A lot is being said about Arijit Singh’s public apology to Salman, but the singer isn’t worried. In a candid chat, he tells us what actually transpired. Excerpts...
Your fans did not like your public apology...
I have no regrets about it. I know where my fans are coming from and I understand their concern. But I did what I had to do. This song in Sultan (Salman Khan’s next) that was deleted was very important.
Isn’t every song important for you?
When you see the film you’ll understand why it’s so special. And it’s really not just about the song.
What exactly happened?
It was my first awards function. I wasn’t prepared to go for it because I was editing a song for my mentor Pritamda. But Mukesh Bhattji who was a jury member for that particular awards function insisted I come for the function. And since Aashiqui 2 was actually the beginning of my career in Bollywood, I couldn’t say not to him.
I was working for Pritamda in my casuals and I had a flight to catch. So I went in my casual chappals and clothes to the function. I didn’t realise people would feel I was insulting the function.
Once you reached the function in your chappals, then what?
I was very tired, so I dozed off. You know these functions go on for hours. Meri aankh lag gayi. So when my name was announced for the award someone had to wake me up.
While I was walking up to the stage they captured images of my chappals and casuals. On stage Salman Khan was laughing in disbelief saying, ‘Tu hai winner?’ When I got on stage he asked 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.
Is this what has upset Salman?
I think so. I don’t know of any other insult. I shouldn’t have done what I did.
Did you apologise?
At that very moment when he handed me the award I whispered ‘sorry’ into his ear. I couldn’t say more back then. When I came down from the stage I couldn’t find my seat, so I just started walking away. Salman sir saw that and commented, ‘Look at this guy. He has collected his award in chappals and now he’s walking away.’ I got really scared and didn’t know what to do. I was feeling bad about it, so that night, when I reached Kolkata, I texted him. He texted back saying I shouldn’t have gone so casually and I shouldn’t have disrespected the awards.
When did you get to know he was angry?
When I recorded a song for the Meet Brothers in Kick. They called me and said Bhai doesn’t want to keep the song. I realised he was still angry and started apologising again and asked to meet him to apologise personally. I told him not to be angry and that I was just a newcomer. Then came Bajrangi Bhaijaan. I was helping Pritamda with the music. When I was being considered for a particular song, Bhai again vetoed it. Pritamda told me he won’t record any song with me because he might have to remove my voice.
I was out of Mumbai when I got a call from Vishal Dadlani saying I have to come to Mumbai immediately to record a song for Sultan. I was really excited. I felt Salman sir has finally forgiven me. I went to Mumbai and recorded the song. It’s an amazing song. Vishal called me and said Salman sir liked the song too. Then I got a message from Vishal Dadlani informing me that my song couldn’t be retained in Sultan.