'The year started with Tiger's (her late husband, cricket legend Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi) birthday. And we had a wonderful cricket match on the occasion… Now the year ends with the birth of Kareena and Saif's child.'
Sharmila Tagore on being Taimur Ali Khan's grandmother and why 24 hours in a day are not enough during this phase of her life.
Sharmila Tagore tells Subhash K Jha about how her son Saif Ali Khan tells her what books to read, how she plans to host a cricket match ever year to honour her husband Tiger Pataudi's memory, the roles she missed when she was pregnant with Saif, and, of course, how excited she is about being a grandmother again.
How has life been treating you this past year?
Very well. I've been busy travelling. I travel quite a bit. Renovation work has been on in our ancestral home in Pataudi. So that keeps me busy. I also love gardening and reading.
My son Saif is an avid reader. He points me to books worth reading. I also must do the Indian Express crossword every morning, which is not too difficult and yet not too easy either.
Then there are family and friends to attend to. 24 hours aren't enough.
How do you look back on the year?
The year started with Tiger's (her late husband, cricket legend Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi) birthday. And we had a wonderful cricket match on the occasion. Now we want to institutionalise the match to celebrate his birthday every year.
Now the year ends with the birth of Kareena and Saif's child.
Are you looking forward to that?
Of course. I am quite looking forward to being a grandmother again.
The year started with the match for Tiger and ends with the coming of a baby in our family after a long time.
I remember when Saif's daughter Sara was born. I was the only mother-in-law to be allowed in the labour room. I was there when Sara was born. I went into the labour room. They didn't ask me to leave, so I didn't. It was so lovely in there, the dim lights, the soft music. I don't think this time they will allow me to go in there.
Looking at Kareena during her pregnancy I was reminded of you when you were expecting Saif?
(Laughs) Kareena has been so lovely.
She has carried her pregnancy effortlessly and gracefully... enjoying every moment of her pregnancy, dressing up, going out and being so natural and beautiful about it.
You did some of your best work during your pregnancy?
Yes, I did. For example, Safar. But while I was pregnant I said no to many films -- Khilona, Tere Mere Sapne, Haathi Mere Saathi, Caravan, Kati Patang... films that made the careers of so many actresses.
Pregnancy didn't affect your career?
Even if it had, I didn't hide my pregnancy. Why should I have?
I wanted to plan a family and that was my priority at that point of time.
I didn't want to hide my pregnancy and then latkao (distress) my producers. They were all thankful to me.
Do you regret losing out on any of those roles?
I don't regret it at all. One has to do everything at the right time. That includes motherhood.
I am now enjoying this grandmotherly phase of my life.
You don't look like a grandmother?
Do you know I don't dye my hair? Although it's turning grey.
Every age bracket has to be respected and it should be embraced naturally.