Everyone is talking about Upen Patel's daredevil act at the Zee Awards at London on Saturday evening. Speaking from London, Upen explains, "I was actually asked to step into Salman Khan's act at the last minute. Believe it or not, I had just one hour to rehearse! One hour! I don't know how I managed it."
But the response Upen got from his fellow-Londoners was unimaginable. "London is my home. And to perform there was a dream come true for me. My mom, my sister and my entire family watched me. They had a planned a lavish act with Salman with motorbikes on stages and everything."
So what gives? "Salman, I'm told, couldn't come for his performance because of a torn ligament. I happily agreed to be a last-minute replacement because I didn't want them to incur losses. Why wouldn't I want to step in for Salman? He's a rock star. Besides, they altered Salman's act to suit my personality. Initially, I was supposed to dance to two songs from Partner. But when I stepped in they re-structured the intro with bits of my songs from 36 China Town and Shakalaka Boom Boom to begin the act."
Earlier Upen was supposed to be part only of Shahrukh Khan's act. "He did a kind of Om Shanti Om with a gender reversal where instead of all the heroines, all the heroes joined him on stage. I was only supposed to be part of that. But thanks to Salman, I had two acts, one for myself and one with Shahrukh. The press here in London has gone ballistic over my act. I can't get over it."
And all because of Salman's unpredictability!