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Salman Khan at the launch of ďBeing HumanĒ Gold Coins
Salman Khan at the launch of Being Human Gold Coins

Being human

Being Human is Salman Khan's brainchild. The actor, known to many, as having a heart of gold has been using his charitable organization to help the needy. And now he will be taking the step to expand his brand to a bigger business proposal.

Salman explains to Businessofcinema.com, "Being Human raises funds via the sale of its T-shirts, which are exclusively designed. After T-shirts, Being Human will now be expanding its product offerings by making watches. Watches are a great accessory and both genders love flaunting their watches. It has become a style statement. So keeping that in mind, my foundation will be making watches, which can be sold to make some money."

A bare-all interview with Salman in which he reveals that heís a painter, writer, telly host, eligible bachelor and gym icon all rolled into one and yet - he claims that being Salman is quite easy! 
Moody, temperamental and Ďmisunderstoodí thatís how we have been describing this Khan over the last 18 years. We have had our share of spats with him but now all that seems to be a part of the forgotten past as we catch up with him at Mehboob Studios where heís shooting forVeer, a period drama that is based on a story written by him. He says itís about men who fight to honour their word. Itís being directed by Anil Sharma. In a shoulder-length mane and a low-slung orange jeans and his famous bare, glistening torso, Salman Khan is shooting for an elaborate song-sequence of which Mithun Chakraborty and . Sohail Khan are also a part. There is buzz of visitors around Salmanís vanity van - fans clicking keepsakes with him, a couple of visually challenged musicians playing their CD for him, designer Anna Singh and editor-director Shirish Kunder waiting to catchup with Khan. Arbaaz drops by to share a cup of dark coffee with his famous sibling. After attending to all of them, Salman signals us to unfurl our questionnaire. The light drizzle and constant humdrum on the sets couldnít dampen our spirits as Salman warmed up to us slowly but surely. Excerpts from the interface: 

Trade insiders have it that Salman never signs any agreement, he just gives his zubaan. Is that true?
Yes, I believe in trust. I do my work and get my price for it. I only work with people I am comfortable with. 

With this big boom following corporatisition, how have things changed for you?
Nothing has changed for me, just that prices have gone higher. On the whole film viewing has changed, the movie watching culture is coming back with the multiplexes and even in the single screen theatres conditions are improving. Things are going to be better and better. But the producer can make only two types of films either a big-budget bonanza or a small multiplex film. Nothing in-between works. 

Good time to beef up brand Salman?
Being human is brand Salman. I cannot keep the money in my hands, I leave it with my father, mother, Sohail or Arbaaz. I have always supported charities in my own way. If I can raise funds through an hourís work, cutting ribbons I would rather do that than have charities where people would feel obliged to donate money. 

Why is it then that you are rarely seen in cause-worthy films like Phir Milenge?
If you have to give a message then the theatre has to be full, whatís the point in doing films that arenít going to be seen? 

What kind of films do you want to be a part of now?
Happy filmsÖ that the family enjoys watching together. My next Yuvraaj will be in theatres in November and then Main Aur Mrs Khanna. I am doing two action films -of which Wanted - Dead Or Alive is turning out to be very interesting with hand-to-hand and gun fights. There are none of those cabled action sequences, it has real action.
Sohail has two more films for me - Partner 2 and Main Punjabi. Veer has just gone on the floors. The next three years are booked. 

Whatís your take on competition?
Youngsters like Ranbir and Imran are better suited for romantic roles, it would look absurd if I played a collegian now. I have now to evolve and play different roles. 

What about 10 Ka Dum, how much longer does it run? What has been your biggest lesson from the show?
Itís been a fantastic run, we are almost winding it up now. There are only a couple more episodes remaining to be shot. 10 Ka Dum podium is like a confession box. The participants are so forthcoming - they donít hide anything, they come straight out with their feelings. Their candour is overwhelming for me at times. 

Have you started understanding people better after this close brush with them?
Oh I know people much more than anybody else because I lead a normal life. Inspite of all the luxuries available to me I sit out , I cycle, go to public places like Barista and still visit all those places where I went as a kid. 

Do you think that people understand you better after 10 Ka Dum?
People never believed in what was being written about me, thatís the reason I am sitting here. They always knew me. If they hadnít I would have been out of the industry 

Are you like the character you play in God Tussi Great Ho?
That character is very unlike me, he keeps cursing God all the time. With me - I donít pray regularly but when I am happy - I thank Him and I know that Heís watching from above. 

Amitabh Bachchan plays God on -screen in the film with you. Comment.
There is nobody better suited than Mr Bachchan to play this character. With his voice, his persona, his stance and talent as an actor, heís simply outstanding - heís perfectly suited for the role. 

Would you like to play God?
I would never like to play God, neverÖ 

Whatís the one thing you will change if you were made God for a day?
Iwould increase everybodyís salaries so that there will be no corruption. People will not stoop down to such low levels as they do now. If their basic amenities and requirements are taken care of and they are happy there will be less reason for corruption. For those who are pathologically corrupt , no money is enough, but by-and-large this would be my solution. 

Salman, what would you say is Godís greatest gift to you?
HmmÖ Salman! The fact that I am here surrounded by my family and well wishers around me. 

Are you God-fearing?
No! Why God-fearing? I am God-loving! Only those people fear God who do something wrong and then feel He is the guarantor of sorts. 

Come on, describe yourself.
I donít know how to do that! I may react to a situation in a different manner today and then entirely differently tomorrow to it because I go by my feel and I go by my impulse. I am right at times and sometimes I may go wrong. Then - phone uthaao, sorry bolo - yeh galat ho gaye boss!í 

Are you a head person or a heart person?
My mind and my heart are all in sync. What I think is what I say and what I say is what I do. My motto remains unchanged though - ďGo straight and turn right.Ē 

How is it to be the most enduring gym icon ?
It is very painful, very, very painful. Sometimes all I am not the most correct person as far as my habits are concerned so I have work it out that much harder in the gym. Till my joints creak.I eat what I like, I donít count calories but I burn them out. . 

Is it difficult being Salman?
No, it is very easy being Salman - you just have to be honest - thatís all it takes to be Salman. I believe that you are born empty-handed and you will die empty-handed. There is a hand of God in everything. 

Finally Salman, is peace-making on your agenda now? Especially with SRK with whom you had the much-publicised fracas recently.
I am at peace with myself. I wake up, work-out, go for shoots, laugh a lot and sleep in peace. 

Sooth-sayers definitely predict marriage for you soon. Is wedding on the cards?
Yes, I shall be getting married next year.

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