Sudhir Bisht seeks some answers not from the biggest superstar India has seen, but from the lovable Prem of the silver screen.
Congratulations on becoming a free man, at least for now.
We watch you as you act as a sometime moral guide and sometime agent provocateur to the caged participants of Bigg Boss.
We, the viewers, latch on to every word you say. We watch your swagger as you walk into the show, always sure of yourself.
We watch you every time you throw your weight around if any other celebrity tries to steal the show under your nose. Your conduct is benign, but also patronising.
Your courtesy is also on display. Not because you think it is a virtue and because you are morally obliged to be courteous, but because you WISH to be courteous.
Thursday was your Big Day, Salman, your day of victory. They said your car, driven by an unnamed person or maybe an unseen ghost, had crushed one mortal under its wheels.
The biased police hounded you for the bad behaviour of your car and the lower court also convicted you erroneously.
Now the higher judiciary has given a verdict in your favour and set you free. The Big Boss is officially free now.
But my letter is not to Salman, the biggest Superstar India has ever produced, the most-loved bachelor who at 50 can still make a girl in her teens go crazy with a small tilt of the belt that adorns his narrow waist.
And I dare not write a letter to this Salman Khan, the God.
I seek some straight answers from Prem, the most loved screen character you often play. For which millions of us give you billion of rupees and our blessings.
Prem is the one who never tells a lie, the one who will never flinch from calling a spade a spade even if the whole world calls it an axe.
Our Prem isn't a guy who will not stop to help an accident victim. He isn't the one who will carry the burden of a heavy heart just to escape the punishment for a crime committed without any premeditation.
So dear Salman, I beg of you to keep the Salman Khan of Bigg Boss in the closet for a few minutes and let the Prem of this world read my short letter.
Your car was involved in a hit-and-run case. Whether you were driving the car or not is not the moot point. At least, the high court judge can't know for sure if it was you who was driving the car. The situation that you are in is akin to a situation that we used to witness in many a cricket match not so many years ago.
A batsman has hit the ball and a fielder chases it down and somewhere in the vicinity of the boundary, he manages to push the ball inside. In the process the fielder himself crosses the line. The umpire doesn't know if the fielder actually crossed the boundary line before he pulled the ball inside. The third umpire system isn't in place. The umpire now asks the fielder if he indeed pushed back the ball before his body touched the boundary rope.
So I am asking you a simple question
Dear Prem, did you cross the line before you pushed back the ball?
Can the Prem of Hum Saath Saath Hain look into his Babuji's eyes and say, 'Papa, I wasn't the one who drove the car.'
You may not have been driving the car yourself. That is what your lawyers have said. But you were certainly inside the car that crushed a mortal who had the 'temerity' to sleep on the footpath.
As a superhero who takes up the fight for the hungry and the poor, as a good natured 'Prem' who often cries openly at the plight of the hungry and the ill, why did you not, dear Salman, stop the car and take the victims to the hospital?
You chose to run away from the scene! Why did you do that? Would Prem's mom have approved of such behaviour?
So, Prem, why did you run away?
You may be completely innocent and at least your fans would drum it up that way but you surely know who was indeed driving the car. We heard some months ago that it wasn't you, but your driver who was driving the car!
If your driver was the man who killed the poor victim, then why did you not report it to the police? You continued to provide him safe harbour inside your car.
So, Prem, why did you not help the police in catching the culprit?
Are you his accomplice or is he your alibi?
The court may have freed you, but will your conscience let you rest in peace?
You know that the voice of the conscience isn't as booming as the voice of Bigg Boss. It has a soft voice which may not be audible for now as you celebrate your court verdict.
But, Prem, the celebratory drums would need to sleep one day and then the inner voice will become more and more deafening.
What will happen then, dear Prem?
Meanwhile, please don't forget to pray for that poor man crushed by your Land Cruiser, especially on your day of victory in the court of a mortal.
The judgment in the court of the final arbiter, the Almighty, awaits.
For and Behalf of all Prem's fans
Sudhir Bisht (@sudhir_bisht) is an author and columnist.