Saif Ali Khan is busy Rangoon-ing and the promotional spree is massive. Since, last December the Pataudis and Kapoors are in a pool of reports circling around his baby boy Taimur’s name. Within hours of his birth Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi was all over the news and social media sites. Some were raving about his adorability, while some were raging over his name. After being tight-lipped about the name controversy for a while both Kareena and Saif spoke about their baby boy, without openly justifying their decision. And, why should they?
Interestingly, in an interview with Delhi Times, Saif vocally presented his case and explained the history of the name.
“My daughter told me, why don’t you say that you have not named him after Timur Lang, say that’s Timur and this is Taimur. I said it still sounds similar. She says just say they have same roots. The name is nice and it sounds good and it means something nice but it is not named after that guy. Well, yes, the name is the same, but the name also predates the person called Timur Lang. Incidentally, Timur Lang’s son was Shah Rukh, who is the guy who supposedly said we should actually plunder India. A lot of fighting was done by his sons, but nobody has a problem with the name Shah Rukh (laughs).“
Well, we hear you Saif.
But amid all the backlash, did he ever think of changing Pataudi Junior’s name?
“You know, actually – I haven’t told anyone this – I thought for a second about changing his name. For a couple of weeks. And Kareena was a little against it and she said, ‘People respect you for your opinion and you can’t’… So I said, yeah, but it’s not about people. I don’t want him to get unpopular. And I still might, maybe when he’s one or two, I might change his name in a while, it’s still sinking in, what to do.“
And, he almost went through with it.
“Someone in my PR agreed with me, and we drafted a small letter. And when I read it, it was so pathetic, that I cancelled the idea. Because it was really like, uhh, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘I didn’t want to offend’ and ‘I’m an idiot’ (laughs), and you know, I’ve given in to pressure. It just sounded awful. However you write it, it just wasn’t sounding right. It was like I didn’t realise where I live or what I’m doing. So I did think about it. I thought about it, but it was for the wrong reason.”
Saif doesn’t look for universal acceptance but is happy with the opinion of a handful of people he respects.
“If a select few are happy with you, universal acceptance is not required because this kind of populist approval means something scary. I would rather have a handful of people whose opinion I respect, agree with me, that’s enough.”
Gushing about his li’l bundle of joy, Saif reveals that the Khan baby has many names already.
“Tim, that’s what he’s called (laughs). Tim Khan. Tim Pataudi. Timmy, Tim… What’s your name? Taimur if it comes in… He’s quite a fiery guy though, I must say. I hope he doesn’t already understand that it’s a strong name. He makes his feelings felt very strongly. Yells, not cries. Stop doing what you’re doing and he’s fine (laughs).”
But that’s not all he spoke about. He spoke of extensive reading for his Art History paper where he read about Timur, Mr. Trump as the US President, Islamophobia, his instinctive feeling of being an ambassador for Islam, the Gstaad incident where he felt like a Jew in Germany and the stereotypes Muslim’s face.