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Salman: Idol but no Ideal

My first step towards culturally shocking my folks was to adorn the wall of my room with a bare-chested Salman, writes Shagun Dayal.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 20:50 IST

My first step towards culturally shocking my folks was to adorn the wall of my room with a bare-chested Salman. Yes, like many others I have also been a Salman Khan fan. But sadly that he has a knack of walking hand-in-hand with controversies.

Though he doesn't command the obeisance of people who would build temples for him as the trend is popular downsouth, he surely is the pioneer of the macho man of Bollywood.

Flexing muscles or tonsuring his head – he is the opium for rushing adrenaline of many striplings across the globe. And we girls can only gawk and gasp at our Adonis. He was the surprise bliss when the 90s were invaded by the tawdry Devgans and Shettys. Yet, he graces the prime space of our newspapers every few months – for the wrong reasons.

Now, advertising agencies are washing their hands of him because of the deer and dungeon fiasco. The people who banked on his brawn appeal are suddenly concerned about the "right" use of mass advertising worth crores. They feel that their colas and shoes will not have adequate buyers due to negative brand imaging. But he was the same man who ran over people in a drunken stupor, thrashed Miss World, and bragged about the D-connections. With this spectacular track record, it just amazes me why advertisers made him promote their wares in the first place?

And, I went to a school for my moral science lessons. We did not rely on our Bollywood heroes to give us dossiers on good, bad, ethical and the legal. We only swoon and sway to their hummable tracks. But the fan-mania stops there. There are a few who would sport his "Radhey" locks, but we will surely not emulate his "other" side.

It bothers me not because I am awestruck by him but the awful has been invoked. If he had been jailed for killing people, I would have swallowed the bitter pill and hailed the justice of India. Sadly, it was for shooting a black buck. I am a non-vegetarian and many of us are, and killing an animal for our gastronomical pleasures is also not a very upright act. I wouldn't get this sad if he happily settles down in Miami with Katrina, but it pricks me to see his name getting tossed in every issue. Be it Bombay blasts or a buck – he is surprisingly omnipresent.

Many villagers in Rajasthan strangle our National bird Peacock for its flesh. But he is a Superstar and would only invite scoops. He may have a wild streak, but he is SALMAN KHAN – our Hero. I can easily recall the brands that he endorses, but I will only drink his preferred cola, if I am convinced. Similarly I can admire the way he looks but he will not influence my sense of right or wrong. He is our hunky model who can pull off many roles, but we don't look upto him as a role model.

Now, that he is out on bail and even allowed to make trips abroad, I will not be surprised to see these advertisers hook him again for his brand personality!

These days he is just destiny's child. The naughty child being punished. Well, that's what I believe. What do you say?

First Published: Apr 19, 2006 20:50 IST