It is well known that the Nawab of Pataudi, actor Saif Ali Khan is a royal in every sense of the term. His suave looks, his sense of style, his privacy about personal life and his distance from the ‘Khan’dom- all set him apart from most actors in the Hindi film industry.
Regardless, he is as much under the radar of the paparazzi and fans as any other celebrity, and the most recent example would be the flak he and Kareena Kapoor earned for naming their newborn son Taimur. Unfortunately for the couple, the name they chose also happens to be that of history’s most ruthless invaders, hence the questions raised regarding the credence of Saif and Kareena’s knowledge of history.
In a recent interview to the Times Of India, Saif Ali Khan admitted that the outrage the baby’s name caused, almost made him buckle to the pressure and change the child’s name.
“Kareena was a little against it and she said, 'People respect you for your opinion and you can't'... So I said, yeah, but it's not about people. I don't want him to get unpopular. And I still might, maybe when he's one or two, I might change his name in a while.... Someone in my PR agreed with me, and we drafted a small letter. And when I read it, it was so pathetic, that I cancelled the idea. Because it was really like, uhh, 'I'm sorry', and 'I didn't want to offend' and 'I'm an idiot'.... It just sounded awful.”
It becomes difficult to relate with the lives of film stars, but anyone would agree that this is a very sorry predicament for two new parents to find themselves in. When the name was announced to the media, people questioned if any thought at all had been applied before this decision was made, casting aspersions on the couple’s intellectual credentials. To which Saif says,
“I had already read up on him (Timur Lang). I came across Timur while doing an Art History paper, you know. I was studying Humayun's Tomb. And they say the reason the Kremlin and Humayun's Tomb and Taj Mahal have similar domes is because of Timur. It's because he sacked a mosque in Damascus, it was a wooden dome, and he had an artist copy it down. He was a great patron of the arts, apart from what he obviously was - this hardcore, tall, deadly warrior. But I thought it was kind of cool when I was growing up.”
Teaches us a lesson or two about judging people, doesn’t it?
In the interview Saif also spoke about working with director Vishal Bharadwaj for the second time in his upcoming Rangoon, and his experience offers some interesting insights about one of his most memorable roles ever, Langda Tyagi in Omkara.
“Whatever came to me naturally as Saif would be wrong for Langda Tyagi. My eyes would move too much or I would do this (hand gestures) while he is more like that... And someone as basic as that just looks at you and talks, he doesn't roll his eyes or... I don't know how they think.”
The interview also goes on to quiz Saif about his ideas about Islamophobia and his identity as a Muslim, in the current environment.
“I just grew up in a Muslim house, I always thought it's an amazing religion, with calligraphy and music and art. Architecture, calligraphy, all that has gone out. It's just seen as something political... You know, the misconceptions in this world because of lack of education, lack of exposure are stunning.”
“...it's always been in the west, since the Crusades, it's been the shadow of the western person. It's everything they fear about themselves, they project it into an imaginary person called 'The Muslim'. And now some people have lived up to the stereotype. But I think the more it's discussed, the more people will be aware, hopefully, that not everybody is like that.”
On their recent appearance on the talk show Koffee With Karan, Rangoon co-star Kangana Ranaut asked Saif to “lend the show some dignity”. His demeanour on the show, and as evident from these statements, gives us hope that some dignity might, after all, be restored to the bedlam that showbiz is.
You can read the entire interview here.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image: indiatimes