People say Eid and I have become synonymous: Salman

Eid celebrations have remained unchanged in the last 30 years at Salim Khan's residence Galaxy Apartments. The festive spirit, the warmth, the hustle-bustle of family and friends, food being served en masse... it's all the same.

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Step in to visit the Khans on Eid and the aroma of the biryani and sheer kurma are a feast for the senses. And there's usually a lot of laughter and merriment because of the sheer numbers of the people present.

The head of the family, Salim saab, didn't believe in rituals then, he doesn't believe in them now. This 'Khan'daan, which has Hindu, Christian and Muslim members, is the epitome of an Indian secular family where caste and creed are of no consequence. Says Salim, "You know I have never believed in any ritual. So on Eid, there is nothing special happening at home. Yes, my wife Salma gets some traditional items cooked; the children and the grandchildren come here and friends drop in."

Arbaaz repeats what his dad says. Says he, "My earliest memories of Eid are not any different from what happens in our home today. It has always been a special day because the family gets together and eats lunch. We are joined by friends. Our home has always been an open house and, frankly, it is like that 365 days a year. But on Eid, the dishes on the lunch menu change."

Of course, a regular visitor to Galaxy Apartments cannot but notice that since 2009, whenSalman Khan started to become a phenomenon, things have changed. For one, the security around the building has been beefed up because droves of people come in from all over India to catch a glimpse of their idol on this special day. "Bas bhai ka ek nazara chahiye", you will hear fans chorus. And when Salman appears on his balcony in a T-shirt and jeans, the crowds feel they have received their 'eidi'.

For Salman, however, Eid will be a low-key affair this year. "My good friend Riteish Deshmukh lost his dad Vilasraoji," he says," adding, "I will therefore not be celebrating." He admits, though, that his way of giving 'eidi' to his fans is by giving them a new film each year on the festive occasion.

"I'm an entertainer. And my fans want nothing more than for me to give them a good film each year on this day," he says.

"When Wanted came on Eid in 2009, one didn't do it by design. However, after that, my producers started planning special Eid releases for me. And now, people say Eid and I have become synonymous. But honestly, mere ghar mein Eid, Ganpati, Christmas sab kuch manate hain. So to try and segregate one festival from the other is not my style," he signs off.

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