A bodyguard protects their employer’s body from harm — but sometimes lacks veneration for other bodies, as is evident from the fracas involving Bollywood’s most famous bodyguard, Shera. Having guarded superstar Salman Khan for years, Shera has become a famous face — and body — himself. His feats are legends. Once, Moses-like, Shera cleaved a path through a sea of clinging crowds, running before Salman’s chariot, sorry, vehicle for kilometres. Salman dedicated his hit Bodyguard to his muscle man (its track trills, “Feel the heat, feel the kick, feel the power, feel the punch — aa gaya hai dekho bodyguard”) and will launch Shera’s strapping son — called, but naturally, Tiger — as a hero. Shera’s submission to Salman is complete. When asked when Salman might marry, Shera apparently retorted to reporters, let him decide. I’m like a horse, waiting to carry my malik to his shaadi.
But not everything is shaadi ka ladoos with Shera currently. The bodyguard has hit the headlines for brawling, allegedly hitting an opponent so hard, his collarbone broke. Questioned over anger-mismanagement, Shera denies dhakkas or mukkas. He admits being at a cafe where hot words were served, but apparently, he gently scolded someone on a phone and didn’t land his dhai kilo ka haath on a fragile bone. Perhaps we’ll soon hear Shera wasn’t present at all. It could’ve been, the naughty internet suggests, Shera’s own bodyguards.
In the age of celebrity, the bodyguard looms large. Prince Charles’s bodyguard took the same exams he guarded the prince through, the guard reportedly scoring better than the prince. Such muscular feats led Whitney Houston, playing a rockstar in The Bodyguard, to croon to her security detail, “Won’t you hold me in your arms? And keep me safe from harm?” We hope Shera cuts out the roars now and just encircles Salman — to keep the star, the guard and the junta from harm.