Choreographer-turned-director Remo d'Souza, who was horrified to witness dancer-turned-actor Salman Yusuff Khan's potentially fatal plunge from a height of around 30 feet on Sunday evening at an awards function in Mumbai, says the accident could have been avoided.
Remo said: "Salman's fall was a nightmare. Prabhu [Deva] and I were on stage watching him when it happened. He could have died. The accident could have been avoided. The plank on which Salman was perched to make his entry was weak during rehearsals. We had pointed this out to the relevant persons. They changed the plank. But it was not strong enough."
The horror at watching the leading man of his directorial venture ABCD - Any Body Can Dance plunge to the ground was aggravated by the fact that Remo and Prabhu Deva had to proceed with their act rather than rush to the hospital with Salman.
Recalling the catastrophic event Remo said: "Like they say, the show must go on. Prabhu Deva and I proceeded with our act after the accident. We could obviously not give the best of ourselves, as you will see when the show is telecast. Our heart was just not in it."
Significantly Remo says Salman has gone through quite a number of near misses while dancing. "He is very accident-prone. He had potentially serious accidents on the dance reality-shows Dance India Dance and Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa. I was a judge, so I saw Salman going through these near-misses. But this, on Sunday night, one was live on a stage where thousands of people were watching him. Luckily he escaped. Nothing was broken. Salman is now home in Bangalore with his family, recovering."
Remo hopes and prays the footage of Salman Yusuff Khan's plunge won't be telecast. "It's not something that can be considered a part of entertainment by any stretch of the imagination," says Remo.
(Subhash K. Jha can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)