Bollywood Buzz

Aishwarya Rai: the words that will shut Salman Khan up

It’s not everyone that can get the better of Chulbul Pandey but director and chat show host Karan Johar did just that at an award show held recently. Salman Khan, who hosted the Star Guild Awards in Mumbai last month, seemed to have bitten off much more than he could chew when he sat KJo down on a sofa in a mock interview meant to reference the filmmaker’s TV show Koffee With Karan, the current season of which had Salman as its first guest.

The Dabangg star opened hostilities with a question he said he had been asked by “crores of people” but had never asked anyone himself: Karan, aapne abhi tak shaadi kyun nahi ki (Why haven’t you married yet)? Salman, still an eligible bachelor at 48, is asked this at almost every chance the press gets. His answers, though, are never near as awesome as the retort Karan came up with. “I am also a virgin,” he said grinning, referring to Salman’s now-infamous declaration of his sexual status on Koffee With Karan.

In the audience, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, seated together, laughed and clapped appreciatively.

Worse was to follow for Salman. “Technically,” added Karan and, when asked by Salman to explain himself, said “main backstage bataaoonga, pun intended (I’ll tell you backstage).”

There was a moment when Salman seemed to be getting the upper hand. Do you prefer interviewing actors or actresses, he asked KJo who looked nonplussed for some seconds but then came sharply back with: “Do ladkiyon ko daal do couch pet oh zyaada mazaa aata hai (two girls on the couch are more fun).” Alpha Khan pursed his lips as Sonakshi Sinha and Tanishaa Mukherjee fell about laughing below stage. “Lekin of course, solid personality ho aapki tarah then there’s no comparison,” KJo added for good measure.

If that wasn’t enough, there was this: “As a host I swing both ways,” said the TV wit.

Salman, who clearly hadn’t taken enough punishment, then asked Karan what the the truest rumour he had heard about himself was. “That you are in love with me,” said Karan without blinking. “That’s true,” said Salman gamely. “Then I can die happy,” said KJo.

But Karan has saved his best salve for later. “If you could become a woman, which heroine would you choose?” asked Salman. There wasn’t even a nano-second’s pause before Karan said “Aishwarya Rai.” “Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,” Salman shot back (but visibly shaken!) as the celebrity audience erupted with laughter and applause. “Vajah (reason)?,” Salman asked. “Vajah pooch rahe hain aap? Aap pooch rahe hain vajah (You are asking me the reason)?” a caustic Karan threw at Aishwarya-now-Bachchan’s ex-boyfriend.

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