Last Saturday, he beat Alisha Singh, Siddhesh Pai and Jai Kumar Nair to the golden hat at the grand finale of the reality show,
Dance India Dance
. Then, after four hours of media interaction, while the rest of the team went off to party, Salman Khan had to rush home because he had an early morning shoot with his namesake.
As part of his winnings, Salman Khan junior got to feature with Salman Khan senior in a promotional video for the superstar’s next film, Wanted—Dead or Alive, being directed by Prabhudeva who was a guest on the show.
“The feeling of victory has still to sink in because I’ve been busy shooting for the last three days,” says an excited Salman when you finally get him on the phone.
The biggest thrill for the new dancing star was that the actor who is a favourite after films like Andaaz Apna Apna, Tere Naam and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, remembered him from the show.
“In the video, I’m the one who gets to dance. Salmanbhai only has a brief interaction with me during which we talk about life and where I’m headed. Even off camera, he sat me down and gave me pointers on what to do and what not,” says the DID winner.
Main bhi Salman
Although a qualified mechanical engineer, the 23-year-old admits that he’s now looking at making a career for himself as an actor.
Ah, so we’ll have another Salman Khan in the movies soon? “Not another Salman Khan but one more Salman Khan,” he’s quick to correct you. “I want to be known for who I am.”
That could be a problem given that his illustrious namesake has already been around for over two decades. Would he consider changing his name or the spelling to avoid confusion? “Well, the name on my passport is Slaman Ghouse. I could always use that,” he mutters.
Ask him which of the star’s lovely ladies he’d like to serenade and the young man plays it safe: “Karisma Kapoor has been my all-time favourite. From the new lot, I don’t know.”
What women want
The enginner-turned-actor has been getting his share of female attention since the last weekend. “The phone has been ringing non-stop. And there have been so many marriage proposals,” he admits shyly. “But I’d rather concentrate on my career. DID was just a glimpse of what I can do.”
You update him about the buzz making the rounds that none of the dancers on the show actually came off the streets but were students of one or the other of the three mentors, Remo, Terrance Lewis and Geeta Kapoor. “Not me, ” he protests.
“I was in Bangalore studying for my engineering degree. The only dancing I did was at home while watching videos and at a few corporate shows. Of the masters, I met only Terrance sir very briefly when I attended his workshop in my city. Geeta ma’am and Remo sir I had never heard of. But now, I’d want to work with Remo sir.”
9 out of 10
A week before the DID finale, when we had met him and asked him to rate his chances of winning, Salman had given himself a nine on a scale of 10. Remind him of this and he says, “Yeah, nine for all the hard work I’d put in through 18 grueling weeks.. 1 I left to God and my kismet.”
The win has earned him Rs 50 lakh. What does he plan to do with the money? He says, “Donate some and give the rest to my parents. For myself, may be I’ll get a fancy mobile.”