In a major scare on the eve of his birthday, Bollywood megastar Salman Khan was bitten by a snake in his bedroom at the family’s sprawling farmhouse in Raigad, around 45 km from the outskirts of Mumbai.
The incident happened in Khan’s bedroom after he arrived from a shooting assignment early on Sunday morning, said the actor’s 86-year-old father, the legendary Bollywood storyteller Salim Khan.
“He was right inside the room and suddenly felt some pain in his hand. It was a snake which may have entered the house from some gaps,” Salim Khan told IANS from the family’s green nest, Arpita Farms, far away from their Bandra home.
Immediately, his worried family and panicky security detail checked out the wound, which appeared to be a snake bite, and rushed him in a motorcade to a private hospital at Kamothe in Navi Mumbai.
After the initial examination, the medicos and emergency staff concluded it was a non-venomous snake and gave Salman some first-aid and medicines.
“As a precaution in all such cases, they kept him under observation for about three hours and then discharged him. Salman is now back at the farmhouse and he is absolutely normal and cheerful,” a relieved Salim Khan assured IANS.
About the snake, he said jokingly: “We have no issues. Salman is safe and we allowed the poor creature to go away on his path (Ja bhai, tu bhi chala ja!).”
As the family recovered from the initial shock and seemed to take the episode merrily in their stride, Salim Khan sounded quite flummoxed at the sudden scrutiny the incident had attracted.
“This is a remote, mofussil area. There are many wild creatures around, especially snakes, scorpions, and other creepy crawlies. Such minor incidents keep happening. I wonder why there’s so much fuss over it,” a bemused Salim Khan said.
On the family’s big-bash plans for Salman‘s birthday on Monday), Khan Sr. was not exactly forthcoming but said: “The entire family is here. We are all preparing for his birthday. Salman is fine and at the farmhouse.”
Christened ‘Arpita Farms’, the property is situated in a secluded, thickly forested area, spread across nearly 150-acres – which the Khan clan had bought more than two decades ago, and remains “in tune with nature”.
It is the Khan family’s favourite – and regular – haunt during long weekends, holidays, festivals, or special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries of the different clan members, besides the occasional Bollywood party or shoots, and when international or Indian celebs drop in for a private retreat, away from Mumbai’s prying paparazzi.
A living legend famous for penning memorable film scripts with his erstwhile associate Javed Akhtar, Salim Khan had once proudly mentioned how the family had created a network of check dams across the countryside property for rainwater harvesting and raising the groundwater table within the complex and in the surroundings.
This, Khan had said, provided the local tribals and farmers with sufficient round-the-year water supply, besides enabling the wildlife in the neighbouring jungles to quench their thirst.