In a recent interview, Arbaaz Khan was asked how his relationship with Helen had evolved over the years, when he recalled how father Salim Khan had introduced the veteran actor to his family. Arbaaz said their father asked him and his siblings to show Helen ‘the same respect’ as their mother Salma Khan. Salim told them that he did not expect them to love Helen as much as they love their mother, but to somehow accept that Helen ‘is a part of his life now’. Also read: Helen says she would hide herself in car out of respect for Salma Khan
Helen and actor-turned-screenwriter Salim Khan married in 1980, when he was 45 and she was 42. He had married his first wife Sushila Charak, now known as Salma Khan, in 1964. Together they have three sons, actor Salman Khan, actor-producer Arbaaz Khan and actor-director Sohail Khan and one daughter, Alvira Khan. Salim and Helen have a daughter, Arpita Khan.
Speaking about his equation with his second ‘mother’, Helen Aunty, Arbaaz Khan told ETimes, “We have been together for a long time now and are very close to Helen Aunty. Actually now it’s been so many years with Helen Aunty but we still call her Helen Aunty because that’s how it is. But obviously she’s our mother. Now she’s an integral part of our lives and when it all started, we were very young. So, we were kept away from some of the drama that must have happened in my parents’ life.”
He continued, “But very soon, we kind of realized, before we became adults, that she was being introduced to our family. And my father asked us only one thing. He said, ‘Dekho (see), I know that you may be on your mother’s side. You may love your mother more than anything. You can probably never love her (Helen) as much as you love your mother. But one thing I expect from you is to respect her. Show her the same respect, because you have to accept that she’s a part of my life. And if you have any love and regard for me, you should accept that this is the reality now’.”
Last month, Arbaaz had interviewed Helen on his chat show, The Invincibles. During their interaction, Helen had recalled her first reaction to seeing Salim Khan and admitted she did not notice him, while working with him on their first film together in the 1960s. Helen had added she had a reputation of treating people that she worked with ‘like furniture’ and not interacting with them on sets.