Apart from the 2002 hit-and-run case, Salman was also defending himself in the Chinkara poaching case where his position was getting critical. Losing the case would also mean a jail sentence, which he dreaded. His lawyers in Jaipur were trying their level best to prove that Salman was unaware that he was shooting an endangered species when he hunted down the endangered deer during a break in the shooting schedule of Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998.
To be honest, when Salman went out on a hunting expedition with Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Neelam Kothari, all he wanted to do was to hunt a deer with his rifle — a sport common in that part of our country. He never had the faintest idea that he was shooting an endangered species.
Salman Khan was under pressure and he knew it. During those days, whoever came in close contact with the actor described him as ‘very high-strung’. That is the reason why he reached out even more for people who loved him. When it came to Shah Rukh Khan, this time it was Salman who reached out to him and Shah Rukh responded affectionately. The story of how they patched up is emotional and interesting.
Salman went and hugged Shah Rukh from behind
Following the Chalte Chalte incident, Salman and Shah Rukh avoided each other at public events, but when they came face-to-face at Farah Khan’s sangeet ceremony at Hyatt Regency on December 9, 2004, something clicked.
Friends describe that after the sangeet was over, Salman was sipping his drink quietly with his gang in one corner of the ballroom. As usual, Shah Rukh took to the dance floor with his own gang. Towards the end of the party, when the guests had started leaving, Salman suddenly came towards Shah Rukh and hugged him tight. The ice melted and Shah Rukh responded as affectionately. Both Shah Rukh and Salman were locked in a tight embrace for a few minutes. Both reportedly had tears in their eyes as they re-bonded.
Salman promptly invited Shah Rukh and Gauri over and they partied till the wee hours at Galaxy apartments, Salman’s house in Bandra. Salman and Shah Rukh continued to remain friends after the party.
But a lot had changed since…
In spite of Salman and Shah Rukh’s best efforts, their relationship never returned to normal. A lot had changed by then. Shah Rukh and Salman Khan were constantly being pitched against each other as the next Bollywood Badshah, and Shah Rukh was at the peak of his career during this time.
Salman had also started dating Katrina Kaif by then. Salman was briefly jailed during April, 2006 and Katrina was there to receive him when he was released on 13th April 2006. Katrina had a calming influence on Salman and that year, nobody saw him getting into a brawl. Career-wise he was not doing too well and had delivered a number of duds.
In 2007, Salman continued to be civil with Shah Rukh and also did a special appearance for the star-studded title song in Shah Rukh’s home production, Om Shanti Om. He later made an appearance with Katrina on Shah Rukh’s Kaun Banega Crorepati (Season 3) when the show was not doing well. Salman expected that Shah Rukh would one day return the favour.
Here is the video clip of Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif at Kaun Banega Crorepati. Remember they just came at Shah Rukh’s request and there was no film promotion tagged with the appearance as is the case these days.
But television reality shows had become a different ball game by 2007 with companies and sponsors upping their stakes considerably. Suddenly, the television reality shows were a make-or-break game with a lot of money riding on each of them.
While Shah Rukh started his much hyped show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain from April 25, 2007, Salman came on to the scene with Dus Ka Dum June 6, the same year. Shah Rukh Khan’s reality show was on the verge of being discontinued due to low audience ratings, while Salman’s show was steadily climbing up the charts and was on top of the game.
Salman extended a warm invitation to Shah Rukh to come on his reality show and was stunned when Shah Rukh refused outright. Sources say that Shah Rukh was restricted by certain sponsors, who didn’t want their star to feature in a reality show on a rival channel. Whatever be the reason, Shah Rukh’s refusal came as a complete shock to Salman who wasn’t expecting it.
After Shah Rukh’s refusal, an uncomfortable silence loomed over them.
What happened on 16th July, 2008?
It was not Salman but Katrina who had invited Shah Rukh and Gauri at her birthday party. Everything was fine as Salman and Shah Rukh stuck to their respective corners on two opposite sides. Salman was surrounded by his brothers while Shah Rukh was with his wife.
Onlookers say, that one point of time Shah Rukh and Salman were within hearing distance when the latter took the name of his reality show and made a gesture that meant that SRK’s reality show was screwed. Shah Rukh gave a cocky answer to that and the party carried on. However, Salman Khan made that hand gesture again in front of Shah Rukh after half an hour or so. This time, Shah Rukh responded with a reply that was more like hitting below the belt.
Without repeating the statement, let’s just say that the actor returned the hand gesture and said something uncomplimentary about Aishwarya Rai. Shah Rukh, onlookers say, was referring to the fight that they had way back in 2002 which is mentioned in my earlier blog post.
This was the point, onlookers say, when things got out of hand. The conversation, which started out as banter, ended up with threats and abuses being hurled from both ends. Gauri immediately intervened and dragged SRK out of the party, while Aamir Khan rushed to cool Salman down. One hears that Aamir also rushed to SRK’s house to clear the misunderstanding between the two, but in vain.
The rest is history.
Here’s a news report about the fight that was aired the next day. You can see a harrowed Salman making a quick exit from the party as an embarrassed Katrina Kaif tries to hide her face from the flashbulbs. That day (July 17), every news channel had only one big news — the war-of-words between Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Had the Chalte Chalte episode not happened in 2002, they wouldn’t have fought in 2008. Or, they would have found another reason to get on each other’s nerves? Who knows? But the fact is that the relationship between Salman and Shah Rukh is more tempestuous than the women in their life.
This post marks the end of the five-part series about the rivalry of the two Khans.
Before we start telling you a brand new story, here’s a rare video of Salman Khan with Aamir Khan at the launch of their film Andaz Apna Apna in 1994. In contrast to the rocky relationship that he shared with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman and Aamir became friends while filming this movie and have remained great friends since then.
The earlier posts on the same topic, arranged in chronological order.
Short-link of this post -> http://wp.me/p3x1zT-dj