Saif Ali Khan was recently anointed the Tenth Nawab of Pataudi following the sad demise of his father, the legendary cricket player Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Pataudi is a town in Gurgaon district in the state of Haryana. The ceremony saw him being blessed by his mother, yesteryear actress Sharmila Tagore, and his two sisters, Saba and Soha. The event was also graced by the presence of the Chief Minister of the State, Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
The practicality of the inheritance of the title can be gauged from the fact that it is more of a ceremonial right where the eldest son of the family takes over the right of the household upon the demise of the father. A pagdi (turban) is tied to the head of the son and the mother gives blessings to take the legacy of the household forward.
There have been various sectors that have been objecting why the title has been conferred to Saif since the titles were abolished by the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi. Saif in a statement said, ‘Princely titles no longer exist..but family values and tradition do..I shall be conscious of this always and do the best I can for Pataudi’. He has also categorically denied any political ambitions and has stated that he is not keen to flaunt his title and plans to carry on the responsibility and live up to his father’s memory and name. He has also chosen not to prefix the title with his name.
The actor reportedly has future plans for the Pataudi estate and charitable trust. He has vowed to work towards the refurbishment of the palace a part of which is now a heritage resort. He is also keen to maintain the charitable eye hospital that his father had started. He has said that his father was not in a position to do it financially ever since the privy purses were taken away post the abolishment of royal titles. It is now his dream to do it as a tribute to his late father.
He also plans to work extra hard, as he is keen for his two kids, Sarah and Ibrahim, to follow the family tradition and study in a prestigious university in England. He is also in excellent shape and has cut down on drinking and smoking post a minor heart attack in 2007 at a mere age of 36.
Saif in his 40s is in the most exciting phase of his career. In 2009, he started his flagship production banner under the name – Illuminati Films. He hopes to act and produce some money churners that will help him fulfil his father’s dreams. Two upcoming projects by this banner are currently in pipeline. Agent Vinod (2012), an action thriller on the lines of Bond series, to be directed by Sriram Raghvan who earlier directed Saif in a negative shade in Ek Haseena Thi (2004). And Cocktail (2012), a romantic comedy written by Imtiaz Ali and directed by Homi Adjania, who earlier directed Saif in a parallel film Being Cyrus (2006)
Here’s wishing Saif and his family good luck.