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Salman Khan – Double Take

At times scintillating, at others, sedate. Whatever the fancy of this superstar’s many a myriad mood, he-who- needs-no-introduction, Salman Khan, is always bewitching.

As selected press gathered for an intimate press conference, they were informed that he had only just left for a gold store appearance in Dubai’s desi area, better known as Meena Bazaar. The thought of waiting a few hours for him to return in heavy weekend traffic, did not bother a single scribe, because the Dubai myth is that someone high up shares a good friendship with the actor and he would be given a police escort back to the venue.

Sure enough, barely an hour later, he entered the confines of the press room with a smile and was welcomed by an outpouring of fan affection that has always been described as ‘truly loyal.’

Starting with the pleasantries of talking about the collaboration between his charity Being Human and PNG Gold, when asked if he would be wearing the jewellery he has designed for the brand, his answer was very tongue-in-cheek. ‘With my sister Arpita’s wedding just over, our home has had enough jewellery talk for the last few months .’

Keeping an eye on the Cricket World Cup, ARY News asked him whom his favorites are on the Indian team. With a twinkle in his eye, he retorted  ‘Mohammed Azharuddin, no that is not a diplomatic answer as he is Sangeeta’s husband. I also like Imran Khan, Dhoni and Shoaib Akhtar.’

My next question was more direct. ‘Does Virat Kohli remind you of yourself in some ways?’

‘No, he is too metrosexual,’ came back the prompt reply, with more than a glint in his eye.

Witnessing a star with the rare ability to be one step ahead of the press with his humour, it was getting more difficult to ask a probing question.

However, a mature Arab journalist did ask him why he is not married. Completely unflappable, he answered with dignity, ‘I came close to it a few times but I have no reason to complain, as Allah has been very kind.’

An invite-only gala dinner, did not culminate in the planned auction of a gold-plated cricket ball. This was indirectly due to the superstar’s generosity towards his fans. Noting that people kept going up to his security-cordoned table with selfie requests, he decided to walk to all the tables. But fans got over-excited and soon there was no room for him to manoeuvre.  His bodyguards, including the ever-dependable Shera, had to usher him out of the room.

He did return to the stage for a brief period but for him the evening was over and shortly thereafter, he walked off into the twilight.

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