Salman leaves for US, holds screening for friends

For the first time, Salman Khan will not celebrate Eid and Ganpati at home. After Hurricane Irene blew into the American east coast last Saturday, and grounded flights in and out of the country, speculation was rife that the actor had postponed the trip he was making for medical reasons. There was a rumour that Salman had decided to stay back in the city for the festivities and the release of Bodyguard, on August 31. He was initially supposed to depart for the US on August 27 for corrective surgery to treat his nerve disorder.

But soon after hosting a special screening of the Kareena Kapoor-starrer for Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, family and friends at Pixion theatre in Bandra at 9 pm on Monday night, the actor drove directly to the airport and flew out of the country early on Tuesday.

On Saturday, he had hosted another screening for family and friends at the Yash Raj Studios in Andheri, where Preity Zinta and the Yash Chopra family was present.

Salman took Sunday off to rest and spent most of Monday with his parents Salim and Salma Khan. Brothers Arbaaz and Sohail and sister Alvira accompanied the actor on the 16-hour trip. He will check into a hospital for tests on Thursday. He left town encouraged by feedback from industry friends, as the film is expected to have the biggest release for a Salman Khan movie. The response at the advance booking counters, which opened on Sunday, too has been “extraordinary”. Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “It’s three times bigger than that of Ready. I’m expecting a record-breaking opening in several centres. In fact, going by the craze, I wouldn’t be surprised if it even crosses Dabangg (2010).” Reportedly, advance booking in Bhopal opened the Sunday before last, and most theatres have been sold out.

Salman has been suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia or Prosopalgia, a facial nerve disorder, for the last seven years. He reportedly has three routes of treatment open to him. The surgery will not be incisive. It will use either laser or coil. Salman has been allotted about 11 days for recuperation and will fly out to Dublin on September 13. There, Katrina Kaif will join the actor for the shoot of Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger

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