Snakes and sequels: how Bollywood star Salman Khan celebrated his 56th birthday
Bollywood star Salman Khan turned 56 on Monday and marked the occasion by announcing a raft of new films, including a sequel to his record-breaking 2015 drama Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
To be called Pavan Putra Bhaijaan, the film will reunite Khan with writer KV Vijayendra Prasad, who co-wrote the screenplay for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films.
The actor, who met the media outside his farmhouse in Panvel, on the outskirts of Mumbai, said filming will begin once he's completed the third film in his hit action-packed Tiger series, following Ek Tha Tiger (2012) and Tiger Zinda Hai (2017), which was extensively filmed in Abu Dhabi.
But Khan, who last appeared in Antim: The Final Truth, which released last month, was inundated with questions about a snake bite incident on Sunday at the farmhouse. Indian media reported that the actor was rushed to the hospital after being bitten.
“A snake had entered one of the rooms. The kids got scared so I went in to see and asked for a stick, with which I picked up the snake with a lot of love and brought it out, and the snake wrapped itself on the stick and then it started climbing upwards. It came quite close to my hand so I caught it with my other hand and dropped the stick so I can take it back to the jungle. That’s when the snake bit me.
"Then there was more chaos when they screamed ‘chaavla, chaavla, chaavla’ (the snake has bitten), and the snake bit me again. Then they all screamed ‘hospital, hospital, hospital’, saying that I should be taken to a hospital quickly. There was so much commotion, the snake was a bit venomous, and it bit me again."
Khan said he was then taken to the hospital where he received an anti-venom shot.
“On returning from the hospital, we saw that the snake was still here, and we took it back to the jungle. I am doing fine now, I have taken an anti-venom for almost all snakes because we were not sure if it a poisonous snake or not just by looking at it. After giving me the shot I was kept there for six hours for observation,” he said.
On Sunday, Khan's father Salim Khan told the media that the family "were definitely worried" after they heard about the biting incident.
"Thankfully it turned out that the snake was not poisonous," Salim told the Times of India. "He returned to the farmhouse and went to sleep for a few hours. As we speak, he is fine. There's nothing to worry, but yes, there was a scare."
Khan, who began his Bollywood career in the '80s, is still one of the most influential actors and producers in the industry. In March next year, he is set to host the International Indian Film Academy Awards, to be hosted by Abu Dhabi for the first time.
The awards, which recognises the best Hindi films and talents of the year, is held in a different city every year.
“I have always enjoyed being a part of the IIFA family and travelling to some great destinations, but this year I am super happy that we are headed to one of my personal favourites, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi," the actor said.
"IIFA is always a memorable time and this year it will be an even bigger celebration as we celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence and UAE’s 50th anniversary-Golden Jubilee celebration."