There are no heroes in the real world: Salman

Salman KhanHe can't figure out what the fuss is all about: ‘‘I don't understand why the media is writing good things about me. Jo pehle karta tha, wahi ab bhi kar raha hoon (I'm doing exactly what I've always done).'' Salman Khan's pensive stance comes after his two much-publicised Good Samaritan acts. He played saviour to...
...three boys, injured in a road accident next to his Bandstand home in Bandra. And single-handedly helped a man pull his vehicle out from the mud.

The stuff heroes are made of? But media's favourite whipping boy would like to do without all the attention. The rainy morning finds him lounging at Taj Land's End, Bandra. Khan asks for a black coffee, takes a sip and confesses, ‘‘I needed that.'' The photographer wants to capture the great sipping ceremony. Khan shrugs and asks, ‘‘Kahin aisa toh nahi, ki chadha ke phir se girane waale hain (Are they planning to raise me to the skies, before pulling me down again)?''

Of course, our muscleman insists he now goes through life as an observer. ‘‘When I'm doing something, I give it my 100 per cent but, once complete, it doesn't matter. I've always believed that nobody can break me because nobody made me.'' So, though he had a blast working for his last release Garv: Pride and Honour, he is detached from the film's successful run at the fickle box office.

All the same, the 38-year-old actor believes he's at an interesting stage in his career, for he can now exercise his right to choose. ‘‘Earlier, I'd signed some films I didn't believe in because I wanted to buy my own house. I don't need that now,'' he drawls in his exasperating accent.

Conversation veers towards Revathy's Phir Milenge, Khan's third release in two months, after Garv and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. He plays a singer in the love-story that also stars Shilpa Shetty and Abhishek Bachchan. He has often taken on the role of a songster, in films like Love, Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Kahin Pyar Na Ho Jaaye. In accordance with his new philosophy, Khan just laughs this off with a ‘‘I have limited career options even in my films.''

Phir Milenge is Bollywood's first film with AIDS as a backdrop and Revathy had been turned down by many actors. But Khan has no qualms playing an AIDS patient. ‘‘I know Revathy will make a kick-ass film. I hope she proves me right,'' he shrugs. He's also unconcerned about how Indian audiences will react to the hero playing victim, declaring, ‘‘There are no heroes in the world. There are just human beings, who are reacting in the right manner in non-ideal situations.''

After all, according to Khan, God is still working on human beings. He has just one grouse against the Supreme Being. ‘‘The worst thing He did was to give human beings a mind.'' So, should it have only been the heart? ‘‘I'm still trying to figure this out... both the mind and heart screw things up,'' he chuckles. Urged to make his mind up, Khan again uses philosophy as a defence: ‘‘When you take a stand, you lose something. And if you don't take a stand, you are weak. You can never win.'' He then flashes his

Sallu-goes-funny grin and whispers, ‘‘Too far fetched, isn't it?'' Too Salman Khan, definitely.

Kissa Casting Ka
REVATHY was Salman Khan's co-star in Love. But he'd have never imagined that she'd direct him one day. In a way, Khan agreed to act in Phir Milenge much before it was offered to him. ‘‘Shilpa (Shetty) told me that everybody was turning Revathy down, nobody wanted to play an AIDS patient. I called Revathy up and told her, though she hadn't asked me, I was doing the film—that's it,'' proclaims a triumphant Khan.