While Tanmay was becoming the Bhat of all jokes, another incident stuck its head out of the muck yesterday. Turns out Salman Khan hasn’t allowed Arijit Singh’s song in the soundtrack for Sultan.
In case you don’t follow the Times of India, or have a life in general, you should have heard of the news. Turns out Salman Khan was at an awards show three years ago, and someone said something and Bhai wasn’t pleased, so he banned the singer from singing songs for himself.
Of course it should come as no surprise, as we are used to film industries where the actor is bigger than the writer, the director, the script, the film, even the sun; if he eats a lot of biriyani on that day. It baffles me how a star can take creative decisions on a film, when he’s not involved in the production in any way.
But that’s India, and that’s how things have run for the longest time. When actors have temples built for them, a singer is but a twig. However, this isn’t the first time Bhai chose to do what he wants. There have been the minor incidents of him shooting animals because he took his role in Suryavanshi – a desi Kannan the Barbarian – too seriously. He has also driven over people on footpaths – Being Drunk.
But among the biggest victories of Bhai, is the single-handed destruction of a certain Vivek Oberoi. Sometime in the mid-2000s, Vivek Oberoi must have woken up everyday feeling like the middle of an LSD trip. A relative newcomer, he had chalked up a body of work that included Ram Gopal Verma, Vishal Bharadwaj, Mani Ratnam, and Subhash Ghai. He was also endorsing Coca-Cola, and happened to date Aishwarya Rai. Which didn’t go down too well with Bhai.
Today, Vivek Oberoi endorses Babool Toothpaste, Kayam Churan and Polio drops. His co-stars are Aftab Shivdasani, his films have the budget of Bhai’s underwears. Every time he appears in an award function, he grovels and bows down to Bhai like we are in the 1780s and Zamindari is the prevalent system. Even today, under a song from Saathiya, you’ll find a comment – ‘He was a nice guy, shouldn’t have messed with Bhai’.
Of course, Bhai does what he wants. People who are close to him, irrespective of IQ or talent will be promoted. Like one-time National Pain in the Ass Himesh Reshammiya, and Sooraj Pancholi. Bhai will do what he wants, because fuck the world!
It’s strange how someone with neither talent nor goodwill, has risen to become the biggest star in the country. The common logic provided is ‘Bhai dil ka achha hai’. Which, if you think about it, is the logic used to justify chutiyas. If someone is nice, they’re nice. Yeh dil ka achha hona kya hota hai?
I am perennially baffled by the fact that he’s today’s biggest superstar. Our parents had Amitabh Bachchan as their icon. For most of the 90s, your social standing could be decided on your preference between Shah Rukh Khan and Govinda. But what sort of a coked-up nation do we have to be, that Bhai is our biggest star. At most, I’d assumed Salman Khan would be Dharmender of our generation – beefed up, refusing to act his age, and generally off-kilter in the head.
But the answer isn’t too far away. Salman Khan today is a classic case of tremendous PR work. There have been enfante-terribles in Bollywood earlier. There were also actors who went to jail and got embroiled in legal battles. And yet, the metamorphosis of Bhai has been breathtaking. A few ramp-shows, a line of unusually tight T-shirts in malls, and suddenly Bhai has transformed into a ‘Dil ka achha Bhai’.
It’s no wonder that Hindi films have generally begun to suck donkey balls. Look at the biggest hits of the last few years, and you’ll find at least two films a year that make you want to slit your wrist and spray the blood over the audience’s faces. With Bhai in both of them. Today, Bhai does Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje with Prime Minster Modi and speaks to reporters about eradicating illiteracy in the nation.
And yet, I wonder why Arijit Singh has to apologise to Salman Khan? How honest-to-its-efforts can a film be, if your actor can take calls based on grudges from years back. It’s like the teacher failing you in 10th standard because you peed in the class in 3rd Standard.
And yet, it will happen. The comments have already begun to flow in – Aye, don’t mess with Bhai. Bhai is the greatest <3 <3 <3 Love from Syria.
Arijit Singh, a singer who worked his way to the top by hard work and credible hits, has to plead with Bhai to include a song in the soundtrack. I sometimes wonder if Malayalam and Tamil directors are reading such tripe and laughing at us. Or may be they aren’t, because they have work to do, like writing scripts and dialogues.
So, of course Arijit Singh needs to apologise to Bhai! How else will he get to sing in Housefull 27, and other path-breaking cinematic ventures like Saawan – The Mating Season.
If anything, I fail to understand why Arijit Singh needs to write a letter of apology to Salman Khan. It is futile.
Cos Bhai dil ka achha hai. But I doubt he knows how to read.