History has taught us that drama is never far behind if Bollywood star Salman Khan is around, and that was borne out at a packed press conference in Dubai on Saturday night to promote his December 2 song-dance spectacle, Ahlan Bollywood.
Khan couldn’t hear the questions from the press corps, but chose to answer anyway.
“If Dabangg 2 does well and the world doesn’t come to an end, we will make a Dabangg 3.”
“I am not able to understand you but I will respond in any case because whatever my response, it may seem like a response to your question,” said Khan in his trademark flippant style.
“It has been seven years since I performed on stage. It’s an instant connect with the audience. I have been rehearsing like a mad man … I am waiting to see how I do tomorrow. The more enthusiastic the crowd is, the more our enthusiasm,” said Khan, breaking into Hindi midway. The question put forward was: “Will he hold a press junket in Dubai to promote Dabangg 2?”
When asked about his thoughts on a Bollywood theme park in Jebel Ali, announced last week as a part at Dh10 billion entertainment project, Khan chose to focus on the weather.
“Yesterday what happened in Dubai — the rains — I can guarantee you that it happens in Mumbai but it will never happen in Dubai again,” said Khan adding that he always tries to include Dubai in his films.
Sounds loopy? Our guess is he honestly couldn’t comprehend many of the questions that came his way. Last week, while presenting Bigg Boss, he had said he was suffering from a viral fever. However, he switched on instantly when asked if he believed in the Mayan calendar prophecy, which says the world will end on December 21.
“No, No … the world is not coming to an end. Chulbul Pandey is going to come and save it,” said Khan, alluding to his comic cop character in the blockbuster Dabangg. The sequel releases on December 20, just a day before the doomsday predictions.
“If it happens, Arbaaz [his brother and the director of Dabangg 2] is going to kill everybody,” he quipped. His off-hand responses were a massive hit with some of the guests who were invited to the press conference, who laughed heartily at everything he said.
The star-studded entourage on stage with Khan, including Priyanka Chopra, Zarine Khan, Sophie Choudry, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sohail Khan, seemed slightly more alert. Chopra, who is charting a new career as a pop singer, and released her first single in October, said she would not perform her single live on Sunday at Dubai Festival City.
“I am waiting for a few more singles to come out,” said Chopra, who nonetheless promised a spectacular performance.
Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said Chopra was a good singer, while Choudry said that Chopra was living out every singer’s ultimate dream.
“I am so excited for her. All singers wish that they could get this opportunity,” said Choudry.
Meanwhile, Khan, whose paintings sell for millions of dirhams at auctions to support his charity Being Human, was furiously sketching away for much of the press conference. Even Chopra was caught doodling.
Khan explained himself at a brief round table that was held soon after the press conference.
“Something was wrong, we seriously couldn’t hear a word,” said Khan as Chopra and Choudry nodded at his remark. The Ek Tha Tiger star was also at his gracious best when asked why he chose Chopra to dance on stage along with him.
“I didn’t choose Priyanka or the others, they chose me. I am Priyanka’s favourite co-star of late,” said Khan. Chopra endorsed his statement.
“It is always great work with him. He is one of my first co-stars and I admire him tremendously,” said Chopra. They were last seen together in 2008 in the comedy God Tussi Great Ho, which was not released in the UAE. Khan, who last week filmed a scene for Dabangg 2 in Dubai, wasn’t too accommodating when asked if he would pull a stunt like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. (Cruise scaled the Burj Khalifa in the action blockbuster.)
“Kaun hai Tom Cruise? [Who’s Tom Cruise?],” asked Khan looking at Chopra for help. He didn’t dwell on it for long, as he returned to his favourite topic: Dubai.
“If I don’t live in Mumbai, then I live in Dubai … It’s a great city with amazing energy,” said Khan. He hasn’t ruled out buying a property in the city either. “Dubai is beautiful.”
DID YOU KNOW?Khan on his birthday plans: (He turns 47 on December 27) “I am going to celebrate my birthday in Mumbai, I am going to be with my parents,” said Khan.
When: December 2
Where: Dubai Festival City
Tickets: Dh180, Dh300, Dh500, Dh1,500, Dh4,000