Knowing Birthday Boy Salman Khan: The Star, The Son & The Man

Salman Khan turns 53 today.

4 min read
Hindi Female

I am lucky to have had access to Salman Khan’s first floor flat at Galaxy Apartments in Bandra whenever I wanted.

Salman Khan turns 53 today.
Salman waves at fans. 
(Photo: Reuters)

I know what it’s like to stand in that balcony when hundreds of fans are looking up with stars in their eyes to get one glimpse of Salman Khan. Every time a crowd gathers, his father Salim Khan tells him to go out and wave at them.

Salman Khan’s parents have been inviting me for Ganesh Chathurti for many years now. I was lucky to have been allowed inside to pray with the family as well as film the puja for my channel. Salman never liked the idea of a reporter being in his private space, each time he saw me his expression said it all. He used to murmur, “Phir aa gaya!”, but his parents are fond of me and have always ensured I felt at home at their place.

I got to know Salman properly about a decade ago when I was with NDTV. Two young girls who were conjoined twins from Lucknow wanted to meet the superstar before they went in for their operation. I went to Salim Khan along with a video message of the girls. Salim Khan immediately called Salman after seeing the message, Salman walked in within five minutes (he lives on the ground floor in the same building). His father said, “Ye dekho kudrat ka karishma. Ye dono bache joined hai. Ye bache tumse milna chahte hain. Main inhe bula raha hoon.” Salman saw the video message over and over again as it was one of the rare cases of conjoined twins in India at the time.

Salman Khan turns 53 today.

Once he agreed, NDTV flew the two girls along with their family to Mumbai and we took them straight to Galaxy Apartments. The entire Khan khandaan was waiting for the two girls to arrive. Salim Khan, Salma Khan, Helen, Arbaaz, Malaika, Sohail, Seema, Alvira and even Katrina Kaif was present to meet the twins. They showered them with gifts and love and finally Salman made an entry. The girls couldn’t believe they were seeing their favourite superstar. As soon as he met them he started being his usual self. He cracked funny jokes and even asked them how they go to the loo together! The girls were shy but they burst out laughing at his jokes. They had breakfast and then Salman invited them to Film City to watch him shoot for the film Babul (2006). Once the girls arrived on set everything came to a standstill. Salman asked the director to take a break. He showed them the camera and asked them if they wanted to do a scene with him but the girls were too shy. He said, “Kyon camera dekh ke hawa nikal gayi dono ki?”

Video: Conjoined sisters Farah and Saba give-up eating after Mumbai court convicts Salman Khan in 2002’a hit-and-run case.

Salman Khan turns 53 today.
The Khan brothers with father Salim Khan.
(Photo: Instagram/@arpitakhansharma)

He asked them what they would like to do. The sisters said they want to play carrom with him. Within minutes a carrom board was arranged with four chairs. They didn’t really know how to play and Salman kept telling them they were cheating. They had lunch with him on the set and then it was time to leave. Their car was loaded with gifts sent by his parents, apart from other things there was a DVD player and all the DVDs of his popular movies. He checked the DVDs and told them, “Check karna padta hai. By mistake Shah Rukh Khan ki koi DVD to nahi hai!” His sense of humor kept the girls entertained till they left.

After this I met Salman many more times for interviews. There were times when I was warned by people around him who said things like - he is angry and I shouldn’t ask anything controversial but never have I had a bad experience with him. He answers in his own way but never has he gotten angry or walked out of my interview. Being a journalist, the only thing I dislike about Salman Khan is that he keeps us waiting. On a bad day you could end up waiting for hours on end for the actor to make an entry.

Salman Khan turns 53 today.
Bhai in a good mood.
(Photo: Instagram/@beingsalmankhan)

I tell all my fellow reporters there is nothing to be scared of when you interview Salman. He may not like us but he doesn’t really do anything about it. He throws his weight around before the interview but never on camera. He still doesn’t like it when he sees me at his place. That has not changed. I go there often to interview Salim Khan. I was there some time ago and he saw me in the building, as he was walking down. He asked me - what brings you here? I said Salim uncle wants to talk about Sholay (1975). Salman made a face and murmured, “Ye lo abhi tak dad Sholay ke interviews hi kar rahe hain!” We both smiled and crossed each other.


(This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on May 6, 2015.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from entertainment and celebrities

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More