Sharmila Ravinder is a well qualified CA from Bangalore.She writes mostly on social,cultural and political issues.Also,she is a great animal lover and loves travelling.She runs two blogs,one at TOI at the following url http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/entry/the-khan-factor#comment-e28cec6d5e80455b9e19a9b5ef072fb9 and the other at WordPress, http://sharmilasays.wordpress.com/.Below is a brilliantly written piece from her and I look forward to sharing more of her writings in the days to come.Here is what she had to say.
Salman Khan recently declared, “I am not interested in being a superhero. I don’t want to wear my underwear on the outside nor do I want to be bitten by a spider. I prefer being SAL-MAN”. Salman is also supremely confident that he makes a better hero than anybody else as well. It would be interesting to hear Shah Rukh’s or Aamir’s reaction to this statement of utmost impudence. I am not in any way implying that SRK or Aamir are better Actors than Salman but a statement from one Khan always draws interesting reactions from the other Khans.
The battle of ‘The Khans’ has always been an interesting one. A given fact that the terminology ‘The Khans ‘ in Bollywood refers to the trinity of Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh and if you have no idea who comprises ‘ The Khans’, you would get a big D minus in the ‘Know your Bollywood Stars ‘ test and be labelled a dingbat. The other ‘Khans’ in comparison to this trio are a miniscule blip on the Bollywood radar of fame and if you admit you don’t know the lesser popular Khans, you would not sound as much of an imbecile. Each of the Khans from the trinity claim to be bigger than the other in not so subtle ways. In fact their beating of their own chest varies from boorish to downright ludicrous, we know it, they know it, but we are obsessed with this trio and we eagerly lap up all their amusing antics on and off screen.
We have grown up with them, by hearted some unforgettable songs from QSQT, Baazigar and Maine Pyaar Kiya (amongst an endless list of chartbusting hits) and while we have aged, graduated from universities, procured jobs, settled with families and moved on with life, ‘The Khans’ still look and behave like pimple faced teenagers. One of them in fact even convincingly and remarkably manages to play a student at his age, his puppy face can even sell ice to the Eskimos! The other despite the creases, wrinkles and generous nicotine stained teeth is still the darling lover boy now turned super hero. And one more is an eligible bachelor, struts with a swagger and changes his girlfriends to match the colour of his coolers. Love them or hate them, unfortunately you cannot live without them, they are the essence of Bollywood and their competition with one another is a daily dose of entertainment.
Each of the Khans sincerely believes he is a bigger, brighter and a better star than the other one. The three Khans were born in 1965, they more or less have started their careers around the same time, have an enviable fan following, have had a sizeable amount of box office success in the last two decades and have allowed them selves to liberally dip into controversies as we would have expected them to. They are superheros in their own right, they talk like one, walk like one and their collective egos can easily fill up every inch of the stratosphere. The coming together of the Khans is an inter-galactic event, there is never a dull moment when they are in the news and especially when they are pitted against one another.
But, how much longer will‘ The Khans ‘ continue to appeal to us ? The three are inching past their prime. The days are nigh when their name alone will not sell any more. Each new release of theirs requires a greater effort than the previous one, a more aggressive marketing strategy, a younger heroine, a bigger budget, and a chart busting item number to guarantee some level of success. One may argue that every movie needs the same formula to succeed, but there was a time when the Khan’s came with a guarantee. No longer is this the case.
If Aamir is a perfectionist, Salman is extremely stylish and Shah Rukh has an extraordinary sense of dedication. The three have their own unique appeal and each one squares off a section of the audience’s fancy. And there are some like me who do not prefer one Khan over the other. If I think Aamir makes a better Actor, at the same time I am quite enchanted with Salman’s star appeal and I remain in awe of Shah Rukh’s ability to push him self to the brink. Yet, I find Aamir’s marketing ability scheming, Salman’s shooting of the black bucks unpardonable and Shah Rukh Khan’s rants loud and pompous. None of the Khans are a favourite and yet I watch every movie of ‘The Khans’. That’s why I say, love them or hate them, but, it seems for now we cannot live without them. This is ‘The Khan’ factor but it’s slowly changing.