Salman's 20 years in Bollywood
Salman Khan, who completes 20 years in Bollywood, on how co-stars’ kids who adore him are now celebrities themselves Incredible as it may sound, Salman Khan is completing 20 years in Bollywood soon, and nobody is more surprised than the macho actor himself. “ It’s been quite a long journey, huh,” he asks with an amused smile, adding softly, “but it seems as if it was only yesterday.” He did his first film in 1988 called Biwi Ho To Aisi. Age has been kind with Salman. He will be 42 soon. It is an age he carries well on his powerful shoulders. Not so very long ago, he was among People magazine’s most sexy men on earth, and this at a time when Hollywood and Bollywood had good-looking men standing on each others’ shoulders to get noticed and counted. Salman shrugs at the memory. “I have moulded myself with the changing times. God has been kind. He has given me this face and body, I just maintain them because I am health-conscious, and because working out is like second nature to me,” says Salman. But it is his remarkable maintenance of this God-given body that has fetched him the role of Tarzan in a forthcoming movie. He is pleased by that. “I am looking forward to playing Tarzan. I was a great Tarzan comic fan. He is so cool, man,” says Salman visibly excited. If there is one indication that the years have rolled by since he gave his mahurat shot for Maine Pyaar Kiya in 1989, then it is this: four beauties on the threshold of their careers in the film industry who have expressed their craziness for him, are all the daughters of Bollywood stars. They are Aahana (Dharmendra and Hema Malini’s daughter), Narmada (Govinda’s daughter), Trishala ( Sanjay Dutt’s daughter) and Sonam (Anil Kapoor’s daughter). He melts when told that all of them are his big fans. “I have known Sonam since she was a kid. Now she is working with me. She is a very pretty and hard-working girl,” he says. As for buddy Sanjay Dutt’s daughter, Salman says, “Trishala, too, I know her since she was a baby. She’s grown up to be a lovely girl. I think she sees a lot of Sanju in me. Maybe that’s why she loves me. Narmada and Aahana are little girls who have grown into beautiful women. My God! All the kids have grown up! Now I will have to give 10 per cent more to stand with them,” he laughs. Not just the adulation of co-stars’ children, but another sign that Salman Khan has come of age is the fact that he is being cast in wax to join the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Bachchan at Madame Tussauds in London. He remembers going to the famous wax museum only once, as a boy of 14, and coming away fascinated. “Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be there one day myself,” says Salman. Madame Tussaud’s representatives are coming down to measure out the tough Pathan for his waxwork. “People say my statue should look typically Salman Khan, casually dressed in jeans and tee, and I’m fine with whatever they decide on. The statue will live long after I have passed away. Even if people want, they cannot forget Salman Khan,” he jokes, making light of the honour and his years in Bollywood and life.