The previous episode of the effervescent show had Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgan giving out such ‘yaarana’ vibes. They are simply brothers forever by being each other’s support system, and the episode was unapologetically real. The tenth episode has an unusual pairing of something not many have seen off the screen for years, even though both are great actors of their respective generations. Mother and son Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan grace the couch for the first time, giving an interview on a chat show as casual as this one. For all the Gen Zs out there, Sharmila Tagore is one of the most prolific actors in Indian cinema, having ruled Bengali and Hindi cinema for many decades. Her son Saif Ali Khan, who is now considered one of the most versatile actors in the Hindi industry, had a tumultuous start to his acting journey, which stabilized sometime in the 2000s.
Recap: What Happens In The Episode?
Karan was quick to admit his show is a guilty pleasure to watch for many, and he feels happy about it and refuses to be offended by it. The host was excited to have a legend on the show with her son, who happens to be a close friend of his, as is his superstar wife, Kareena Kapoor. The episode begins with Karan introducing them as blue bloods, as both are essentially royals. Karan Johar was in awe of Sharmila Tagore, who defined fashion and talent in the 1960s.
Karan started the conversation about being a nostalgia junkie as the son of a Hindi film producer. He was at a loss for words about Sharmila Tagore, who had done some path-breaking roles at a time when women were not comfortable picking up bold characters. Sharmila Tagore began the conversation by talking about the famous bikini shoot, which caused quite a stir in the country as well as the Indian parliament. Sharmila remembers having to come back to India from London only to be overwhelmed by the talk of her bikini shoot. Sharmila recalls the whole drama as unpleasant. Her husband’s support is the only thing that encouraged her to keep going. She also admits to having lived alone for many years, emphasizing the fact that she was an independent woman long before the idea of a woman on her own became a rage.
Saif was quick to chime in and wonder what kind of questions the parliament had for his mother about a piece of cloth. Karan very smartly changed the subject to Saif as a school-going young lad, which includes a string of scandalous, embarrassing, and anxiety-inducing stories, as stated by Sharmila Tagore. There was a tale of Saif not attending the first day of university in Dublin and going on a date with the air hostess of the flight he was on. Saif jumped in to defend himself as the smartest kid because he got into Winchester College eventually, which was a tough place to crack. He applauded himself for being intelligent and says he may have indulged in boisterous activities since he was young and didn’t know better. His mother also shared the story of Saif having hurt his cornea with an arrow, while everyone accused him of aping his father, the legendary Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
Saif Ali Khan lived with Gulzar Sahab and his family during his initial days in Mumbai at the request of his mother, who had hoped her young son might learn some discipline and manners from the legendary director and lyricist. Thankfully, Gulzar Sahab understood Saif’s brattish behavior and passed it off as the younger generation just being themselves. This also throws light on the friendship Sharmila Tagore shared with Gulzar Sahab’s family. Sharmila Tagore also mentioned having gone through cancer treatment, and her recovery did not allow her to take up Karan Johar’s film Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani.
The subject on the couch moved to Saif’s first film, which was supposed to be Bekhudi, but Rahul Rawail replaced him with another actor. Saif also speaks in detail about the casting done by Yash Chopra for his multi-starrer film. Yash Chopra was the only director and producer who trusted Saif and his skills as an actor. Saif admits the veteran director was also his support system in an industry that quickly forgot him until Dil Chahta Hai happened.
It was hilarious to watch Karan go after Saif by repeatedly asking his mother to divulge more stories about the young Saif and his mischievous side. Karan was also in awe of Sharmila Tagore for having played a queer character in Gulmohar. Sharmila Tagore’s response to taking on this role is that the current generation is watching shows and movies on OTT platforms and is far more tolerant of the subject of LGBTQ+ and widely accepted as well. It was a challenge that she took in stride, and it was a memorable performance.
Sharmila and Saif also spoke about his first marriage, which happened suddenly and without the knowledge of any member of either family. Admittedly, Sharmila Tagore was upset at this hasty decision, but she came to like his first spouse, Amrita Singh, within a few days of the marriage. It was brave of Sharmila Tagore to have spoken about her son’s elopement and his subsequent divorce many years later, and to have spoken in support of Amrita, who seemingly had a difficult time post-divorce. Sharmila Tagore was all in awe of Kareena Kapoor for being real and never having sugar-coated conversations. She was particularly happy with Kareena when she coolly admitted to having been living with Saif with his mother’s friends from Delhi. It reminded her how times had changed, and she was proud of the woman Kareena was. Sharmila Tagore also mentioned she was living with Tiger Pataudi for a while before they tied the knot. Living together with a boyfriend was considered taboo in her day, but Kareena’s honesty about her living situation helped her understand the current generation.
The episode moved to a special audio-video message from Sara Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan, and Kareena Kapoor sharing their journey as members of the family. An endearing message that was filled with love, laughter, sarcasm, and limericks. Kareena Kapoor was almost teary-eyed speaking about her husband Saif, and it shows their bond as a couple. All of them would be meeting each other for dinner post-shoot, and it cannot get as simple as this. This was followed by a rapid-fire round, which Sharmila Tagore won by comfortable margin, and rightly so because she was far quicker and funnier with the answers.
Review: A Wholesome Episode Featuring The Funny Pataudi Family
The tenth episode of Koffee with Karan must be the least cringeworthy that features a family. There was thankfully no one complimenting each other constantly to prove ‘all is fine in the family’. If you thought Sara Ali Khan was cheeky and funny, the mother lode, Saif Ali Khan, and his legendary mother Sharmila Tagore are the epitome of being smart, intelligent, and just being funny. The self-deprecating humor runs in the blood. Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan are giving a casual interview on screen for the first time, and it is surprising no one thought of doing that before. Sharmila Tagore must be the most honest mother who did not hide the fact that her son was mischievous and flirtatious and went through a rebellious phase, which gave the family anxiety. No mother publicly admits their son to having any ghastly qualities. The episode is filled with Saif’s embarrassing stories, and Karan only wants to know more from the mother. If only this episode were two hours long, the audience would have known more about her life as an actress and a mother of a defiant child.
Karan Johar was relatively quiet and respectful, and this could be because of the mighty royals in front of him. For the first time, Saif was tongue-tied, which was rare for him as a man known for his cheeky sense of humor. But one could see where Saif gets his good looks and intelligent mind from. Sharmila Tagore spoke in detail about the ordeal she had to face because of the bikini shoot, and we wonder if nothing has changed decades later. Sharmila Tagore openly admitted to having lived alone in Mumbai and never being chaperoned at a time when actresses were surrounded by controlling fathers and mothers.
We wish to hear more about Sharmila Tagore’s fascinating life, which also includes having a live-in relationship with her then-boyfriend and later husband, the legendary cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Speaking of the legendary cricketer, it was progressive of him to not be bothered by the bikini photographs of her becoming the talk of the country and to support his wife wholeheartedly. We need men like him in every generation. Sharmila Tagore’s anecdotes are a classic case of a woman who was way ahead of her time. It was surprising to hear Sharmila Tagore speak for the first time about cancer treatment because this was never revealed to the media.
Sharmila Tagore could be the face of a liberal person because she was in awe of the women who married her son, Amrita Singh and Kareena Kapoor. She found contentment in Kareena being honest about her relationship situation with her Delhi friends without worrying about the world. It is rare to find a woman or a mother who appreciates the partner of their son. Saif’s gratitude towards every family member’s work towards running the pack as a big team was endearing to watch. Easily one of the wholesome episodes featuring family where everyone was just honest. Also, Saif Ali Khan’s younger days in the UK as a school-going and college kid needs to be chronicled. There is a potential book right there.