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Being Salman Khan – The Bigg Boss of television

He calls it the longest relationship he has ever been in. Superstar Salman Khan was actually talking about his longstanding association with superhit reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, a show he has been hosting for nine years!In Goa for the launch of the show’s twelfth season, the actor made a grand entry on a motor boat, before going on to entertainthe crowds with his humour and dance.

He then explained how the show has been entertaining the masses for all these years. Season 12 of the show will premiere on September 16, 2018 at 9pm with subsequent episodes to air from Monday to Friday at 10:30pm and Saturday and Sunday at 9pm on Colors. While Salman was modest enough to reveal that he was not the first choice for the host of ‘Bigg Boss’, as he entered in its fourth season, he has certainly pulled in the crowds with his on screen charisma, taking it to greater heights.

Speaking about the kind of contestants that enter the show and how they transform within the house, Salman says, “Earlier,peopleused to be themselves in the ‘Bigg Boss’ house, today they have all seen the format. I cannot figure out if these guys are that genuine or they are putting on an act to be in the house. They think that the more drama they generate will keep them longer in the show because people want to see that. There were times when I had to tell them to stop, that they are going to be here and be seen and they were misbehaving. If you raise your hand, lose your cool, play games, you are depreciating the show. It’s like when you see a fight on the road and you either stop them or watch them fight, but you won’t take those people home.”

There are contestants who come into the house for various reasons. He further says, “Many getinto the ‘Bigg Boss’ House because they want to increase their work quotient, they want to be seen, become celebrities, go on to different television shows. But how is anybody going to hire them for a job if all they see are these antics? There are few who could figure it out. They figure out that they need an interaction with me at some given point of time like Elli Avram, Manu Manveer, Sangram and Andy, those moments were really funny. One episode you are ‘baajaoing,’ then Sunday is a chilled episode. But even in the chilled episode, I am still going after them.”

Hosting the show for nine years with a wide variety of personalities coming in every year is not an easy task. “It is a very difficult format to host. Now I am the host, this is my house and you have come to my house and you need to know that the whole country is watching and these are well educated celebrities who are creating drama. They are doing their own stuff, whether they are writing it, thinking it or it is their real personality but when I see them outside the house, they are like everyone else. The house is the most difficult place to live in. I avoid going to the house, which is saying a lot as I’ve actually been to jail,” says Salman.

However, he agrees that he still doesn’t know how they come up and survive with a plan inside the house. “I don’t know how they manage with a plan because I have hosted nine seasons of ‘Bigg Boss’ and I still cannot understand it. But I guess when you go into the house, the house itself makes you understand all these things. Each and every contestant that I met after the show, has said that it was the best experience of their lives and all want to go in again. What they were before and how they have come out, there is a huge transformation and their lives have changed. It is a different ball game altogether. Everyone is so set right now.”

Besides building his relationship with the contestants, he has worked with many of them after the show. “I have worked with so many people from the house because they are really talented. I see someone really good and I work with them like Santosh Shukla, Sana Khan, Armaan Kohli and Nora Fateh. I am waiting to work with Elli Avram, Arshi Khan, Hina Khan, Shilpa Shinde and Andy so when roles come up, I know their personalities. I worked with Rahul Dev too much before ‘Bigg Boss’,” he says.

BeingInTouch app gives fans access to all things about Salman Khan. “I tweet but I don’t read the comments. It is not trolling that happens on social media. I believe that if you want to come on social media, come with your true identity. Why are you embarrassed to use your real identity? When I am present as myself and actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Kajol come as themselves, why are you coming with false identify? Because you don’t want to be responsible for what you are saying and you think this is an iron curtain where you can get away with anything. If we want to track you down, we can but we don’t find it important enough to track you. We avoid it. That’s when I started BeingInTouch app.”

Does he keep track of the numbers for his films and television shows? “Numbers bother everyone eventually. Everyone wants their last film or show to be bigger and we try our best for that. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t but it should keep on happening. One should not bother if someone else’s number is going higher, that should encourage and motivate you to do better,” he says.

Speaking about the webspace in general and its responsibilities, Salman says that he’s willing to explore the medium but with good shows. “My shows will not be like the shows that are coming on the web now because there is no censor board. If we do anything, we get an A certificate in films. There are about 18 crore people on social media while 3 crore 50 lakh to four crore people are cinema goers. They are paying for the ticket and still have to see the film with an A certificate. On the phone, you can watch whatever you want but something has to be done about that because even children can get their hands on a phone. There is something dangerous about that.”

When asked about Priyanka Chopra’s engagement to Nick Jonas and her sudden exit from his period drama, ‘Bharat’, he says, “She was really sweet to tell us five days before the shoot that she couldn’t do ‘Bharat’ because she was getting engaged. We feel really sad that the movie didn’t happen for her. I am really happy that Katrina (Kaif) is in the film, we are so happy. Katrina was Atul Agnihotri’s first choice for the role. Then Priyanka called Ali Abbas Zafar and said she wanted to do ‘Bharat’, so we considered her. But now she got engaged, we are very happy for her.”[H]

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