnft go in. Then the nurse said, gWhat? This is Salman Khan?h So I thought to myself, now I have to go in. I started thinking of being in Miami. But how long can you think of Miami? I finished and came out immediately.
This time, I again had to go for an MRI. I said to myself, gI canft do this boss.h So they said, gNo no, this is a bigger one. Therefs more space.h I went in and I immediately said, gGet me out.h And they said, gYou have to go into this boss.h So I asked myself, gWhy am I getting so scared?h I knew it was claustrophobia and I said Ifll fix it. I asked them to take the tray out and I went inside myself. The theory was that if I can go in by myself then I can come out too. By the third time, since the earlier test results didnft come out right, the machine was all messed up. So I asked if there was a way out. They said, gYeah, we can sedate you.h But soon, the effect of the sedative was getting over. So I asked them for another injection. They sedated me and thatfs how I got through.
That lucky charm of yours, the turquoise bracelet, is there a story behind that?
Therefs no story behind it. My father wears it, and when I was growing up I used to like it on his hand. So I made one for myself.
One often hears about fights and anger over different things. Your name is always dragged into it. Can you handle your temper?
I can handle my anger, but people donft think I can. I usually donft get angry. If I think something is not right, Ifll turn around and say it. Sometimes when two friends are talking, and they are very close, from a distance it looks like they are fighting. But that may not be the case.
So if you are angry with somebody, do you forgive and move on or do you not talk to them?
Depends on what it is.
Do you think the press is responsible for a lot of fights involving you?
No, not really. Itfs just people who are involvedc
So with Sanjay Duttc
With Sanjay there is no fight.
So thatfs another concocted one?
Yes, there was no fight.
When you do have a fight with somebodycletfs say SRK, all your friends will hate SRK. There is a crazy fanaticism that you invite amongst your fans. Even if you write something against Salman, you are murdered on Twitter that very day itself.
See, I donft have a problem with SRK. Itfs just that I donft get along with him. I would perhaps want all his films to do well. In fact, I hope that all his films do really well so that the industry does well. He should be healthy because everyday, he goes to work, and he is working for those many people who are there on the sets. So what Ifm thinking is much larger than this ebachagirif (childish behaviour). And I really mean it.
And will you ever get married?
I guess eventually, yes.
If you do get married, a lot of single men in the world would be disappointed. You give them hope. People like you and Ratan Tata. The fact that you can remain the eternal playboy. Is that part of your charm?
Ratan Tata and you enjoy the bachelor life. I want to get married.
So, are you getting married soon?
Siddique says his next film is going to bec
Who is Siddique? (Bodyguard director).
Siddique says hefd like to remake Chronic Bachelor (his Tamil film) with you, as he feels you are the eternal bachelor.
He is making all these decisions himself now? If he is planning so, he can also get me married. Ask him to find me a nice girl.
This is just the film..
Yeah, ask him to find me a nice Malayali girl.
You want to marry a Malayali girl?
Siddique will get me a Malayali girl.
What kind of girl do you want?
Right now, Ifm kind of flexiblecvery flexible about the kind of girl I want.
North, South, East, West? Koi bhi chalegi?
Koi bhi nahi chalegacitna bhi nahi (Not anyone. Ifm not that flexible). Thoda sa (a little) flexiblecIfm thinking of starting this new concept. Get married for a week or get married for a month. Till the time Sushila tai (aunt) says, gNahi main isse shaadi nahi karoongi,h (I wonft marry him), Ifm not getting married. Sushila tai is our maid at home.
There was some talk about Saif and Kareena getting married. Was he visiting her on the sets of Bodyguard?
Ifve no idea dude. I didnft see him, unless he was hiding. I saw him during Main aur Mrs Khanna, but this time he wasnft there.
Is there somebody in your life right now, who youfre in love with and are waiting to hear an answer from?
No noc nothing like that.
Are you working with Nargis Fakhri (Ranbir Kapoorfs heroine in Rockstar) in Sher Khan?
No. Not true.
Something else about SRK?
Who is he?
Did you see him doing your Dabanggfs belt step at an awards show? He joked that your pants were loose and thatfs why you came up with the step.
Good for him.