The Race to Top
Salman Khan was never a spent force, even when his name didn't scroll down the end-credits of the blockbusters of the first millennial decade. He did try his hand in off-beat roles, such as in 'Tere Naam,' but was mostly associated with absurd comedies that made money for his producers.
Shah Rukh meanwhile was being crowned the undisputed king of Bollywood - delivering solo hits or hogging the limelight in multi-starrer family tearjerkers with Amitabh Bachchan.
'Mohabbatein', 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham', 'Asoka', 'Devdas', 'Kal Ho Na Ho', 'Main Hoon Na', 'Veer Zaara', 'Swades', 'Don: the Chase Begins', 'Chak De!', 'Om Shanti Om', 'Rab De Bana Di Jodi', - eclectic roles with a mix of family sentiments, history, inspiration, sheer fun - in short, everything that defines a Bollywood hero. Josh, er gosh, could the man ever go wrong!
The awesome twosome, if you may, also came together for a much-delayed flick, 'Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam', which went on to become a surprise hit.
Shah Rukh clearly was in the lead; but Salman, being the Sallu, was not out of the race as the next decade would go on to prove.