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This birthday, will Salman forgive Arijit?

By SUBHASH K JHA
April 24, 2021 14:25 IST
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This birthday the best gift Arijit could hope for is to be finally forgiven by Salman Khan, says Subhash K Jha.

IMAGE: Arijit Singh. Photograph: Kind courtesy Arijit Singh/Facebook
 

Arijit Singh is the moodiest singer I know in India.

Believe me. I know a lot of them including the greatest of singers.

None as temperamental as this. He is blunt and private.

He has no friends in the film industry except composer Pritam Chakraborty whom Arijit considers a mentor and would do anything for.

I know him from the time he made an impression on Indian Idol.

I pointed him out to my friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Arijit went on to sing some beautiful melodies for Bhansali's cinema including Laal Ishq which is my favourite among all the songs that Arijit Singh.

He is leaps ahead of all the other contemporary voices in terms of popularity.

But his aloof standoffish attitude has cost him dearly.

Salman Khan decided to boycott Arijit in 2014. The ban remain.

What happened? The incident happened at an awards function in 2014.

This was Arijit's first awards function. Arijit wasn't prepared to go for it because he was editing a song for his mentor Pritam-da.

But Mukesh Bhatt, who was a jury member for that particular awards function, insisted that he go for the function.

And since the Bhatts' Ashiqui 2 was actually the beginning of his career in Bollywood, Arijit couldn't say no to them.

Arijit was working for Pritam-da in his casuals and had a flight to catch.

So he went in casual chappals and clothes to the function.

Arijit told me he didn't realise a lot of people would feel he was insulting the function.

"I was on my seat and very tired. So I dozed off. As you know these awards functions go on for hours. Meri aankh lag gayi. So when my name was announced for the award someone had to wake me up. I know it was wrong. But I was tired and I dozed off."

"While I was walking up to the stage they started capturing images in my chappals and casuals. On stage Salman Khan was laughing in disbelief, saying, 'Tu hai winner?' When I got on stage he asked if I had fallen asleep. In my nervousness I blurted out, 'Aap logon ne sula dia (you all put me to sleep)'. I immediately bit my tongue. I shouldn't have done what I did."

"At that very moment when he handed me the award I whispered 'Sorry' into his ear. I couldn't say more at that function. When I came down from the stage I couldn't find my seat. So I just started walking away. Salman Sir saw that and commented, 'Look at this guy. He has collected his award in chappals and now he's walking away.'"

"I got really scared and didn't know what to do. That night when I was on my flight I kept thinking about the incident and felt sorry about it. When I reached Kolkata I texted him. He texted me back saying I shouldn't have gone so casually and I should disrespect the awards."

"I was happy he rebuked me as a senior and that he had got the anger out of his system. I didn't know he was still angry."

When Arijit recorded a song for the Meet Brothers in Kick they called him up saying Bhai doesn't want to keep the song.

"I realised he was still angry and started apologising again and asking to meet him to apologise personally etc. I told him not to be angry that I was just a newcomer. Then came Bajrangi Bhaijaan. It's in the past. I don't think either of us is thinking about it."

"However if you ask me if I still regret missing out on the song Jag Ghoomiya in Sultan, the answer will always be yes. I shall always regret being replaced in that song."

"I know I had sung it well. There was no reason on earth to replace me in that song."

This birthday the best gift Arijit could hope for is to be finally forgiven by Salman Khan.

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