By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Nov 24 (IANS) Its good see Saif Ali Khan back in the reckoning with the web series Sacred Games. He deserves to be at the top. Thats where he belongs.
Over different periods of time, I’ve interacted with all the three Khan superstars — Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir. I was on very warm terms with all three in different time zones. Until major differences cropped up and things just ceased to be hunky-dory.
Saif, the fourth Khan superstar is a special case for me. To begin with, I am one of his mother Sharmila Tagore’s greatest fans. Even today when I speak to her my hands tremble and I gush like a schoolboy. She laughs off my effusiveness, even warning me once that “such things” are not allowed to be said any longer.
But who can stop a Sharmila Tagore fan? For me, Saif was my favourite actress’ son to begin with. Then he married Kareena with whom I’ve shared a very warm relationship in the past. This happened much later. When I first got to know Saif, he was going through a traumatic break-up with his first wife Amrita Singh.
Saif had a lot to say and, at that point of time, I think he trusted me a lot. The interview where he lashed out at Amrita was (naturally) a sensation. Saif was, as expected, guilt-ridden about the impact.
“Did I say too much? Should I have been more restrained in my comments? After all, she is my children’s mother. That will never change.” Saif agonised, as only Saif can, after the interview was a headline-grabber.
I assured him it was fine. He needed to have his say. Then came his relationship with Rosa (where is she now?). That too didn’t end too well. Saif was looking for something in his Significant Other. He found that person while shooting for Vijay Krishna Acharya’s “Tashan” in Ladakh. We could Saif-ly say that the one good thing which came out of “Tashan” was Saif’s relationship with Kareena (which is more than what the director’s demoniacal dud “Thugs Of Hindostan” has to redeem itself).
I think Saif is more at peace with Kareena than he has ever been. The restlessness, the fidgeting, the constant uncertainty is gone. This is the most self-assured phase of Saif’s life. We saw how much at peace he was with his daughter, the very lovely debutante Sara Ali Khan, on Karan Johar’s show.
As I watched him look so relaxed with Sara, I remember my first meeting with Saif at his well-appointed apartment. He met me warmly, led me into the study and said he would be back in a while — and forgot that I was waiting there. More than an hour later he emerged, all apologetic.
I wrote a bitchy column on this encounter. I think he must have read it. Looking back, though, I can laugh at the episode. I feel I should have been more tolerant of the wait. Because, at the end of the day, Saif means no harm to anyone. He is one of the most affable, well-adjusted individuals in the entertainment business.
He has evolved not only as a human being but also as an actor. His performance in “Baazaar” is his best to date. So what if it didn’t work? The boxoffice is never a trustworthy mistress. In the way he looks, his genteel manner and the fluctuations in his career, Saif is the millennial’s Shashi Kapoor who, incidentally, was Saif’s mom’s favourite co-star.
And Saif is now married to a gorgeous woman from Shashi Kapoor’s family. Saif’s son Taimur is now a bigger star than Saif and Kareena put together. This is one Khan against whom Saif can’t compete.
(Subhash K. Jha can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org