Inside The Psyche Of Salman Khan...
StarDust Mag April 2000
||All the world loves a lover. Even when the
lover happens to be hunky honcho Salman Khan. Maybe because the woman he loves is the
fair maiden named Aishwarya Rai! Well, be that as it may, the Ash-Salman love story is one that leaves many a face
starry-eyed. A more made-for-each-other couple
would be difficult to find. We're speaking
appearances, of course. 'Coz beneath that
skin-deep veneer, not too many people feel
that the two are right for each other. Starting
from our fair maiden's parents. Ending with
our hunky honcho's family. The path of love
is not always strewn with roses, you see.
|Cupid struck when the two were working together
in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'. The 'vest'ibular wonder caught the worldly
beauty's eyes and that's where those grey-green
orbs of hers stayed. Long after the film
was over and done with. And suddenly the
two aren't hiding the fact with coy denials
anymore. Even if they aren't announcing their
love to the world the way Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty did (and look where it got them!), they
aren't hiding their love behind palm fronds.
|That Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan are the industry's latest lovebirds is a
song that every tree in Film City is singing
these days. Matter of fact, some beaches
in Goa have also joined the chorus. Ash and Sallu were there, ushering in the new millenium
(or turn of the millenium, let's not get
into specifics here) in the land of Sun,
Sea and Sin. Well, they weren't alone. The
entire world and who's who of the Social
Register was there as well. And tongues haven't
stopped wagging about how the straitlaced
Aishwarya shrugged off her stiff propah demanour and
was rolling in the golden sands with her
paramour, Salman kissing and hugging and cootchie-cooing
for the whole world to see. The love story
that started on the sets reached its crescendo
amid deep blue sky and sea.
||Which is why it is difficult to understand
why the two are not working together. Any
verily-in-love hero-heroine pair will vouch
for the fact that there's nothing like signing
half a dozen movies together to ensure that
they get to spend all their working and non-working
hours in each other's loving arms. History
proves the veracity of this fact. Akshay-Raveena, Akshay-Shilpa (definitely looks like AK has been victim
of all play and no work!), Sanjay-Sushmita, Manisha-Nana Patekar, Ajay-Kajol... the list is endless. So, one expected
that after 'Hum Dil...' and especially after falling in love,
there would be a flood of Ash-Salman announce-ments.
|However there's not a single movie that the
two have signed together. Though, Aishwarya has signed up with G.S. Entertainment who will be representing her professionally
and which is part-owned by Salman's brother Sohail, a film with him is nowhere in the picture,
so to speak. So near, yet so far kind of
scenario, this. Many felt that it was because
Ash's parents didn't like Salman too much. That,
insiders believed, was the reason for no
|But when delved into, there seemed a lot
in this matter than met the eye. Apparently,
it is not Aishwarya's parents (only) but Salman's family who were the cause for this no-working-together
pact of sorts between the lovebirds. "Salman's family feels that Aishwarya is with him only to further her professional
interests," said a source close to the
Khan family. Salman didn't like the insinuation and wanted to
prove to his family that it wasn't so. That
his ladylove had no other interests other
than love. And in a bid to prove that, he
vowed not to sign any more movies with Aishwarya. Sacrificing all the time he could've spent
with her (and be paid for!) at the altar
of familial proving-a-point.
|Things weren't going too well for the lovers
from Ash's side either. Her parents pointedly disapproved
of her choice and made no bones about it.
So far Ash has maintained a stiff upper lip about her
relationship with Salman, resorting to the good old "good friends"
routine. But the world is in on her secret.
And people smile benignly and knowingly at
the actress for wanting to close her eyes
and pretending that no one could see her.
You see, all actresses do that. Hide their
love. They wouldn't like to talk about involvement
because it might sour filmmakers' visions.
