Shah Rukh Khan has turned 28- year-old in the film industry and 55-year-old in life and this clearly shows that more than half of his age has been spent working in Bollywood. Though the actor has given great films for movie buffs to enjoy forever, there was a time when the reel ‘Don’ had to face the phone calls of real-life ‘dons’ who wanted him to work on certain films, which the actor politely refused.
Acclaimed film critic Anupama Chopra narrated the whole episode of SRK’s conversations with various gangsters in her book ‘King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan’ and the ‘Seductive World of Indian Cinema’.
As per the book, the incident started in January 1997 when senior police officer Rakesh Maria called filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who was then working with SRK in ‘Chaahat’ and ‘Duplicate’, and told him that there’s a danger to the superstar’s life and that he should be stopped from going outdoors.
Later, King Khan was given a bodyguard.
One day, he was returning from Khandala after shooting for ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ and that’s when he got the call from Abu Salem. The gangster gave SRK the choicest of abuses in Hindi but the latter remained calm and polite and kept his conversation in English. Salem then came to the point that he was angry as SRK had refused to do a film of a Muslim producer, close to Abu Salem. Salem argued that SRK should have shown his community some support. Shah Rukh however reminded him that he was already working with Mansoor Khan, Abbas-Mustan, and Aziz Mirza. Moreover, Mahesh Bhatt’s mother was also a Muslim.
Realizing that SRK made sense, Abu Salem said that he’d spare his life and that he doesn’t need police anymore. The police however didn’t take any chances and refused to let go of SRK’s police security, reports Bollywoodhungama.com.
However, Abu Salem also made it clear that he has complete information about SRK’s whereabouts, whom he was sitting with, and where his security guards were standing. SRK called this period ‘depressing and scary’.
Also, Salem would tell Shah Rukh Khan to do a particular film and his reply each time was, “I don’t tell you who to shoot so don’t tell me which film to do.”
Soon, the Chhota Rajan gang also started calling him. When he refused their film offers, Anupama Chopra said that “they withdrew with surprising decency.”