By Srijony Das Last Updated:
Sharmila Tagore is one the most iconic actresses in Indian cinema. With a glorious career over decades and still counting, she has created some memorable work on the celluloid, such as Aradhana, Amar Prem, An Evening In Paris, Kashmir Ki Kali, Apur Sansar among many others. Moreover, she has been one such actress who has collaborated with some of the most talented filmmakers of all times, including Satyajit Ray, Shakti Samanta, Gulzar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and others. Talking about her personal life, the diva got married to cricketer, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi in 1968. The couple was blessed with three children, Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Pataudi and Soha Ali Khan.
Back in 2013, during her presence at the 19th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture, Sharmila Tagore recalled the past and retrospected the changes she witnessed in her life, post getting married and embracing motherhood. Being a superhit actress, Sharmila gracefully managed her flourishing career, as well as fulfilled domestic duties as a mother and wife. Remembering a distinct anecdote, she mentioned:
“I have seen first-hand how marriage and motherhood change a woman’s status. On one particular occasion, just after the huge success of Aradhana, I found myself stranded at a railway station late at night with my three-month-old son. A crowd gathered almost instantly. I had been mobbed before, and I was terrified. But this time, things were different because now I was a mother. I realised then that to my audience, marriage and motherhood had given me substance; now I was worthy of respect. All because now I had a husband and was therefore a bonafide member of society, not just an actress.”
Continuing with her reflections, Sharmila spoke about the advice she once got about her marriage from people around her. She mentioned how many would predict that her marriage wouldn’t last long, as a career in films wasn’t exactly compatible with a fulfilling marital bliss, and it would end up having a lot of friction. She revealed:
“In this context, I should mention the huge amount of advice I received when I got married. It was predicted that my marriage wouldn’t last a year if I continued working. My marriage exercised the imagination of the media and the public to a great extent. They had obviously bought into the arguments our films prescribed, namely that marriage and career were not compatible. Yet, in my case, the combination of marriage, motherhood and a successful film career did not seem to cause any friction.”
In a previous interview with The Quorum, Sharmila Tagore talked about some of the outrageous and bold decisions that she took in her life. For the unversed, while her marriage with a Muslim cricketer was criticised by many, the fact that she wore a bikini for a film shoot, which nobody else ever wore, created a storm back in the day. Reflecting those massive decisions, Sharmila accepted that those were quite out of the grain. Moreover, she emphasised how adapting to changes is always the right way in one’s life.
In an interaction with Twinkle Khanna, Sharmila Tagore talked about her inter-faith marriage with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. She recalled that her family used to get threats for her decision to marry a Muslim man. Referring to her family’s nervousness to organise her wedding, the actress said:
“My family had organised the wedding at Fort William because they were very worried about what might happen since there were a lot of threats. But, Fort Williams refused at the last minute because some of the baraats that were coming had some Army connection. In the end, they found some Ambassador friend’s big house."
What do you think about Sharmila Tagore’s revelations?
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