Bollywood Backstage: Being a Bodyguard, Shadowing the Stars
A peek into the life of Bollywood stars’ bodyguards.
India is crazy about film stars. So, no matter which part of the world they are in, Bollywood stars always attract a crowd, and that’s where their bodyguards come in. Bodyguards are like the celebrities’ shadows - no matter where they go, their bodyguards follow. Be it a film set, a TV show, a night out or just shopping, you’ll be able to spot a star with his or her trusted bodyguard. But what is it like to be a bodyguard of a Bollywood star? We spoke to three men who are personal bodyguards to some of the biggest actors in the Hindi film industry.
The first one doesn’t need any introduction. Whoever knows Salman Khan also knows Shera, his bodyguard for 25 years. Shera talks to us about how he started working with Salman Khan.
“It has been 25 years that I have been working with Salman Bhai. Actually, Bhai used to go for shows and this one time, there was a show in Chandigarh where the audience had got on to the stage. When they returned, Sohail Khan called me to his office. He asked me, “Shera, why don’t you become Bhai’s bodyguard?” That’s how I started working for Bhai.”Shera, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard
We also spoke to Katrina Kaif and Madhuri Dixit’s personal bodyguard Deepak Singh who also provides security to stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh.
“There are two kinds of security personnel because bodyguard will always remain a bodyguard. But other than bodyguards, there are additional security personnel on site or with the client. They are called ‘Close Protection Officers’. When I am with Shah Rukh sir, Ravi is always there. So Ravi is the bodyguard. The day he is not there, I become the first in command, otherwise when he’s there I am the second in command. So personal bodyguard is basically somebody who is accompanying the client on a daily basis. There are clients who don’t require a 30 days bodyguard. They require whenever they are doing any public appearances or they are going for any shoot or some event.”Deepak Singh, Owner of Dome Security
But how is it to be Shah Rukh Khan’s bodyguard? Yusuf Ibrahim who owns 911 Security tells us how he got into this profession.
“Mr Shah Rukh sir, he was in a dubbing studio close to my house, around 14 years back or so. So outside the dubbing studio, he was talking to somebody in his car, the door opened and I just happened to walk by late in the night around 1:30 - 2 am. I saw him and like a fan I tried going towards him and somebody huge came, it was his bodyguard, Yaseen, at that time. He just pushed me aside. I was like ‘What’s this, ya?’ It just hit me. Then I went home and I Googled about close protection and it really excited me to get into it. If you can’t go close to a star as a fan, but you can be very, very close to them as a bodyguard. So that’s how it started. I worked with Shah Rukh Khan for around three and a half years.”Yusuf Ibrahim, Owner of 911 Security
Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
Asst. Cameraperson: Gautam Sharma
Producer: Abira Dhar
Executive Producer: Divya Talwar, Suresh Mathew
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