Chit Chat

Salman is a wonderful guy: Shah Rukh

Shah Rukh Khan clears controversies (read tiff with Salman Khan), discusses Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, and oodles more. Vajir Singh submits his blockbuster SRK interview for editing and cries quietly since we can only fit in excerpts…..
Which question would disturb you the most?
At times, I’m asked stupid questions. I feel they’re stupid because I’m not qualified to answer them. Like I was asked by someone how I would be celebrating my birthday with my parents. I don’t get angry but I get confused.

Once, we would form our opinions on the basis of information from newspapers and television. Now it’s no longer information. It’s an analysis by someone that X is correct and Y is wrong.

So often I’m like, “What’s going on? It was never like this.” I haven’t spoken to certain newspapers and magazines for years. Not because I hold it against them or because I’ve an ego problem. I just don’t want to feed into that wrong analysis. It’s nothing personal.

Does this irritate you?
It doesn’t but I’m like, “Chhod na yaar, I don’t want to be a part of this.” I don’t like swimming but I’m not irritated when I see others swimming. Why be judgmental? I take my kids to the swimming pool.. I sit in a corner, have a coffee and cigarette, and then I’m asked, “You don’t swwiiiimm?” Listen, there’s nothing wrong in swimming but I don’t swim.

Salman Khan has been stating in print that he can’t forget or forgive you.
See, every time either of us talks about this, it only creates animosity between the two of us. I don’t wish to comment on his comments. Because I know he must have said this in an interview which was meant for something else but someone asked him this. He’s a wonderful guy, his family is wonderful, I really like them. I respect everyone.

Please continue.
Already the conversation that must have happened has been analysed. It’s been analysed that I spoke badly about XYZ and that’s why all this happened. Then it’s analysed why someone didn’t go for a party. Or why Viveik Oberoi came for my birthday party.

I can’t understand how someone who has achieved so much in life — I speak for myself and for Salman — can go on and on about what has been described as a 20-minute tiff.

I’ve got a Padmashree in India, I’ve been honoured in Malyasia and France.. I’m at Madame Tussaud’s. I have a Rs 200 crore turnover for the work I do, I’ve got a lovely house, beautiful children, a lovely family. I’ve got beautiful friends like you guys.

Perhaps the only good thing which came out of the tiff is that we both have realised that we’re two different people. And I think we both respect that. He’s wonderful in his place and I’m wonderful in mine. It’s like I don’t like to play golf, he likes to play golf. We’re not friends. I’ve reached a stage in my life where I can’t NOT forgive someone.. or where I can’t NOT forget someone. I don’t hold anything against anyone.

To be very honest, I don’t even think I’m big enough to forgive anybody. I’m nobody. And I’ve got too much goodwill thinking within me.

Ah, okay. Let’s talk about Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Why invite the entire media on your birthday to promote the film?
Whenever there’s any occasion in my house, the media has to remain outside. I feel very bad about this. So I’ve made a rule that whenever the media is outside, I’ll call them in.
Even when there’s a party at my place I tell them that none of the invitees will talk to them or say anything.. so go back home. They’re young boys and girls who can be somewhere else doing some really important work. Why hang around outside my house?

On my birthday, Diwali and Eid, it has become my duty to call them inside and wish them on their channel.

As far Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Yashji (Chopra) said “I’ll give you the film’s first look as a birthday gift at your home.” Adi (Aditya Chopra) also said the same. The publicity was supposed to start a week ago. I was nonplussed. Why were they wasting an entire week of publicity because of my birthday? But it was their way of showing their affection. This entire year I had no release, so Adi said all the channels would get the first song only on my birthday.

What should one expect from Shah Rukh Khan and Aditya Chopra’s combination this time?
It’s a heartwarming film which will remind you of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It’s very entertaining. It’s not big-looking like Om Shanti Om but has its own appeal. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen or participated in a film like this. (Smiles) And I think I’ve done a good job.

It’s believed that like last year with Chak De! India this year too you’ll rescue Yash Raj from the doldrums.
I was telling someone the other day that Yash Raj does not make a film with me. Emotionally, when they feel that they’ve the nicest story to tell, they call me. They don’t call me for a job. And I don’t go and do a job for them.

It’s believed that the film has shades of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Golmaal and Raj Kapoor’s Satyam Shivam Sundaram. I was asked if the film is about an old man falling in love with a young girl. I know all sort of talk is going around but I can assure you that it’s an original.

After Om Shanti Om, you’re again working with a newcomer (Anoushka). Any specific reason?
I never cast my co-actors. I work with directors, not actors. Adi was very convinced that we needed a new girl. In my next film for Karan (Johar), I’m paired with Kajol. And in Billoo Barber, I’m there with three girls.

If you hadn’t rejected Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots and Shankar’s Robot, wouldn’t you have had another release this year?
Haan yaar thodasa timing mein kuchh galat ho gaya. I had kept dates for both the films, then both of them were taken away. How can I reject a film? The directors rejected me.

In both the cases, they felt I wasn’t really suitable for the roles after all. So, in Robot I was replaced by Rajnikant sir and in 3 Idiots by Aamir (Khan). I think I should have started Don 2 but I kept them on hold and they made Rock On!! (Smiles) And that worked in their favour.

And how come you didn’t invite the Bachchan family for your birthday?
They weren’t in town actually and you should know that since you’re in the know of things. Social commitments in my life are made by my wife. I’ve never invited anyone in my life. I feel too shy. I tell my wife, her friend Kajal (Anand) or Karan to do the inviting. Kareena Kapoor didn’t come.. Saif Ali Khan didn’t come. Does that mean they hate me? Of course not.

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