I don’t feel having a kid is an additional responsibility: Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan are Bollywood’s power couple. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the birth of their son, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, has made national news. Interestingly, B-Town’s new daddy feels it’s a great time to become a father. “I feel 40-45 is a good age. Although my father (the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi) wasn’t a very religious person, he wrote me a note on my 40th birthday that said, ‘The secret of Islam was revealed to the Prophet on his 40th birthday’. I think what he meant was that this is the age when you are sorted. So, it’s a great time to have a kid. I don’t feel like it’s an additional responsibility. Instead, I am like, ‘I want to [have a child],’” Saif said.
The Omkara (2006) actor, who feels “a bit more settled” in life, says, “it is nice to share [your life with another child]”. “There’s a difference (as compared to when Sara and Ibrahim were born) in the sense that I am clear [about] what my age is and what their (kids’) age is, and I am not going anywhere. Sara is so much closer to my age, while Ibrahim is a young teenager. So, now, 14 years later, it feels nice [to have a kid],” says Saif.
So now, with the new baby coming in, ask Saif if he is going to be a more hands-on father, and he says “I just read a saying that goes like this: ‘You never step your foot in the same river twice’, because it’s always moving. Even we [as people] are like that. We keep changing. Of course, I know how life changes [after the birth of a baby]. So, I won’t be stressed because I know exactly how it’s going to change and I am ready for that. Children also bring some discipline and control into your life. So, yes, there will be late nights, but they will be more controlled (smiles). So, I am looking forward to that (fatherhood).”
At the same time, Saif also feels that it having a baby “is a good expression of who we (Kareena and I) are”. “I want to bring up another child, and teach him things and have our thoughts [family values], hopefully, passed on through him. You always like to pass on things [to the next generation]. In the same way, what does Pataudi Palace [stand] for? It’s the continuation [of family values]. For me, life is all about a creative job, friends and hopefully family. These are important things in every possible way,” he says.
The doting father looks forward to having the children around “when we are older”, and wants to teach them various things. “It would be fantastic to tell them Indian stories, such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata; the Greek stories of Hector, The Odyssey, and Achilles, as well as teach them about poetry and art. It will be nice to have a kid who knows all that. I’m looking forward to [doing] it. But there’s no pressure [on Taimur] if he says, ‘Dad, I don’t want to know all this stuff’, and I’m sure he will say that (laughs).”
Kareena has said that she will be back on her feet “within a month” of her delivery. Saif says, “I don’t think she was ever off her feet. She has been on her feet throughout. She is driven and likes working. She loves going for dinners and socialising. She likes snow, fireplaces and travelling. We’re very similar, except she works harder. But that’s not true this year (smiles). I have been very good. Bebo understands balance very well. Sometimes, she manages to finish shooting a film and we don’t even miss her at home.” He adds that Kareena is “excited” about her new film, to be produced by Rhea Kapoor.
At the same time, Saif’s daughter, Sara is also readying to enter Bollywood. Ask him if he is feeling the pressure and he says: “As a father, you wish for a nice, stable life [for your daughter] with a good guy, a nice cottage with a white picket fence, Christmas parties and all that. But that’s a fairy tale; it doesn’t exist. The reality is that you should be self-sufficient and not depend on anybody for anything in life.”
Adding that only a “good job” can give one a sense of self-dependence, Saif says “this is one such job.” “Yes, there are ups and downs, and you can get carried away, but that depends on your personality. There are many actors who keep their heads down, work, lead wonderful lives, travel the world, read books, watch films, have fun, and talk with people. My only advice is, ‘Don’t get carried away with the politics of it, and stick to the artistic parts of it, because it is an artistic profession at its core. So, be an artist,’” he says.