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An Obsession With Salman Khan

I had to watch all Salman Khan movies that too at the cinema hall, again a big thing for a small-town girl. There were innumerable Filmfare, Stardust and Cine Blitz magazines being purchased for Mr Khan.

An Obsession With Salman Khan
An obsession with Salman Khan. Getty Images

I can still the smell the posters on the wall of Science College quarter and the innumerable paper cuttings of my hero. They are still there. Somewhere. I can’t find them, but I am sure they are lying in some corner of my maternal home, amidst the dirt and unattended. All my scrap books and diaries are reminiscent of the collections I had.

To say that Salman Khan was my first crush would not be an exaggeration. I watched Maine Pyaar Kiya (MPK) for the first time in Class 8. It was my cousin’s marriage and VCR was an important part of any grand event then. The only person who could divert my attention from the bride and groom was Prem. Prem and Suman had become household names by that time. I had not seen such a good looking and handsome man in my life. I had to fall for him. He had become my hero for sure. Hero in the form of Salman Khan. 

For a small-town girl like me studying in a convent with the nuns around, boys only existed in my fantasy and imagination, and love only existed in theory. Mills & Boon novels and the rickshaw rides to school were the only time I could see boys and compare some of the good-looking ones, especially those who lived in the Sabzi Bagh area of Patna, to my hero. I remember one of my close friends had a VCR at her place. Since in those days it was a luxury to keep one, I would often request her to play MPK, and she would oblige as she also liked Prem and Suman. I can never ever forget that adrenaline rush whenever Salman Khan appeared on the screen. Yes, my Mills & Boon hero had finally got its face.

I had to watch all Salman Khan movies that too at the cinema hall, again a big thing for a small-town girl. There were innumerable Filmfare, Stardust and Cine Blitz magazines being purchased for Mr Khan. He had become a topic of discussion at our family dinners too. While my brother made fun of him, my father would enthusiastically inform me about Salman Khan's images appearing in the newspaper. I guess my parents were very cool and realised the weirdness of my teenage phase. There used to be a cassette shop near my house that had become my favourite place to get all the latest recorded songs of the actor by paying only a meagre amount. I had made so many visits to Archies for its postcards of all famous Bollywood stars. Tumse Milne ki Tamanna Hai from Saajan movie used to be played in Chitrahar and Rangoli, and I would be glued to the TV set.

My school had huge Aamir Khan followers, but very few diehard Salman Khan fans like me. I was very clear not to talk and waste my time with the admirers of Aamir Khan. They would have never appreciated the gem that Salman Khan was. And then I heard about Salman Khan's innumerable hookups and link-ups, which for me were all false and baseless. I remember a friend sending me the clipping of a Bombay Times article that said Salman Khan was one of the most good-looking actors in the People magazine in 1997. I was overwhelmed. 

December 27 was more like my birthday. It was a day to party with friends, cut cake and write letters, that never got posted. The names of his family members, his driver, his co-actors, his exes, his school and college, were all current affairs questions for me. I cried after watching the musical Khamoshi, danced watching Judwaa, and took my cousin to Elphinstone Cinema Hall at Patna for watching the first-day first show of Jagriti. He is yet to forgive me for coaxing him into watching what he claims is the worst film of his life. I had to literally fight with the gatekeeper at City Center 2, Calcutta, during the last trimester of my pregnancy to watch Bajrangi Bhaijan. While everybody at the theatre was shocked by my attitude, my husband was amazed at my enthusiasm and “Salman love".

As I listen to Dil Diwana song while sipping my morning cup of tea, I wonder whether a megastar would ever learn about this love story of a small-town girl. Maybe he should not since I am only one in a million.

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