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Monday, December 02, 2013

Salman Tells Karan Johar He’s A 'Teetotaller And A Virgin'

By Niloufer Khan | Mumbai

Last night, the new season of Koffee With Karan had what was meant to be a blockbuster opening episode. Salman Khan, who rarely appears on interview shows, graced the Koffee With Karan set. If you’ve watched the show, then you know why Khan doesn’t go for interviews. 

Twelve hours later, I’m still trying to make sense of what he said. First, let’s focus for a moment on the return of Koffee with Karan, where stars come and go, none of them talk of Michalangelo. The “buzz” this season is that Karan Johar will interview stars in pairs (which he’s done before) and perhaps even in triplet (an ode to season three?). Next week, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be interviewed with her cousin, Ranbir Kapoor. 
In coming weeks, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor will be interviewed together. There’s been no change in the format of the show, right down to the tablet that gets pulled out for no reason during the show. If I was tech-savvy I’d be able to tell you brand and model number, but I’m not so I can’t.

The big change this season is the set, which seems to be partly borrowed from a K-serial and partly inspired by Liberace’s parlour, complete with a red, baby grand piano. Now, instead of coming from the bowels of a studio, the stars walk down a staircase to join Johar on the couch. 

This is to make us all believe the show is being shot in Johar’s living room and that the staircase leads to Johar’s bedroom, naturally. On to the season’s big ticket opening episode: an interview with Salman Khan. In 1892, William James published an essay titled “The Stream of Consciousness”. In 2013, he found a brand ambassador in Salman Khan. No one’s expecting an actor, particularly one in Bollywood, to exhibit scintillating intelligence, but rarely has a person made less sense in an interview than Khan did last night. 

Not a single sentence connected to the one before or after and at one point, Johar actually covered his face with his hands. Rumour has it he was weeping. Here’s a quick recap of what happened on Koffee with Karan last night. Johar asked a question, Khan stared unblinkingly. Three seconds later, he reacted with a blink and then an answer followed. It’s like Khan is a human tubelight. 

He told Johar he was a virgin, that he doesn’t drink and that fans who invade a star’s privacy deserve “one jhaanp”. The other nuggets of information that Khan shared included the following. Shah Rukh passes Salman’s house four times a day. He and SRK have exchanged two smses since that awkward hug at Baba Siddique’s iftar party. Kumar Gaurav, whose films absolutely no one remembers, was apparently the biggest heartthrob after Rajesh Khanna and at one time, he (Gaurav, not Khanna or Khan) possessed a stack of jeans that piled up to the height of an average midget. 

Also, Khan likes sleeping alone. He demonstrated how he sleeps alone in his bed by lying down on Johar’s couch. Here’s the good news: his notion of lying down is the same as ours. Khan did manage a few funny asides and snide remarks (mostly at Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif), but they were few and far between. All this couldn’t have taken more than four minutes to convey. What happened for the rest of the hour-long interview? Beats me. 

It’s like I was watching Mulholland Drive: I still don’t know what happened, in either the film or yesterday’s interview. But something happened that even William James hadn’t anticipated. It turns out you can study stream of consciousness across generations. Because Salman’s father, Salim Khan, the legendary scriptwriter and one half of the writing duo that gave us films like Sholay, Zanjeer, Shakti and Mr. India, was even more disjointed in his answers than Salman. What did I learn from Salim Khan? 

That it’s important to respect people, his kids respect Helen because when they were “chhotey chhotey”, he frankly explained adultery to them and told them that they might do the same once they grew up. Also, the matter is sub judice, his son has a knack for trouble and bad character judgement, and “when there’s no fire, there is smoke.” Whatever that means. I’m telling you, I’m confused. By the end of the episode, it seemed as if Karan Johar was lost, Salman Khan had lost whatever he had of the plot, and Salim Khan seemed to be writing a new plot. 

It was as bizarre as it gets and there really should be an investigation into what was in the Khans’ coffee mugs. I saw Salman Khan on Bigg Boss right after Koffee With Karan – yes, I’m a loser, but it’s all for you, dear readers of Firstpost – and it was as if I was watching a different man. Someone give Bigg Boss’ uncredited scriptwriter a cupcake because only a script explains the difference between the Khan on Koffee with Karan and the Khan on Bigg Boss. 

On Bigg Boss, Khan was playing to the audience comfortably, cracking jokes and, most importantly, making sense. Who’d have thought there would be a program on television that made Bigg Boss sound lucid? Perhaps after that opening episode of the third season of Koffee with Karan was done, Johar, who wore a red velvet jacket on the show, sat at his red baby grand and played a sad tune as a single tear trickled down his cheek. 

I will now end with an ode to Salman Khan-style stream of consciousness – Karan’s show my breakfast mushroom taxi calling office article editing dog leggings review nonsense person done next week Kareena Ranbir. 

You can watch Koffee With Karan every Sunday at 9 pm.
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