Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore is a repository of stories. In a recent interview, she spoke of her romance with former Indian cricketer and skipper Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and their marriage. She recalled how he once passed off Mirza Ghalib’s poem as his own.
Sharmila revealed how once when she was shooting for Safar (1970) with Feroz Khan, she had proudly mentioned it to him that Tiger (as Mansoor is popularly known as) had written a poem for her – Dil-e-Nadan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai. It was Feroz who had corrected her and said that it was Ghalib’s work.
She said: “Tiger told me ‘I have written this for you’. He used to sing, play the flute – Chaudvi Ka Chand, Dil Jalta Hai Toh Jalne Do, etc. He was a Begum Akhtar and Talat Mehmood fan. So, once he told me he had written this (poem) and I thought may be he had- Dil-e-Nadan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai.”
“So next day I was shooting with Feroz (Khan) in this film called Safar. So I told him very proudly that Tiger had written this for me. And he said ‘woman, this is Ghalib for God’s sake’.”
Sharmila also spoke of how she met Mansoor. “I met him around 1965, at somebody’s party.” As the host injected that it was at ML Jaisimha’s party, Sharmila corrected her and said, “No, it was not his party, ML Jaisimha was also there, but it was someone else’s party. We got to chat and got to know each other.”
She mentioned, how Tiger was very ‘English’ then. “He was very English at that time with a very British accent. He would tell a joke and nobody would understand and he would laugh at his own joke.”
Also read: When Sharmila Tagore’s father blamed her for Tiger Pataudi dropping a catch: ‘You shouldn’t have kept him up all night’
She recalled how her father had got annoyed when Mansoor had missed a catch. “Tiger dropped a catch or something and my father screamed from somewhere ‘you shouldn’t have kept him up all night’.”
She also addressed the story of Mansoor bought seven refrigerator for her. “That was a message he had left with his staff. Those were the days when we didn’t have access to all these imported things. So I was very intrigued and I called him.”
Sharmila and Mansoor married in in 1968. They have three children together – Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan. While Saif and Soha took to their mother’s profession and became actors, Saba is a jewelry designer and custodian of huge Waqf properties of the family in Bhopal.