Taimur will be free to choose whatever religion he likes: Saif Ali Khan

Actor Saif Ali Khan comes across as any other father — restrained, rational and a little “awkward” when he talks about his children. In December, Saif became father for the third time as he welcomed son Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi with wife Kareena Kapoor Khan. Speaking about Taimur at Express Adda on Tuesday, Saif spoke about his dreams for the little one and his expectations of himself as a father.

He said he wants Taimur to have the freedom to follow whichever religion he wants. In a family where there have been inter-faith marriages generation after another, Saif wouldn’t have it any other way for his son. “My wife and I will try that our son will be a wonderful ambassador of the country. He will be free to choose whatever religion he likes. I want him to be a liberal, open-minded and down-to-earth guy the way we are,” the actor said during the hour-long session.

When someone in the audience asked him if he has changed Taimur’s diapers, Saif replied with his trademark wit that he’s done diaper duty exactly three times. Moving on, he explained in all seriousness what it means for him to be a father to all of his children — he has Sara and Ibrahim with first wife Amrita Singh. The actor also added that it didn’t come naturally to him to talk about his love for his children.

“I am a friend, philosopher and guide to Taimur. I adore him. I think guys always take a little longer than women (to build a connection with kids) because they have the baby inside them for so long so, there’s an instant kind of connect. Whereas with men, when the baby starts looking at you, the connect grows… I find it a little awkward to express how much I love my son or how I feel about him. But with all my kids, I have to be protective and be a guide and genuinely be there, always. So, it really doesn’t matter if I change diapers or not, or express my love like that because when he comes to me, when he is 16 or is 30, and if I am still alive, that’s the time when the father needs to be there, be his rock like my father was. He never changed any of our diapers but he was the greatest dad ever because we would call him anytime and he would be there and I think, to be there is the main thing.”

Well, a talk about Taimur has to include a talk about the controversy around his name, which was thought to be similar to the name of Mongol invader Timur. The social media trolls didn’t exactly bother Saif and Kareena, but the actor did admit that there were some comments, which he found too harsh, “like someone said, ‘I hope he dies.’ That’s a little regressive.”

“This has been a name I always liked, since I was small. We decided that we could also choose a western name, but I wanted to choose a Muslim name because I wanted a name of my culture. Now, I could either go the poetic route, Faiz and Ghalib… Or we could go into the royal route like name of kings. When I spoke to my wife, she loved the name, the meaning of the name and the sound of it. I am also aware that there is a historical person of the same name. But someone please explain to me why is it relevant today? Why what happened 900 years ago or millennium ago is relevant today? Why are people still talking about that? How can that be connected to the name? So, I don’t understand that and if I can’t understand, I don’t care,” Saif said.


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