Both can make India stop in its tracks….
They are the reigning demigods of Bollywood. As film industry connections go, one man was born with a silver spoon; the other now hands over a golden one to his kids. One started off as a loveable hero, and allegedly pursued wild antics that found him remanded behind bars. The other made the audiences hate him on-screen, only to love him even more off-screen. One is the forever eligible bachelor; the other is the quintessential family man. One lives with the intense pain of real life trigeminal neuralgia; the other familiarised us to the on-screen version of Asperger’s syndrome. Both can stake claim to the biggest hits in Bollywood; both elicit extreme reactions love, hate or love to hate; both have wax statues for die-hard fans to worship. Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, the King Khans of Bollywood, who rule their turf in their own inimitable style.
Here’s comparing the two superstars. Read it, and pick your man. Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan claim an Afghani heritage the family story of grandfathers migrating to India from Afghanistan. At the risk of being stereotypical, must say their feisty tempers seem justified, as does their apparent benevolence towards friends.
In typical do-or-die fashion, if you are a friend of either one, you can enjoy their largesse; if you are on their foe camp, beware of their wrath. And when it comes to tying up a turban and going North-Western Frontier style, each can carry the role with panache. ‘Biwi Ho To Aisi’ is not exactly the movie that Salman Khan might want to known for as his debut. It wasn’t an extended on-screen appearance but the young Salman took the nation by storm with ‘Maine Pyar Kiya.’ Which girl wouldn’t have given her heart on a platter for the man, who sings, dances and dies for love? Chweeeet Sallu, the legend was born.
Shah Rukh Khan was destined to be loved the moment he appeared on our home-screens in the television series ‘Fauji.’ Fresh from theatre school, Shah Rukh’s dimpled smile and effortless on-screen presence endeared him to family audiences, a success he repeated with ‘Circus’ another TV series. His first film, made for television, was ‘In Which Annie Gives It To Those Ones,’ scripted by Arundhati Roy. The big-screen adventure, however, began with a box-office hit, ‘Deewana,’ not anywhere on the league of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya,’ but good enough to earn Shah Rukh a place in Bollywood.
Salman Khan continued with the sweet, romantic comedies, with dollops of emotions, epitomised by his sensational hit with Madhuri Dixit, ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’. His fetish for brawn display too bloomed with a series of unmemorable action flicks. Shah Rukh Khan, the charismatic darling of housewives, did a strategic shift; he went maniac, nay, on serial killer mode. In a way he challenged Bollywood conventions like nobody’s business. A handsome hero killing his own girlfriend? Well, that was new. But why did we clap for the villainous Shah Rukh instead of the hero of ‘Darr’, Sunny Deol? And they met – on-screen.
Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan claim an Afghani heritage-the family story of grandfathers migrating to India from Afghanistan.
At the risk of being stereotypical, must say their feisty tempers seem justified, as does their apparent benevolence towards friends.
1995, the year that defined Shah Rukh Khan, giving him that upper hand, when he returned to his turf that adorable young man, any mom would give her daughter without batting an eyelid. ‘Karan Arjun’, the pairing of Salman and Shah Rukh, was a box office super hit. Salman Khan was nominated for his role as Karan, the angry man against whom destiny conspired, for a popular film award. But it was Shah Rukh Khan who walked to the victory-stand – to clinch the trophy for his endearing role as Raj in the all-time super-hit ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.’
Shah Rukh was being crowned the undisputed king of Bollywood – delivering solo hits or hogging the limelight in multi-starrer family tearjerkers with Amitabh Bachchan. ‘Mohabbatein’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, ‘Asoka’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’, ‘Main Hoon Na’, ‘Veer Zaara’, ‘Swades’, ‘Don: the Chase Begins’, ‘Chak De!’, ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Rab De Bana Di Jodi’, eclectic roles with a mix of family sentiments, history, inspiration, sheer fun – in short, everything that defines a Bollywood hero. Josh, er gosh, could the man ever go wrong!
The awesome twosome, if you may, also came together for a much-delayed flick, ‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’, which went on to become a surprise hit. Lover-squabbles gone public, police cases, prison remands – the young man, looked hell-bent on being self-destructive. The media, now with 24-hour television to assure anytime entertainment from real life, was hot in pursuit. Anything Salman did appeared wrong; he was hounded, and you could almost hear a wounded growl in the man even from his photographs. Now, this is where perhaps, Salman becomes the enigma that will go on to make a hot favourite that he is now. Salman’s friends stood by him; whether planned (highly doubtful) his personal goodness tales of the kind hearted Khan, who would do anything for friends, started trickling in. Salman Khan, we learnt to believe, cannot be a bad man, after all. Yes, he perhaps erred in his ways; but then, he apparently also has a heart of gold. As for Shah Rukh Khan, suddenly, the man appeared to be a cold, calculating, shrewd businessman. He too broke with friends, like Farah Khan.
Somehow, the sheer weight of success seemed to start hounding him websites became war zones for fans who delighted in maligning Shah Rukh, the very same people who take gleeful delight in prophesising the failure of ‘Ra.One’. As it stands now, the race is neck-to-neck. ‘Dabangg’, ‘Ready’ and the super-opener and sustained performer ‘Bodyguard’ have elevated Salman Khan to an enviable top-notch position. His films, like Shah Rukh who first broke into overseas markets, are awaited by audiences from the Gulf to America. There is an apparent peace in his domestic life and producers are happy. There are tales of the two making up, falling out, making up, falling out you know the works. Both have bared their chests to flaunt six-packs – although Salman still scores on brawn power. Both have shared screen space with all the finest of heroines from Madhuri Dixit to Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor. Both have entrenched camps in Bollywood. Both are still accused of lacking histrionic depths; Shah Rukh making a pitiful sight hyper-ventilating in emotional scenes and Salman Khan looking as dead as a rock or making faces. And both can make India stop on its tracks.
–Msn.com/ Rajeev Nair, India Syndicate