Much has been made of Sanju (Dutt) and me roughing up Shirish Kunder (he’s Farah Khan’s husband, if you didn’t know). Well, the entire tamasha happened at my friend Baba Dewan’s nightclub, Aurus, in Juhu. And, as usual, the media spun some sensational stories without (heh heh heh) any inside info. So let me put the truth on the table (or the bar counter, if that’s more appropriate) and share with you what transpired ahead of the party thrown by Maanyata and Sanju to celebrate the success of Agneepath.
Now to get to the heart of the matter...it all started on the morning of January 28, in the year of the Lord 2012, when a desperate Shirish rung me up. (Ahead of that call Farah had sent me this text message: “Shahrukh, please, please, help Shiri.”) Anyway, Shirish was pleading: “SRKbhai, you have to help me. You see, nobody takes me seriously. The media ignores me and even when I find a mention I’m passed off as Farah Khan’s husband. I can’t go on like this.” I wondered whether he had tried roping in a PR agency. He said he had contacted Murugan & Saini’s Mumbai office but they turned him down. “I was told that mine was a hopeless case and that a survey conducted among 800 thinking and non-thinking adults revealed that no one knew of me. So Mr Murugan sent me a long e-mail explaining why no PR can save me. Why, even the nasty tweets I sent on Ra.One didn’t do the trick.”
Now, honestly, I felt sorry for the chap. But what could be done? I thought for a while and then rung up Vishal (Bhardwaj, a director I hold in high esteem) for advice. He heard me out and came up with a solution. “SRK, being in the industry you should know that nothing makes news like a bit of ‘voilence’. Trust me, a brawl alone can get Shirish publicity.” Vishal said he would send me a script which detailed out what should be done. Later that day a packet marked ‘Operation Aurus’ was hand-delivered to me. Vishal was very brief: ‘Venue: Aurus nightclub. Occasion: Sanjay’s party. Shirish comes in early, pretends to be drunk (please ask him to see Big B’s Sharabi for inspiration). He then flirts with women guests. Later, SRK comes to party and Shirish makes sarcastic remarks (for reference, watch episodes of Arjun Rampal’s Love 2 Hate U). SRK loses cool, scuffle ensues. The Dutt joins in. Few days later, patch up. All’s well that ends well.’
Now, we simply stuck to Vishal’s brilliant script. I made my entry at about 9.45 pm GMT (that sounds like a decent hour, doesn’t it)! And at precisely 10.45 GMT we had the punch-up. Later, Farah sent me this message: ‘SRK, that was choreographed to perfection.’ The media response was, predictably, very good. An elated Shirish even rung up: “Thanks to you, I’m on the front page of every newspaper.” With all humility, I told him that all my years of doing slapstick movies had obviously paid off....
(As imagined by Ajith Pillai)