16 July 2008: Old rivalry was rekindled when banter between Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan took an ugly turn at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party at Olive (Bandra, Mumbai).
The SRK-Sallu rivalry dates back to the time, when SRK was shooting for Chalte Chalte (2003), with Aishwarya Rai. At that time, Salman was dating Aishwarya. The duo had a fight when Salman disrupted the shooting to meet Ash and this made SRK replace Ash with Rani Mukerjee. The two were not on talking terms for a long time and only patched up after at Farah Khan’s wedding in Dec 2004. But it all fell apart again this year over perhaps too many cocktails and the fact that there just isn’t enough space in one room (even if it is open air) for some grand personalities (with egos to match) to fit in together.
Rumors of Salman proposing to Katrina were totally overshadowed by the filmy show down between the two which nearly resulted in blows while a host of Bollywood gliteratti including Aamir Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Govinda, Sohail Khan, Karan Johar, Gauri Khan, Helen, Rishi Kapoor, Subhash Ghai, Dino Morea, Kunal Kohli, Rajpal Yadav, Karishma Kapoor, David Dhawan, Neha Dhupia and Deepika Padukone looked on.
Apparently a fairly intoxicated Salman Khan taunted SRK about his TV show Kya Aap Panchi Paas se Tez Hain? (a take off on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?) and later accused him of being a user saying, “You are a matlabi insaan. You only call people when you need them, and then don’t keep in touch” clearly miffed that SRK had turned down a request to do a cameo on Salman’s forthcoming flick “Main Aur Mrs. Khanna” – even though Salman Khan had done one for him in Om Shanti Om and appeared with Katrina as a guest on KBC. SRK retaliated with comments about Salman’s TV game show “Dus Ka Dum” and when Salman threatened to punch him responded that he would beat Salman up at his own party at which point Gauri Khan interrupted saying she wanted to leave – which they did.
Considering this was the biggest Bollywood encounter of the year the paparazzi pursued it relentlessly and Salman – egged on made claims that SRK had insulted Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (who he no longer had anything against and respected as his friend Abhishek Bachchan’s wife.) Shah Rukh Khan meanwhile maintained a stoic silence on the matter until October when he said, “I think like a father, while Salman thinks like a child! There is not much common between us, we think differently, we speak differently. We have spent a good time together. But with time, that fact has got blurred. We are happy in our worlds. If we come together it is good. If we don’t it’s even better. We are not friends.”
Unlikely rumors abound that the entire fight staged and that Aamir Khan engineered a patch up between the two at SRK’s house Mannat after Salman’s tempered had cooled.
Sanjay Dutt speaking from Cape Town, said, “I still can’t believe what’s happened. I am shocked! I am so glad I am out of all this. It would have been painful for me to have seen something that involved two of my dearest friends… I will definitely try and do something when I am back.” Reports claim that he also added that you can’t insult your own guest no matter what issues you have with him. “If you have problems with someone, don’t invite him to your party.”
When asked to comment on the spat Akshay Kumar said, “They’re not children, they’re grown ups. If they’re fighting, they’re fighting, I don’t interfere. They’ll patch up on their own.”
Well… maybe next year.