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Perfectionist Khan turns 44

On his birthday, the champion of a greener world has little kindness to spare for rival Shah Rukh.

entertainment Updated: Mar 16, 2009 19:17 IST
Damini Purkayastha & HTC
Damini Purkayastha & HTC
Hindustan Times

This past year, Aamir Khan has gone from being an actor-director par excellence to someone who can stand up and fight a good fight. The brand ambassador of India’s Atithi Devo Bhava campaign, the actor spoke for the entire country when he ripped apart the 26/11 terrorists in his blog. Now he is using his blockbuster fame to support the WWF in promoting the Earth Hour.

The Earth Hour, starting at 8.30 pm on March 28, calls upon everyone in the world to turn off their electricity for an hour in order to save massive energy. Nine hundred and thirty cities and towns in 80 countries are on board, and Aamir was approached by the WWF to spread “awareness about Earth Hour”.

“Initiatives like this,” the actor says, “will go a long way in creating awareness. This is also an easy way for people to connect with this issue. A global effort brings us closer and reminds us that we are one world and the earth belongs to all of us, and we have to work together.”

For Aamir, being eco-friendly is not a fad. “As kids, mom would constantly tell us not to waste anything — food, water, electricity, anything. So we grew up with a certain amount of consciousness. But my awareness of what we are faced with grew sharply after films like [Al Gore’s] An Inconvenient Truth.” He tries being green as an individual: “I turn off the tap while shaving, and also use minimum water and electricity. I recycle paper.”

About his new role, Aamir explains, “It’s not a positioning of myself. I just feel I should use my present standing in a positive manner.” While he seems to have enough causes to espouse already, he intends to “take on as many as I can within my time constraint”. He is not worried that this avatar might affect his screen persona, as “I don’t have a fixed image”.

... and Mr Hyde
Aamir Khan turns 44 today. While he is not getting any younger, he seems to be getting angrier — with Shah Rukh Khan.

Less than 48 hours before blowing out the candles, Aamir breathed fire against Shah Rukh, who has taken some pot shots at the Quiet Khan lately.

Well, he is quiet no more. “I can understand that he is bitter as his films have not done well,” Aamir has been quoted as saying. That is a right royal blow to King Khan’s feelings — his Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi did ‘respectable business’ and Billoo tanked, while Aamir’s Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na became a youth rage and Ghajini smashed all box-office records, raking in Rs 200 crore.

Asked for his take on now being tagged number one, a claim that SRK has made about himself, Aamir told the media in Mumbai, “I am not here to prove my rank. If Shah Rukh enjoys calling himself number one, let him be. Amitabhji has never said it, Lataji has never said it. Neither has Sachin Tendulkar.”

When Bollywood celebs fight, humour is often an escape hatch. Aamir sneered at this, too. “I think his sense of humour suddenly disappears when it comes to me,” he said. HT City contacted SRK via SMS for a reaction, but till the time of going to press, got no response.

First Published: Mar 13, 2009 16:08 IST