An involved actress is out, out, out of the
wish-list of most makers.
|But that alone isn't the reason for Aishwarya's tongue-tied shyness where Salman is concerned. She had another, more serious
motivation to keep her feelings for Salman under wraps. Her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Rai, it is popular knowledge, don't exactly
love Salman with the same fervour that their daughter
does. Also, many feel that Salman is not
a very good influence on Aishwarya Rai. At least professionally speaking. The ultra-professional
Ms. Rai was seen sauntering in later and later at
many of her schedules and would spend all
the non-shooting time talking on the phone
with Salman. The Rais have apparently heard of all this and aren't
liking things one bit. They just don't think
Salman Khan is Mr. Right for their lovely daughter.
In fact they believe rather firmly that he's
All Wrong. With floor-thumping emphasis too.
||And not without reason either. Salman's wild reputation enters a room months before
he does. At any given moment, the shirtless
wonder is linked with at least three different
women, none of whom he's ever serious about.
The media's been speculating about who the
lucky(?) girl is going to be, but the industry's
not-so-eligible bachelor just escapes any
kind of permanence, slipping away from slipping
on the ring on any finger. In other words,
Salman loves the chase, enjoys the thrill of moving
in for the kill, and then leaves the trapped
prey, on the prowl for the next. Talking
about just some of his serious involvements,
it was exit Sangeeta Bijlani, enter Somy Ali. Then exit Somy, enter Aishwarya Rai, with Salman unchaining himself from each with the ease
of Harry Houdini. Commitment-phobia or just
your garden-variety rake, Salman is lots of food for any shrink.
|However this time round, with Aishwarya, things are supposed to be different. Salman Khan, close friends say, has finally found love.
But this time, circumstances are putting
the spoke in the wheel. Simple, South Indian
and conservative, the Rais are understandably
thrown off by the man their daughter seems
to be besotted with. They don't approve.
And in a bid to take their daughter's mind
firmly away from the philandering Khan, they have been trying to arrange her marriage
with relatively suitable boy.
||But Ash didn't fall in with the plan and Salman continued his heart control. In fact, news
is that Aishwarya has bought a place of her own, where she
will live on her ownsome (well, technically
at least). She doesn't want to be dependent
on her parents and feels it's time to test
her wings, that's the reason given. But people
in the know feel that this is Ash's way of rebellion. Though it is rather
hard to believe, considering how attached
the Scorpio gal is to her family.
||But that still didn't change things on the
professional front. Salman and Ash are doing no films together, (at the risk
of repeating ourselves) and it isn't for
any dearth of offers. Maybe Ash and Salman are trying to please everybody and not rock
their loveboat either. But how long this
tightrope-walk will go on is questionable.
Besides which is the fact that it doesn't
make sense for two stars who make a combustible
screen pairing not to work together. It is,
like a director pointed out, "rather
foolish". But like, Aerosmith screamed,
'Falling in love is so hard on the knees'.Salman and Ash have definitely grazed theirs.
|Ash has hurt more than her knees, incidentally.
Which added another rather shocking twist
to the story. News of another kind sizzled
its way into the cathouse. Aishwarya Rai has been going around with her hand in a
cast and a black eye which was explained
as a fall down the steps of her home. But
sources claimed that it was Salman Khan who was responsible for it. Apparently he
wanted her to attend a party and she couldn't
make it. Enraged, he rumouredly landed on
the sets of Yash Chopra's 'Mohabbatien' and picked her up and well... showed her
his displeasure. But this particular story
is almost impossible to believe. Not because
Salman is not capable of such kind of behaviour.
But because Ash isn't the kind to take it lying down. And
Ash and Salman are still very much together. In fact, they
even performed together at an award function
to thump down the rumours. And incidentally
Salman cancelled all his schedules recently to
be with his lady-love at Jaisalmer, where
Ash was shooting for Raj Kanwar's 'Dhai Akshar Pyar Ke'. But tongues continues to wag in the industry
and the whisper is a din now. So one doesn't
exactly know what happened there.
||As things stand now, this is the scene. Ash and Salman aren't working together. They are still
very much in love. And neither sets of parents
approve. Where they go from here is anybody's
guess. Whether this is a love that will weather
all storms or a meek affair that will succumb
to external pressures, remains to be seen.