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'My husband didn't know who Saif and Kareena were'

Last updated on: February 29, 2012 15:37 IST

'My husband didn't know who Saif and Kareena were'

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Subhash K Jha in Patna

After Kareena Kapoor defended her boyfriend Saif Ali Khan for the scuffle he had at the Wasabi restaurant at the Taj Hotel, it was the turn of 'victim' Iqbal Sharma's wife to speak up for her husband.

Tarina Patel is a Bollywood starlet, who has acted in films like Bhool Bhulaiya and Chase.

She gives her side of the tale of what really happened that night to Subhash K Jha.

Tell us about that night at the Taj.

My husband is not some star-struck foreigner in India. He comes from the biggest political family in South Africa. He is (prominent anti-apartheid activist) Fatima Meer's nephew. His family was instrumental in getting Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa.

My husband's uncle and Nelson Mendela were best friends. He's in and out of Mumbai doing business, negotiating trade on behalf of South Africa with India for the last 10 years. Though I stay in South Africa with my husband, I am in and out of Mumbai all the time as well.


Image: Tarina Patel and Iqbal Sharma


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'My husband is not some star-struck foreigner in India'

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Kareena says Saif was provoked by your husband?

Wow! It doesn't take much to get people provoked. We had no idea asking people to lower their voices in a restaurant was such a provocation that it would warrant a broken nose for my husband. I am so sorry about Bebo's stress level caused by our objection to their volume level.

Is that all your husband did, asked them to lower their volume?

We didn't even ask them directly. We asked the manager to ask them to keep it down.

Then what happened?


The noise was so unbearable that we decided to move downstairs. We were on the way down and waiting for the lift when this happened. Saif was on the way up.

We were willing to go to the police station and submit ourselves to a blood test. But they were not willing to do the same. In fact, Saif went missing for 20 hours.

What did Saif actually say at the lift where you all were waiting to go down?

He told us to f**k off to a library if we wanted peace. Frankly, my husband was more stunned than me. I've known this film industry because I work here. My husband is clueless about the ways of Bollywood actors. He didn't know who Saif or Kareena were. He knows who Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan are. Beyond that, my husband or the rest of my family doesn't know the industry and they don't care.


Image: Tarina Patel and Dino Morea in Dus Kahaniyaan


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'I am not in this for publicity'

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That's what got Saif offended?

Of course! He hit my father. My father is a gentle doctor .How would your daughter react if he saw you hit? I am hurt beyond reason by what happened. And to now have Kareena say I'm doing this for publicity!

Are you still a part of Bollywood?

I do come here and do a part now and then. I'm right now working in Priyadarshan's Malamaal Weekly 2. I've earlier done his Bhool Bhulaiya.

But that's not the point. I am not in this for publicity. If I was, I'd have spoken to a thousand journalists who have tried to get in touch with me since the incident. I chose to remain in the shadows.

How can Bebo turn around and say I am doing this for publicity? It just shows the calibre of these people. They are all about media and publicity.


Image: Tarina Patel


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'We have not been brought up to deal with public brawls'

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Kareena has said that you fled the scene when the brawl happened?

Right! Everything happened so suddenly I couldn't even move from where we were. When it happened, we called security. The ladies with that person (Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan and Amrita Arora) have said I didn't intervene. I am sorry we have not been brought up to deal with public brawls.

Kareena also wonders how a man with a broken nose can talk for 10 hours.

Because my husband talks through his mouth, not his nose.

Also, it's for justice. And we're going to go all the way with this.

Now the matter is in the hands of the lawyers. I want justice to be done, no matter what it takes. Saif has gone on television to apologize. That isn't the same as apologizing to my father and husband. He claims to be apologetic and yet the ladies are slandering me.


Image: Tarina Patel and Iqbal Sharma


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'No one hit Saif'

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Apparently, eyewitnesses say Saif threw the first punch?

I am glad there are honest people out there. The Taj hotel is a magnificent place and it's a favourite of my husband and me.

That hasn't changed.

A visual byte shows Saif in a torn green shirt.

I remember he was wearing a light neutral colour. I am not sure. What really baffles me is, why did he run away?

Apparently, he was hurt on the eye?

No one hit him.


Image: Tarina Patel

Tags: Saif

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'I don't need money from Bollywood to support myself or my family'

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Do you fear ostracization from the film industry?

Not at all. I did what I had to after the incident without caring. We went to the hospital. From there, we went to the police station. I didn't sit and plot and plan my action. I was just looking at my father and my husband and their hurt and stunned faces. There was no time to think.

You don't fear a Bollywood boycott?

I don't need money from Bollywood to support myself or my family. I come from a very wealthy family. I don't do films for money. I do it because I have a strong creative streak. I come from a medical background.

Have you had any support from Bollywood?

In copious amounts. You'd be surprised at how many people from the industry have come forward in our support. 


Image: Iqbal Sharma and Tarina Patel

Tags: Bollywood

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