New Delhi: There is an old joke wizened cinema traders share. You haven't arrived in Bollywood if you haven't come to blows with Salman Khan. The mercurial star, 45, who has shared cinema space with many of Bollywood's most talented actors, has earned notoriety for also getting into fights with many of them. While many male actors also share an intense bond off camera, Khan is the most unlikely candidate for one of Bollywood's famous bromances.
Khan's stormy relationships are the stuff tabloids thrive on and he has given them fodder for many years. The actor has helped many of his friends out of sticky spots over the years but the fact remains that his tiffs and his brush in with the law have given him a reputation of a doppelganger in the industry known to close ranks to protect of its own in troubled times.
Known to wear his heart on his sleeves, the volatile star got into a tiff with Shah Rukh Khan on the sets of Chalte Chalte during an altercation with Aishwarya Rai, whom he was dating at the time. A repeat performance at actor Katrina Kaif's birthday in 2008 cooled off a friendship that had taken years to grown.
Actor Vivek Oberoi's famous press conference in 2003 publicly accusing Khan of threatening him killed off their professional relationship that was on the docks ever since both of them were vying for the affection of Rai. But in the years since then Khan has courted controversies with one spat after another, sometimes with John Abraham (a close friend of Abhishek Bachchan) and sometimes with Shahid Kapoor.
Ironically, most young actors emulate Khan for maintaining, for the longest time, a great body. Though publicly supportive of the actor and his charitable giving, the wariness of his volatile temper and mood swings remains just beneath the surface.
At a party thrown by Sanjay Dutt for his wife Manyata, Khan reportedly got into a drunken fight with producer Bunty Walia who left the event in a rage. Actors in the Indian film industry often come together in real life to form a tight bond to scrape through difficult times. Boman Irani on a popular chat show got alonf famously with Reitesh Deshmukh and admitted to be great friends off camera as well.
But Khan, who many co-actors say has a heart of gold and a giving nature, has intentionally or unintentionally alienated many of his male colleagues with his temper fits. Bromance refers to a very close bond between males without any sexual intonation. The term's popularity skyrocketed after the released of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a bromance if there ever was in Bollywood.
Stars of the 70s and 80s cinema also shared a great bond. Amitabh Bachchan had a great respect for Dharmendra especially after their success as a male pairing in the cult film Sholay. But Khan, who has tasted new-found success with Dabangg and Ready, seems comfortable in his skin. The natural comedian seems to enjoy the spell of attention after a series of lukewarm potboilers.