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Koffee With Karan S8 Ep 10: Mom Sharmila Tagore spills the beans on Saif Ali Khan in a fun chat

It was mother-son duo Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan’s first outing together on Koffee With Karan Season

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 28.12.23, 04:41 PM
Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan in Koffee With Karan Season 8 Episode 10

Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan in Koffee With Karan Season 8 Episode 10 Instagram

Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan – the first-ever mother and son duo on Koffee With Karan — who appeared in Season 8 Episode 10 were perhaps one of the most interesting people to listen to in this celebrity chat show. Here are the highlights of the episode streaming on Disney+Hotstar

Sharmila Tagore on breaking the glass ceiling


As one of the yesteryear Hindi cinema actresses who dared to tread where no else did, Sharmila Tagore was heavily criticised for her bikini shoot in 1966. The veteran actress remembered how the photographer was “worried” too but she went ahead as she thought she looked lovely in the bikini. Sharmila had the support of her husband, late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, but many others in her close circle raised their eyebrows, including filmmaker Shakti Samanta (with whom she had done Aradhana) who scolded her for it. Saif recalled his friends in the boarding school asking him about his mother’s photoshoot while he beamed in pride.

Sharmila also pointed out that in the recent film Gulmohar, she played an elderly queer character, again pushing the envelope.

Saif, the ‘brat of all brats’

Calling her son the “brat of all brats” who caused anxiety all around, Sharmila talked about Saif’s “dalliances” when he was studying in the UK, leaving the Omkara actor flushed.

Sharmila had asked her close friend Gulzar to look after Saif when he shifted base to Bombay later. Gulzar’s daughter Bosky (filmmaker Meghna Gulzar) was warned to stay away from Saif. During his stay at Gulzar’s place, Saif would often return home in the wee hours and would find Gulzar in his crisp white kurta pyjamas, doing his morning riyaaz. In a few days, Saif informed Sharmila that Gulzar was a hermit.

Saif admitted that he was “distracted” after getting admitted to the University of Winchester and didn’t make it academically, so he returned to Delhi, causing a “parental nightmare”. When he appeared in an advertisement commercial with his mother, people started speculating about his entry into films, and Saif took that opportunity up, thinking it to be in his “blood”.

Saif was almost cast opposite Kajol in Bekhudi and was present at the film’s mahurat ceremony too but was replaced by Kamal Sadanah after a few days. Director Rahul Rawail, who wanted Saif to be a bit more “committed and professional”, went back to Kamal, who was his initial choice. After that, film offers dried up for Saif and he got back into the groove only after Yash Chopra’s Parampara.

The Pataudi residence and the long silences

At the Pataudi residence, there are long silences instead of altercations. When Saif broke the news of his marriage to Amrita Singh to his mother, tears were shed along with long silences. Saif said he had found an amount of security in Amrita and it was kind of like running away from home for him. Sharmila observed that both Amrita and Saif were “similar… they were funny and could tear somebody into bits”.

Just like the wedding, Sharmila was also the first person Saif spoke to when he decided to part ways with Amrita. “No breakup is easy. Everybody was hurt. Amrita needed time to cool down. They worked it out together. It wasn’t a happy time for us,” said Sharmila, remembering how her husband ‘Tiger’ Pataudi missed Ibrahim and the whole family was “doubly deprived” to lose Amrita and the two kids. Saif said he has a good relationship with Amrita and he respects the mother of his two children, Sara and Ibrahim.

Sharmila found Saif’s second wife, Kareena Kapoor, to be “simple and sorted”, not shying away from disclosing to the world that she was in a live-in relationship with Saif. Kareena also stood beside the family when Tiger Pataudi was ill and then passed away. Besides, Sharmila appreciates Kareena’s ability to lay a wonderful table every time she visits her.

Like mother, like son

The mother and son duo believe that they are alike as they react in the same way emotionally. During one of Saif’s low professional phases, Sharmila sat him down and told him that he didn’t talk like an actor and that an actor should read more and watch other people’s craft. After that, Saif worked on himself and started to enjoy character acting.

Sharmila Tagore gave Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani the miss

Show host Karan Johar revealed that Sharmila Tagore was the first choice for the role that Shabana Azmi played in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. The film was shot during the pandemic and Sharmila didn’t want to risk it as she had been diagnosed with cancer. Sharmila stayed away from speaking further on the matter.

Family video message

In the video message, Saif’s youngest sister Soha Ali Khan admitted to being exactly like their mother and her aspirations to emulate Sharmila’s parenting skills.

Daughter-in-law Kareena Kapoor Khan said she started calling Sharmila “Amma” from the moment they met as she was welcomed like a daughter. Kareena also keeps her mother-in-law’s staple meal — lauki-turi sabji, chicken curry and brown rice — ready whenever she’s visiting. Besides looking up to her “only grandparent”, Sara Ali Khan said Sharmila has always been there for her no matter what and is in love with Sara’s limericks. “She is a modern woman in traditional attire,” said Sara, describing her father as “a wholesome person” who makes quality time for his children.

Rapid-fire round

Sharmila Tagore aced the rapid-fire round with her candidness. Unlike other actresses of her time, she said she wasn’t chaperoned around, instead she wore hipsters and even danced at wrap parties. If a biopic were to be made on her, she would prefer either Alia Bhatt or Sara to play her. She picked Satyajit Ray’s Devi and Shakti Samanta’s Amar Prem as her standout films.

On the other hand, Saif said he had a great shooting experience with Kajol, Rani, Deepika Padukone and Preity Zinta. And to Ibrahim’s prospective girlfriend, dad Saif cautioned that she should consider remaining single and not look for a relationship or marriage.

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