Salman is like Karna

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Salman Khan is like Mahabharat’s Karna: Salim Khan


The veteran writer Salim Khan who has been on-board as the creative consultant on the Star Plus’ Mahabharat, understands the epic and its characters better than anyone else in the entertainment business. A self-confessed admirer of the Mahabharat, the 78-year-old reveals that he learnt the art of giving that ‘twist to the tale’ from this ancient piece of literature. In this ­candid chat, he tells us why he feels his son, Salman Khan, is like the warrior Karna (from the epic):

What cue have you taken from the Mahabharata?
I’ve read the Mahabharata several times since I was young… not as a religious book, but for knowledge, and I realized that in this epic, a lot of small twists have bigger impacts later — be it Bhishma’s pledge or Yudhisthira announcing the death of Ashwatthama (where he doesn’t mention that it was the Ashwatthama elephant and not Dronacharya’s son, Ashwatthama, who has died). In many of my ­stories, I used similar twists that have larger impacts later, for instance, the coin in Sholay (1975).

Why do you say Salman is like Karna’s character?
Just like Karna, Salman has a complex character. He is fighting from the wrong side… he is silent and has inner conflicts to battle. In fact, ­during the making of Karan Arjun (1995), Salman had a choice to play either Karan or Arjun. He asked me, and I said Karan because Arjun might be a ­principled, disciplined man, but he doesn’t have the shades that Karan does. 

Is it true that you are working for free for Mahabharat? 
I am a consulting writer for the TV show Mahabharat. The show’s producer, Siddharth Kumar Tewary, offered me a good price, but I am not taking any money as I had a firm faith in Siddharth & the channel. I’ve earned a lot of money in my life and I want to give back to society now. A lot of people from the industry come to me, saying that they are unable to write the climax of their films, so I guide them.


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