Will Salman Khan have a blockbuster birthday this year with Dabangg 3?
After his annual Eid release, Dabangg 3 will arrive a week before Salman Khan turns 54 on December 27
- Published 27.10.19, 12:35 AM
- Updated 27.10.19, 12:35 AM
- 3 mins read
The PR person couldn’t believe his ears. He’d called with an invitation to come and watch the launch of the Dabangg 3 trailer, for which Salman Khan and the entire cast would be present. When I informed him that I’d already seen it more than 10 days ago at Salman’s house where the actor had himself shown it to me, the pleasant PR guy took five seconds to be convinced about it.
Salman Khan showing his trailer to a journalist in his house more than a week ago? Something really unheard of.
But it all happened when dad Salim Khan invited me to join him for lunch at home. Lunch, as it’s often been mentioned, means a large gathering of the Khan clan. An everyday affair where Helen, Salma, daughters Alvira and Arpita with kids who’re free, sons Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail, all gather at the lunch table.
This time, Arbaaz was missing but a much-relaxed Salman walked up from his ground floor apartment in his shorts and happily joined the gang at the table. There was the usual, “Oh, it was you who wanted veg food without garlic?” banter over my curious food habits but all in good cheer.
When Salman’s around, there are usually a few more people in the room including actor-turned-producer Nikhil Dwivedi, who’s now on board as co-producer of Dabangg 3. When I told Salman I was astonished at how much weight his mom, Salma, had lost, he said, “She’s doing pilates. Don’t believe me? Mom, tell her, what you do every day?” Salma replied, “Yoga and pilates.”
Gymming and doing whatever it takes to keep healthy have become bywords in this family. Salim, who’s 83 going on 84, also keeps amazingly fit with morning walks and trysts with weights. And he’s all there, mentally as sharp as ever.
After lunch, there was excitement because Salman’s trailer of Dabangg 3 had just been readied and he wanted to show it to his parents. Call it reporter’s luck that I was around as everybody trooped into his mom’s room to watch it. There was a technical glitch between the laptop and the TV and Salman laughed when I asked him, “You think it’ll work if I stepped out of the room?”
Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that as the motley crowd simply shifted to Salman’s apartment downstairs, where it worked just fine on his big TV.
It was plain ethics not to breathe a word about anything that was said or seen on off-the-record trust.
But now that the trailer has been officially launched, it can be told that Dabangg 3 has an interesting mix of a prequel (with a fresher, younger looking Salman) and a sequel. Most know that Salman is introducing Saiee M. Manjrekar, the daughter of close friend Mahesh Manjrekar (who also starred with him in Wanted and Dabangg), in the third edition of the franchise. Saiee is in the prequel, moulded and presented to somewhat resemble Sonakshi as Rajjo. What not many know is that Saiee is the daughter of Mahesh Manjrekar’s second wife, Medha, from her first marriage. In an industry that’s marked by warm acceptance of all relationships, Mahesh adopted Saiee legally and brought her up as a Manjrekar.
Salman is superbly confident that Saiee will be another success story like Sonakshi and brought her (in avuncular fashion) along with old co-star Daisy Shah to the season’s first Diwali party hosted by Tips owner Ramesh Taurani. Salman largely stuck to the bar (not for the booze but because it was in a convenient corner) and all guests did a detour from the hall to go meet him.
The timings of Salman’s releases somehow ensure double celebrations for him. After his annual Eid release, Dabangg 3 will arrive a week before he turns 54 on December 27. Unlike Bharat, the disappointing Eid offering, with all the ingredients of the Dabangg franchise in place, including a bare torso, comic moments like his trousers slipping down and those trademark dark shades falling into the neck of his collar, it does seem like Salman will have a blockbuster birthday this year.
Bharathi S. Pradhan is a senior journalist and author