EDUCATING SALMAN: Lesson 1 – Pooped as a puppy


Salman Khan attracts controversy like honey attracts bees except it is not so sweet and I could think of a lot more valid metaphors but I won’t, out of courtesy to myself…..writes Bikram Vohra

Sonam & Salman 4Sallu Bhai’s latest foray into the world of foot-in-mouth disease, an ailment founded by the Duke of Edinburgh, displays symptoms of 50 percent absurdity and equal amounts of coarseness and thoughtlessness. The last might well be wrong. Because it might well be thought out and still spoken making the ‘lessness’ redundant.

Salman has compared his rigorous shooting schedule to that of feeling raped. In colloquial terms I guess it isn’t going to set any river on fire. But then, if you are giving an interview perhaps it becomes necessary to be a little circumspect. Using this analogy and then extending it further with this sentence is a bit iffy and ugly:

“When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight. I would eat and then, head right back to training. That couldn’t stop.”

First off the bat, it is a presumption to compare your physical exhaustion or imbalance with that of a victim of a sexual predator. Second, you know you are going to be quoted, why would you be so cavalier about an issue that is on centrestage in India and a matter of great shame for 1.2 billion people that the world see us as a leading ‘light’ in this context?

If opinion-makers are so easygoing and blasé about one of the most heinous crimes in the book, then they have to be culpable for extreme indiscretion.

The ‘eff’ word which is being bandied about as a defence, in that we use it without meaning anything sexual, is tenuous at best. For one, it has been de-sexed like a plucked chicken and is used in 600 different ways including wonderment, surprise, disappointment, frustration, rage, pride, shock, stress, impatience and also exhaustion. We do not use ‘rape’ in the same tenor or with the same democratic licence.

Try saying ‘oh raaaape’ because you have just discovered you forgot something. Not the same rhythm. The bit about ‘not walking straight’ is not even worth a comment and indicts because it underscores a mindset. Sir, with no respect due whatsoever, I hope you never know anyone who has been raped or suffered even the first step towards that indignity. You would be the first to hunt down the perpetrator.

Would women per se have found the Salman Khan metaphors offensive? I think they would. Not so much because it belittles what has already been belittled (though that counts for a great deal) but because it objectifies the female gender.

Now, if you have to be crude and some of us are so, then do it in the privacy of the locker room or the boys’ night out. At least have the discretion and the good sense not to speak like this in an interview. What’s with this ‘lifting and thrusting’ bit, that’s really out of line.

It’s not male chauvinism, it is just a typical tasteless analogy and only makes it to the headlines because yes, celebs have an extra responsibility and one they should take seriously.

Here are some metaphors that might have made for better options:

I felt tired as an old worn out shoe (too tame) though rather visual.

Like I had gone five rounds with Rambo (macho enough, including the staggering).

Felt like a wet noodle (objection, milord, leading to sexual badgering).

As pooped as a puppy (dreary).

Like climbing Everest without oxygen (hmmm, not baaad).

Sugarcane through a grinder.

Or, how about: just dead tired? Everyone would have got the point.

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