I outright want to say that this is a highly irrational and contradictory post dedicated to the irrational guilty pleasure of loving Salman Khan.
I watched KICK last week and oh boy, does Bhai look boiling hot in the goatee and tight spandex.
I absolutely hate goatees. And gelled hair. And buffy muscles. And tight t-shirts. and crotch-hugging jeans. But on Salman it all looks like.. mmmmm…magic.
As expected, he sleepwalks through yet another ridiculous film, struts around like a lost bull and every now and then, oozes the easygoing sweet vulnerable charm which is his trademark.
My ongoing lusty affair with Salman Khan is filled with guilt and contradictions. But I have been thinking about it this week and I think there are a few reasons why he remains the most consistent beefcake in my life, despite of being the ultimate feminist nightmare.
1. Looks. I am extremely partial to men who continue to look this good. And there are very very few THIS good.
2. The disarming boyish charm and vulnerability, which makes me look beyond the macho chest thumping and ridiculous muscles and sexism in virtually all his movies.
3. The eyes. Simply the best eyes ever to grace Hindi cinema and ones who manage to convey several emotions at once. Yes, I do believe he is a fine actor when he chooses to, and every film of his has these priceless moments of baring the soul, which have never ever been recognised. There I said it.
4. Andaz Apna Apna- my all time favourite Hindi film.
I suspect the last one is the biggest reason. Nostalgia.
Salman Khan was the reigning star of my pre-pubescent hormones. I still remember watching Maine Pyar Kiya and the sultry vision of Salman in white ganjee playing saxophone and riding his bi-cycle down the stairs.
I had never seen something like this. Ever. How could I not fall for this strange-sweet-cute-sexy-gorgeous- clumsy boy?
And don’t forget. The small-town, non-glam girls like me and my friends were reassured, that if the doe-eyed sexpot like Salman could fall for someone ‘simply Suman’ and not the suave big city counterparts- then we had hope. Provided that we were sweet and innocent, which we believed we were. Since there was no other option really!!
As I grew into puberty and realised that being a Bollywood version of sweet and innocent woman meant sacrificing virtually every enjoyable thing- I sacrificed my ultimate dreamboat instead. I grew out of imagining Salman as the star of all my romantic fantasies!!
But, and it is a very important but- there was no harm in lusting after him, I was smart enough to realise. The perfect body. The melting eyes. The charm. The weird sense of humour. The floppy hair. The looks. The way clothes hug his body- as if they were invented for him. And the special way in which he bared it all with a child like simplicity.
Basically it has always been LUST.
But then over the years, there was also the surprising lovability and sincerity in performance which is lacking in virtually every major actor.
And above all- The absolutely stunning screen presence. Something inexplicable, only feel-able and totally adorable.
Over a period of time everything which I hated in a person came to be associated with him. Male Chauvinist- check. Sexist- check. Animal rights destroyer- check. Stalker- check. Criminal- check.
But human beings are filled with contradictions. Aren’t they? Despite of the overtly macho and sexist and conservative and criminal and outright dumb nature of most his films and his image- maybe it was my memories of sexual awakening, which still drew me in as a consistent fan.
I decided, perhaps hypocritically so, that enjoying a hunky man can be done by dissociating from his troubling image. I would always ignore the movies and news, and instead focused on select screen presence. Which was easy because the films he acted in were so obviously non-story-oriented.
I prefer watching selected clips. And songs. I have some silly favourites which make me feel absolutely charmed and refreshed.
And for a humongously judgemental person like me, it is a very very big thing!!
I seriously think that there has been something in him, which despite of his machoness, transcends the celluloid, and appeals to your very basic nature as a human being. You hope for him and chuckle when he bashes your hopes film after film. Most of the things he does on-off screen are highly offensive and downright criminal. But you want to forgive him. And you forgive him some more. And you hope that maybe he will see the right way and improve.
My friends call this ‘double-standards combined with delusion’ and I agree. Maybe I am a dupe of the magic of image and am willingly ignoring the very important reality. Maybe I am still as starstruck as I was as a 10 year old girl watching my first on-screen crush. Maybe I am a hypocrite to turn a blind eye to the obvious transgressions of this guy.
I know it and I have rationally tried to totally banish him as a non-fan. But then he comes wearing spandex and smiling that smile and blushing that blush and opening those doe eyes and phoooosshhh… all my resolutions to be politically correct with my fandom disappear and I am tempted to ogle at him some more.
And that is not all. You will laugh at this, but I hope he cleans his act so that I can be a fan without this guilt.
I wish he confesses to his crimes and does the rightful time in jail and comes out cleansed of his sins. Like a 1970s BW Blockbuster. I know.
I wish he lets go of his sexism- on and off screen .
I wish he chooses at least a few decent movies to prove that he indeed can act. ( And he can).
I wish he still retains his charm and sex appeal, but temper it with less drama in life.
There. I said it.
Now if that doesn’t sound like a true deluded Bhaitard, I don’t know what does!!