As a child, he rescued a snake from a swimming pool. His little hands wielded a stick and pushed the venomous reptile to safety, never for a moment worrying about his own. Pursued by controversies throughout his later life and career as a leading actor, he chose to concentrate on what he does best apart from acting – altruism. Known to have a heart of gold, today Salman Khan not only has a charitable organisation Being Human that works in the area of healthcare and education in India, its merchandise that is already popular in India, has been launched in the UAE too.
At the Being Human launch in Dubai, Salman not just patiently answered all the questions in more than an hour long press conference, he cracked jokes, had fun and gave some much needed gyan to people in the shopping capital of the world. Being Human merchandise will be available at Splash and Iconic stores across the UAE.
What made you launch Being Human in Dubai?
Dubai is the shopping capital of the world and what can better than helping a cause through the spending habits of people? If you buy T shirts, jeans or Being Human merchandise, you contribute to the cause of humanity. The country is full of altruistic people who are not only wealthy but service oriented as well. So what better than to club cause with commerce? Having said this I would like to add that not a single penny out of what Being Human makes comes to me. It goes to the foundation to help people in need. The more people buy, the better it is for the cause. But if you don’t like the T shirts or the merchandise, you can say so. You can tell us why you don’t like it and suggest what you would like. That too would be a help to the foundation. If you are like me who hardly wears a shirt, it won’t matter (Laughs) but if you do and like what you see then you are supporting the foundation in your own way.
Why did you choose Splash to launch Being Human?
They have over 150 stores and so many brands. It was a natural choice. Also Raza Beig (CEO Splash) is passionate about the brand, so it helps.
Will we see you wearing Being Human merchandise in films?
Not in every other role. Imagine a Chulbul Pandey mouthing his dialogue wearing a Being Human T shirt or shirt. Won’t is look obnoxious, even funny? But yes, if I wear all the other brands why shouldn’t I wear my own? Armani mera kaun lagta hai? Being Human to apna hai. So, it is better to wear them because the money goes to the charitable trust. Today it is a statement to wear an Armani or another big brand. Soon Being Human will be a brand that people will wear with pride because there is an added social cause attached to sporting the brand. Also, the T shirts are not called SK or Salman, they are just called Being Human. It is not personal at all.
Will we see Aamir Khan wearing Being Human merchandise?
I am very proud of Aamir and he is doing the best job through his show Satyamev Jayate. Aamir has also walked the ramp for the Being Human foundation. As for wearing the merchandise, it is up to him. Why just Aamir, several of my friends from the film industry have walked the ramp to support Being Human. It is extremely supportive and endearing of them to do that.
Will your clothing line also concentrate on formal and ethnic wear? What about perfumes and accessories?
Yes, we have expansion plans. Workout gear, kids’s wear, larger sizes, big and tall sizes, toddler and infant wear as well. Imagine a baby in a cradle wearing a Being Human T shirt (Smiles). We will also do perfumes and accessories. (Points to his turquoise bracelet) We will do these too!
Your recent films have you in a macho image. Will we see you in softer roles too?
Comedy and action have been my forte as far as recent films go. Whenever I read a script or watch a promo, if I feel I need to be part of it, I will surely do it. I will do the kind of films that I watched as a child when I went to the theatres. They have to be fun. I remember the times when I used to stand on the seats of the theatre and whistle at a scene, a dialogue or a song. That is the kind of film I want to be part of. I want to make such movies.
Good cinema versus popular cinema, which do you prefer and why?
Popular cinema is good cinema. Bad cinema is when you are trying to preach something to your audience. You are trying to educate them. If you are so keen to change the world or world view, why do it through a film? Go open a school! You don’t need to make a film to educate people. Cinema has to be entertaining. I know some friends who make a film that resembles a painting. A painting has to be for the wall, why make a film like a painting? I paint and do charcoal too (Laughs) but not in my films – in real life. In fact some of my art work will be seen in the next collection of Being Human T shirts too.