I travel to Bangalore once in a while, because there’s a mini unit of my family there (as every Malayali has). And since I’m very very prompt in booking tickets, I don't get train tickets and end up going by bus most of the times.
Now, I don’t have any problem as such with buses, since most of them are those AC types with push-back seats and all, but I don’t enjoy it so much. Because of two main reasons. One, I’ll be paranoid all throughout that I’ll need to pee and that they won’t stop the bus anywhere at night. And then I’ll think so much about it, that after a while, I’ll simply have to go! And obviously, they won’t stop the bus according to everyone’s bladder conditions, right? I won’t go pee behind a bush or a building either (as the driver of the bus I travelled last week in suggested). So for the most part, my sleep goes away thinking about when I’ll get to pee next. (I think I can see diabetes approaching me quite determinedly).
Another major reason is, the movies that they play. In a bus that goes from Hyderabad to Bangalore, or the other way round, they’re most likely to play a Telugu or Kannada movie. And oh good lord… I don’t understand Kannada at all, but I do understand quite a bit of Telugu, and that somehow makes it worse. No offense to any of my Telugu readers, but the movies are not very watchable. And since I have a back problem, I always opt for the seats right in front. So even if I push a roll of cotton inside my ears and close my eyes tight, I just cannot ignore the bombs exploding right in front of my face and Amisha Fatso Patel filling up the entire screen. I just give in to my fate and watch the movie.
Which (finally!) brings me to the point of this post. Last week when I was going to Bangalore, they put “Wanted” in the bus. I did a little happy jig right where I was sitting! I mean, come on! Sallu Bhai was going to make sure that my bus journey wouldn’t be a bore. When they paused the movie in between to halt for dinner and ‘toilet’, I was pretty disappointed. I couldn’t wait for the journey to resume so that I could get back to watching Radhe bash up the villains left, right and centre. Never mind that Ayesha ’40-inches-boobs-is-all-you-can-see’ Takia’s acting was sad, as long as Sallu Bhai did what he did best, I was one happy passenger.
So why do I think Salman Khan is a superstar?
1)Because he doesn’t need to endorse fairness creams to prove to people that he is ‘fair and handsome’.
2)Because I can’t think, honestly, of any actor who looks so good in a police uniform. I mean, seriously.
3)Because no one else would’ve gotten away with a film like Dabangg.
4)Because no one else can do a film like Dabangg.
5)Because though he may remove his shirt at every given opportunity, it’s kinda worth it.
6)Because no one else can wear flaming red pants and still manage to not look gay.
7)Because he doesn’t pretend to not have an ego. He has one, he knows it, and he flaunts it.
8)Because though he may have had problems in his personal life- what with the run-ins with the law and all- when he comes on to screen, audiences still watch open-mouthed.
9)Because he dared to do a role like the one in “Tere Naam”, and pulled it off with élan.
10)Because he is the original lover-boy of Indian cinema. He may be a 40-year old hulk now, but somewhere, you can still see the boyish charm of the Prem of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Maine Pyaar Kiya.
11)Because he had the heart to mentor someone like Himesh ‘I-love-my-nose’ Reshammiya.
12)Because he had the sense to not pursue Aishwarya Rai any further. Thank god.
13)Because not many can look good with a moustache, and he is one of the few who do.
14)Because if anyone else had said dialogues like “Main khudh nahi jaantha ki main kitna kameena hoon” (Wanted), I would’ve laughed out loud. Instead, I clapped. For a minute, I mistook the darkened interiors of the bus to be a theatre.
15)Because even though he may not be the best dancer in Bollywood, his dancing style is inimitable.
16)Because whatever role he does- corrupt police, undercover cop, a lover-boy, a musician, or a role that he did in Tere Naam(I don’t really know how to describe it)- you just can’t ignore his style.
So who cares whether his character is dheela or not. He’s still my superstar.
Here's another kindred spirit.
Note:- All images from Google.