Shah Rukh Salman is the one guy I can call upon to do the strangest of things for me:
Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan’s friendship is stuff legends are made of. On the occasion of Salman Khan’s birthday, DNA managed to get SRK to talk about the Galaxy star. He agreed immediately much to the delight of everyone. Before starting the interview, he said, “Before I talk about Salman, I have to thank his entire family for always being so supportive right from the time I set foot in this city. I know his family for the longest time. I knew Arbaaz and Baby (Alvira) a lot more and Sohail a bit, back then. Because of common friends, we would mostly hang out together.”
“I didn’t know Salman at all back then. I can’t even remember when we became friends. I don’t have an idea now that you are asking me about him, and I’m trying to remember how we became friends. I think that’s what friendship is about. You don’t know where, when and how it starts. And if you don’t know when it starts, it means it will never end. (Smiles)
Now that you’ve asked me, I can tell you one thing. Karan Arjun was the time when we started spending a lot of time together. We were with each other the whole day and spent time together. We kind of hit it off from the very beginning. It also stems from the fact that, for me, he has always been someone who I would respect because I have been, in a way, brought up by his family when I was new to this city. So, I can never think of him as a colleague. He is a friend, a very dear friend.
Salman, the star
I don’t think he’d be able to remember how our friendship began either. Before our time together on the sets of Karan Arjun, I’d go to his house because I knew his brother and sister. I knew he was a big star. We hardly hung around back then. Whenever I would be at his house, he would hardly be around because he was really busy with his film shoots. He would say a customary ‘Hi’ and hang out with us for some time.
Those mad days
I got to know him better during Karan Arjun. Because we were both mad enough to do a lot of mad things during that time. We would just drive away from shooting, run away, come back to Mumbai and nobody would even know about it. Then we would go back the next morning, without sleeping, go a little…(Laughs) unrested in the morning, finish work that would normally happen over two days, just because we felt like working really hard that day.
Yes, we’ve gotten into rifts and have had issues. We might still have another one someday, we may not. But it’s always been strangely nice between the two of us, even during fights. We both like each other a lot and it’s very strange for most people who see us. Even a few nights ago, we were together. He came out to see me off, and I said, ‘Tu baith ja aram se. Main jaata hoon.’ He was like, ‘Culture hai na hum logon ka.’ So I said, ‘Hum dono ke beech mein thode hi na hota hai culture.’ But he said, ‘Koi dekh lega toh humara culture toh rahega na. I drop you, you drop me.’ That’s a very dignified and decent way to be, even for friends.
No fuel for this fire
Salman told me that when we were at loggerheads, people would come and bitch among each other. He said, “I never said anything in front of them. When they used to leave, the first thing I would tell the family was, ‘What losers, yaar! Poor guys! They are hoping that they will add more fuel to the fight. But that’s never going to happen. These idiots don’t understand that.’
There for each other
I think we have a strange, unspoken love. When we became friends, I didn’t know this. But I know now that should — God forbid — either of us be in trouble, we know we will be there for each other always. I know that for a fact. It could be very personal or professional. But he is the one guy I can call upon to do the strangest of things for me if I need it, and so can he.
What we talk about
As a matter of fact, we have done things too for each other. We just don’t talk about it. Our friendship also stems from the fact that we don’t indulge in one-upmanship, trying to prove our personal feelings to anyone. We just hang out and actually for the last two nights, I have been hanging out with him. I have been alone, so I just go there and we sit and chat. And we chat till early in the morning and I don’t even know what we talk about. We have not talked about any logical things at all in the last few times we have met. There’s nothing of essence that we sit down and talk about.
Just do it
I think it’s because of this ease, this respect and a strange trust in both of us that we are there for each other. We don’t need each other for small things. He tweeted my next movie’s look (directed by Imtiaz Ali). He himself would offer to do it. ‘Main kar doon! Chal main kar deta hoon!’ he would tell me. It’s not something we plan. We are quite ‘yahoo’ which means we are completely off-the-cuff. We just do things for each other because we feel them. We don’t plan, we don’t plot, we don’t design, we don’t figure out, we just do it. That’s what our friendship is more about than anything else. That’s the most personal thing he or I can tell you about us.
No advice exchanged
We have no design in the way we or our friendship functions, both of us never wanted to outdo the other during the films we did together. Most of the things we do, is what we feel. We don’t plan, we don’t plot, we don’t design, we don’t figure out, we just do it. That’s what our friendship is more about than anything else. He’s just got his own identity and I have my own and we are both comfortable in that space. He would not come and tell me ‘Tu aisa kar’. Not acting-wise, personally! I am absolutely alright the way he is. I think he is shining like that and he thinks we are both awesome the way we are. That’s why we get along. There’s no advice exchanged. The best thing about our friendship is that we both don’t take advice from anyone… including each other!”