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Party by pool at Pataudi
- Guests in sun hats & Shorts, tents put up for dawat

(Top) Karisma Kapoor arrives with son Kiaan and daughter Samaira at the Pataudi Palace on Friday; Soha Ali Khan and boyfriend Kunal Khemu. Pictures by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Oct. 19: Daal-chawal will have to wait, the party is not over yet.

Sharmila Tagore laid out a dinner spread at Pataudi tonight that had a choice of a dozen dishes for starters (see chart), followed by an assortment of biryanis, pulaos and chicken, mutton and fish curries.

Last evening, she had said there would be no celebration in Pataudi because everyone was too tired after days of partying, and it was time for daal-chawal now.

The 60-odd guests, mostly close friends and family, did look tired as they arrived at the family palace in Pataudi after a three-hour drive from Delhi with the sun blazing down. Many had newspapers attached to their car windows to block the sun. But they were all set to let their hair down.

Sun hats, shorts and ganjis were the chosen attire for the pool party. Tents had been put up by the pool at the back of the palace for the dawat, catered by Tandoori Nights Grand Catering services, who were contracted a week ago.

A fireworks display was planned at the start of the dawat, palace officials on guard at the gate armed with the guest list and the numbers of all the cars allowed entry into the palace that was decked out in flowers.

Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor arrived at 5pm looking relaxed and went directly to Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s grave to seek his blessings.

Soha Ali Khan and boyfriend Kunal Khemu had driven in half-an-hour earlier, after a shopping spree.

Kareena’s sister Karisma was spotted driving in with children Kiaan Raj Kapoor and Samaira.

Saif’s daughter Sara, from his first marriage, was there too.

Shahryar Khan, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary and Tiger Pataudi’s cousin, was among the guests along with several other relatives from across the border. Saif’s cousin Faiz Bin Jung, whose mother Saleha Sultan and Tiger were siblings, was there. As were Kareena’s buddies — fashion designers Manish Malhotra and Shabina Khan.

A mother and daughter from Gurgaon, who had staked out outside the reception venue on Aurangzeb Road till midnight and were waiting at Pataudi from afternoon for a glimpse of the couple, had to return disappointed. “I didn’t see either of them. I am very disappointed,” said 15-year-old Rhea Aggarwal, flushed after waiting in the sun.

The Pataudis had contracted the renovation of the palace, now run as a hotel, a year ago in anticipation of the wedding. It sparkled today as Kareena stepped into the premises for the first time as Saif’s begum.

“Kareena has been a frequent visitor here and even accompanied Saif to a loyal worker’s house the last time they had been here during Pataudi’s sahab’s death anniversary (last month),” said Pataudi resident Bittoo, who was waiting outside the gate hoping to catch a glimpse of the new bahu.

“My house is inside the premises and now I have to go there in a roundabout manner. It is irritating. They have made it very difficult for us, wiring the entire premises after the near stampede during Pataudi’s sahab’s last rites here,” Bittoo cribbed, but added: “Saif is a very nice person and I have met him many times.”

The family is expected to leave for Mumbai on Sunday and the couple will go back to work, with Saif to start shooting for Bullet Raja and Kareena doing an item number with Salman Khan before promoting Aamir Khan’s Talaash.