THERE is one fascinating aspect about this week’s big Bollywood release Tiger 3 you may not have realised and revolves around fortunes changing over time.
Back in 2014, Arijit Singh was a newcomer, who had suddenly found fame after his fabulous Aashiqui 2 song Tum Hi Ho became a worldwide hit. While still working as a song editor, he was asked to attend his first Bollywood award function and reluctantly turned up straight from the studio in casual clothes, including sandals, despite being exhausted from work. He had said: “I had a flight to catch. So, I went in my casual chappals and clothes to the function. I didn’t realise that a lot of people would feel I was insulting the function.”
Due to the overly long nature of the award show hosted by Salman Khan and his tiredness, Arijit had fallen asleep. He had to be woken up when his name was announced. He had revealed in a past interview: “When I got on stage, he (Salman Khan) asked me 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.”
Arijit had apologised straight away for his joke. Later Salman had rebuked him for turning up to the ceremony in casual clothes and chappals. “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 shouldn’t disrespect awards. I was happy that 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.”
Arijit thought that was the end of the matter. But Salman, who was the undisputed Bollywood box office king at the time, then allegedly started getting Arijit removed from his high profile films like Kick and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, despite the singer repeatedly apologising. This included replacing his version of the smash hit song Jag Ghoomeya in the successful film Sultan. “I realised that he was still angry and started apologising again and asked him whether I could meet him to apologise personally. I told him not to be angry and that I was just a newcomer.”
The actor refused to accept multiple apologies from the then newcomer for what was a relatively minor misunderstanding that had occurred.
Fast forward nearly a decade and Salman is facing a huge career crisis, with his movies spectacularly crashing at the box office. Meanwhile, Arijit has gone from being an awkward newcomer in chappals to becoming the undisputed king of Bollywood music. A sign of how sensational Arijit has become happened recently when his August 2024 concert at O2 Arena in London sold out in recordbreaking time.
This led Salman to get Arijit to sing the main song Leke Prabhu Ka Naam for his new movie Tiger 3. It became the first song released for a hugely important movie for an actor, who has been humbled in recent years by repeated failures.
The singer, who didn’t deserve to be treated so badly, agreeing to sing for Tiger 3 shows his greatness and perhaps taught Salman Khan an important life lesson – those you see when riding high are the same ones you encounter on the way down. Also, that accepting repeated heartfelt apologies is also important in life.