When Sanjay and Zarine Khan watched their son Zayed do those never-before heart-in-the-mouth motorcycle stunts in Blue they threw a royal fit.
Ever since his near-fatal fire accident in 1989 in Mysore during the shooting of the serial The Sword Of Tipu Sultan during which Sanjay Khan suffered extensive burns and almost lost his life, both he and his wife are paranoid about shooting mishaps.
When their only son Zayed decided to become a movie actor Sanjay and Zarine’s first and only pre-condition was, no dangerous stunts.
“It was almost like a holy diktat, not to perform anything that would potentially be harmful to me.”
Until Blue where on the script level itself Zayed could see that his two lengthy bike chase sequences on the Ducati 999 were potentially more lethal than anything the average action hero performs.
“I had two options. Either say no to the most exciting role I had been offered so far. Or hide the truth from my parents.”
Zayed chose the latter option. And went on to do the most explosive mo’bike stunts with his heart in his mouth. “Not because I was scared but what would my parents think and say when they saw what I had done.”
When Sanjay and Zarine Khan saw Blue their reaction was worse than what Zayed had anticipated.
Zayed’s parents were distraught. Their horror mounted as the couple saw their son whiz past the most dangerous check posts ever created for a stunt actor.
“When I saw their reaction I had to do some quick thinking or else my parents would have truly freaked out and probably ordered me to give up movies. My helmet, which covered my face through most of the bike racing, saved me. I told them it was a body-double doing those stunts.”
The fact is Zayed did most of the action scenes.
“Am I some kind of a sissy to let a stuntman do them? No way! I had accepted the role only so I could do these stunts. Except the moment when my bike jumps on to a train all the other stunts are mine. And that train stunt I didn’t do because my action director said he wanted me to be alive to complete the film.”
After reading this Zayed hopes his parents would accept the truth.
“If you are an actor you gotta do it all. One can be wounded even while standing under a roof. Jo hona hoga woh hoga.”
— By Subhash K Jha