Bol­ly­wood’s su­per­star talks business, Bigg Boss and Be­ing Hu­man

Friday - - Front Page - Words by Anand Raj OK Pho­tos by Den­nis B Mal­lari

Si­lence de­scended on the Cigar Lounge at The Ad­dress Down­town, Dubai, as two burly se­cu­rity men marched in. The throng of me­dia turned their heads, all cran­ing to see if the VIP they had been wait­ing two hours to meet had fi­nally ar­rived. Then the si­lence was bro­ken with muted ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the press spot­ted Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Sal­man Khan, flanked by two more men in black.

Dressed in a black Be­ing Hu­man T-shirt – of course – and a pair of jeans, the mus­cu­larly built star smiled as he was led to the ad­join­ing in­ter­view room. Wav­ing to the crowd and mouthing ‘hi’, Sal­man, 48, swept past, seem­ingly obliv­i­ous to the ef­fect he was hav­ing on half the fe­male re­porters. “He looks so cute,” sighed a 20-some­thing jour­nal­ist, film­ing the star on her mo­bile. “I have to post this on FB now.” And then the Big Boss of Bol­ly­wood was gone, van­ish­ing with the se­cu­rity en­tourage be­hind closed doors. Now all we could do was wait.

Ev­ery­one re­turned to their seats and be­gan chat­ting about ev­ery as­pect of one of the high­est-gross­ing stars in Bol­ly­wood while the ef­fi­cient PR woman from Splash – the fash­ion house that brought brand am­bas­sador Sal­man to Dubai to dis­cuss Be­ing Hu­man – said “Your turn” and led the first jour­nal­ist in to meet him.

Won­der­ing when it would bemy slot, I looked atmy watch and jumped asmy phone rang. It was a col­league who had just found out what as­sign­ment I was on and wanted to know if she could come “just to meet Sal­man and take a pic­ture”. And just like the many re­quests be­fore, I had to de­cline, as the event was strictly invitation only.

The ex­cite­ment over the star’s ar­rival had be­gun long be­fore the day of the in­ter­view. In fact, it started a fort­night ago, when the ed­i­tor an­nounced at a morn­ing meet­ing that “we have an ex­clu­sive


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