Home United States United Kingdom Australia Saudi Arbia United Arab Emirates India Flights Hotels Cloud Services FareArena Url Shortener Contact Us Advertise More From Zordo

Saif on his family's association with sports

1 month ago 18

“My father always thought of himself as a sportsman even when he was seventy! In his last moments at the hospital, he was slouching, and my mother told him, “Don’t slouch, Tiger!”, to which he said, “Rinku, all batsmen slouch!” (laughs!)”

The late cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi instituted the Bhopal Pataudi Cup (polo) in 1966. Saif Ali Khan hosts the tournament every year in memory of his father. While he won’t be able to attend the event this year, he gets nostalgic about his family’s association with sports and how they shaped his life.
Excerpts from a chat:
Your family has had a close association with sports across generations, be it in cricket or polo. You have spoken about wanting to be a cricketer as well. Did sports play an integral part in your upbringing and thinking as an individual?
Growing up, the family philosophy has always been derived from sport — fair play and sportsmanship are values we have been brought up with. My father always thought of himself as a sportsman even when he was seventy! In his last moments at the hospital, he was slouching, and my mother told him, “Don’t slouch, Tiger!”, to which he said, “Rinku, all batsmen slouch!” (laughs!)

Take us through your early memories of watching your father play cricket.
Sadly, I never saw my grandfather play polo because he died when my father was young. It’s something we have only seen photographs of or heard conversations about. It’s been all around us when we have grown up. My father stopped playing when I was four or five years old. I do remember him having a bandage on his chin. That was when Andy Roberts’ bouncer hit him on the chin, and he needed a lot of stitches. And I remember thinking that cricket is quite a violent game (laughs!).

Your father instituted the Bhopal Pataudi Cup in 1966. How would you like to take it forward?

My mother will be there. I won’t be able to go this year because I’m shooting, but I’m happy that my management is taking care of it. We will try and be there next year and every year thereon. North India is a big part of my life and my father's life. I would like to spend some time there with my family. Let’s see how we can best use our energy to make it more of an event and create more awareness for both social causes and the sport. We wish to make it more holistic.




What was it like for you as an actor to grow up in a family that’s highly accomplished in sports?

There was a fair amount of pressure to play sport, but luckily, there were such nice and wise people that they never pressured us to do any of it. Working hard and applying yourself is one thing, but to play any sport well, you need to be naturally gifted. And I think my gifts lie more in cinema.




Your family comprises of many strong women. Do you wish them to be actively involved in this sporting tradition as well?
My mother has a strong presence when it comes to polo. In addition, Soha is very good at sports. She plays badminton and has a bit of the Pataudi blood in that respect. My grandmother and a lot of the ladies in the family have been strong and independent women, so we don’t know any other kind of women in our family. We have grown up with a healthy respect and understanding of what an equal relationship is and are quite aware of the fact that nine times out of 10, a woman is more organised and smarter than a man.

Read Entire Article