As Salman turns 50, read what Bebo has to say about her undying admiration for the superstar...
Salman Khan gave Kareena Kapoor Khan the biggest grosser ever in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. It grossed `626 crore over the `392 crore spent on making the film. She met her best friend Amrita Arora Ladak through Salman. The actress shares her experiences with the star since she first met him when she was nine years old...
It’s a family association with Salman — the Khans and the Kapoors. My sister Karisma (Lolo) is extremely close to him. I have known him for 25 years. It’s such a wonderful coincidence, but I have always been a part of the Khan family’s home productions. I acted in Sohail’s first production Main Aurr Mrs Khanna. I did the song Fevicol Se in Dabangg 2 which was Arbaaz’s directorial debut. When Alvira and Atul started their production house with Bodyguard, I played the lead actress opposite Salman. And then, in Salman’s home production, Bajrangi Bhaijaan. That makes me feel very special.
Our first meeting
I first met Salman when he was shooting with Karisma for Nishchaiy. I was nine years old at the time and I told Salman, ‘I am going to work with you when I will be a big star!’ That’s how our first meeting happened. He looked at me, smiled and said, ‘Oh really?’ I was just a child, so he was humouring me. When he started shooting for Jagruti with Lolo again, I was assisting his sister Baby (Alvira Agnihotri) who was an AD on the sets. Baby one day came and told me, ‘You be my assistant.’ I was 11 and I became her spot girl running with everything — from her water bottle and food to napkins. This family is extremely precious to me and Lolo, who swears by Salman and considers him to be her bestest friend!
The Amu angle
Our association with Salman continued with Andaz Apna Apna. I used to go a lot to Galaxy Apartments where the Khan family stays. That’s where I first Amu (Amrita Arora Ladak, who is Salman’s brother Arbaaz Khan’s sister-in-law) 20 years ago, thanks to Salman and his family. Today, Amu is my best friend. So yes, it’s been a wonderful association with Salman. He’s more like family now.
All about associations
I have always believed in associations and relationships and worked in my career for friends that I love. That’s the way I am. Most people asked me why I did such a small role in Bajrangi? I retort back — how does it matter to you? I always wanted to be a part of Salman’s first production. He called me and said, ‘I think you should do it even if the role is small. I want you to do it as the thought is great. I want you to support the film.’ It was enough that Salman offered the role to me. I would do anything for him. There are no small roles or small actors — that’s what I have been taught by my family. To us, associations are important. I don’t even question when Alvira, Salman, Sohail or Arbaaz ask me to do something in their films.
Ek alag rishta
What can I say about Salman that people haven’t said before? He is the man with a golden heart and I am very lucky to know him. Salman is beyond films. Today, on his birthday, the biggest compliment I can give him that I can stand with Salman on one side and the Indian film industry on the other. There is no one like him. As a person and actor, nobody has the kind of courage, persona and loving nature that he has. He is family beyond films. There will always be an association with Salman. He is a fantastic producer like Aamir and Shah Rukh. No one knows the business like them. But he is a stand-alone for me, my family and Saif. Lolo and I have a separate bond with him. Salman has always been there like a rock, constantly in touch and that equation will be there always. I am not the kind of person to call people in times of need, but he’s that friend I would call if I ever needed to. He is a friend who will always help a friend in need.
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