Salman Khan on why he won't forgive easily, what he's most fearful of, his love-hate relationship with addictions, wanting to promote 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' in Pakistan among other things in a candid chat
Salman Khan has a knack for attracting crowd that peep from rooftops and mill around his car to get a glimpse of the star. This time, when we meet him at a suburban studio, it is no different.
Unfazed by constant attention, Khan munches on a protein bar. Ask him if he wants to be invisible, to escape the fans-breathing-down-his-neck feeling, and he laughs, “Why would I want to be invisible? These people are invisible to me. I get my time alone. If I don’t like the place I am in, I imagine being in Miami or at my Panvel farm, fishing. If you try and struggle to get out of a situation, you get stressed. When you accept it, and let your mind wander, things become much easier. And I am not fond of fancy things. If I have something — like this phone that has been with me for over a year — why change it? Before this, I had that Bold phone (Blackberry Bold) for hazaar years. My house is small, but it is okay. I don’t believe in change; I believe in growth. If you know what your goal is, you are set. Change is for the fickle.”
Well, most of his fans think he can tide over all his problems. They love him because he is an invincible, powerful persona on screen. But Khan admits that he has fears too.
“My biggest fear is the uncertainity of what life has to offer. You have no control over most things and you are helpless. You think you are leading a good enough life and then for no fault of yours, your life is messed up, thanks to someone else. Say, someone has worked hard to buy a home, and then one day, the whole building comes crashing down because of a corrupt, incompetent builder. What do you do? My other fear is dying an ungraceful death. You could be riding a bicycle and you go downhill, crash and die. It is so trivial. If you are going to die, die for a cause or something that it has to create such a big difference. Death should be larger than life. It should be glorious.”
As if to shake himself out of the serious mood, he asks his boy for coffee. Didn’t he quit coffee some time ago?
The trademark naughty smile is back. “I started again after quitting it for six years. I have renounced every second best thing in my life. Between coffee and cigarettes, I quit coffee. Between cigarettes and alcohol, I quit cigarettes. Between alcohol and women, I have quit alcohol.” Laughing loudly, he adds, “The women are there, until I get a better option. I haven’t thought of men as yet.”
On and off addictions
On a serious note, he says he regrets his addiction to cigarettes. “I am looking for that guy who gave me my first cigarette. I quit for 14 years and then reached out to it, I quit again for three years and got back to it, and then quit for eight years… yeh chhodne pakadne me zindagi nikal gayi.”
Ask him about the general perception that Salman Khan holds on to grudges and can’t forgive easily, and he agrees. “Yes, I don’t forgive easily. There was a time when people would come and hit me and I wouldn’t say a thing. But now, I have learnt that I need to react, so that they don’t do it again. At least, they should know that they cannot mess with me one more time. In fact, if you don’t forgive them easily, it makes them better people. I don’t like fake people. I have enough close friends and family with me. I don’t need to add to that number. I don’t want people who sit on my shoulder and p**s in my ear. If I realise that someone’s trying to con me, they’ve had it. Like that friend of mine, Vijay Gilani. He owes me Rs 15 crore and he goes and files a defamation case against me. He has been a friend for more than 15 years. I didn’t like the way he handled funds during 'Veer'. I will acquire that money from him.”
Khan says he’s never had too many friends anyway. “In fact, over the years, my friends circle has widened and I am meeting like-minded people who are not necessarily from the industry, thanks to Being Human.”
Khan says the one thing that his parents taught him, which has stayed with him over the years, is to try and be as honest as he can. “They told me don’t lie and if you are messed up, own up to it and say sorry. Lie only if you are going to protect someone or someone’s honour. I see some people lie for the heck of it. They will tell you they are in Poland, but actually they will be in Pune. I don’t understand, that man. My parents also taught us to be one family unit, no matter what. Each one of us will have our individual issues and problems, but we need to be honest with each other. My mum comes from a totally different background than my dad. In fact, my father tells me that when he had gone to meet my nana the first time, my dad told him, “We will have 100 things to fight about but religion will never be one of them.”
Talking about religion, there was news that he might be going to Pakistan as part of the promotional tour for his 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'. “I want to go. I want to start this (exchange). If we can go to Dubai, why can’t we go to Pakistan? Ek din ke liye round maarke toh aa hi sakte hain. I know there are a few issues, but our industry has never considered religion,” he smiles. “When you see an actor getting into politics, people choose him, because perhaps he looks like a better option than the politician.”
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