By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
‘Love can happen anytime and anywhere’ – such is the case of the ‘real life’ princess, Soha Ali Khan Pataudi and Bollywood actor, Kunal Kemmu. Soha is the youngest daughter of the renowned veteran actress, Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi a.k.a. the Nawab of Pataudi and former captain of the Indian cricket team, and sister of Bollywood superstar, Saif Ali Khan. The Pataudi princess is inherited with royal good looks and acting skills to go with her blue blood.
On the other hand, Kunal is born to actors Ravi Kemmu and Jyoti Kemmu, and the acting was in his blood too, right from the start. After making his Bollywood debut as a child artiste, he made his return with 2005 film, Kalyug. Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu’s love saga is no less than a filmy one as both of them, let alone getting married, never thought of becoming even friends. But then what clicked between the two? Read on as we take you to the love tale of Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu.
The seeds of Soha and Kunal’s romance were initially sown when they had their first encounter on the sets of Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge in 2009. Their initial reaction was of indifference rather than a friendly one, and no romantic undertones were involved. In an interview, Soha revealed her first impression of Kunal and shared:
"When we did our first film, Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge, we didn’t speak much at all. I thought we would never be friends, forget being in a relationship. Then we did the film 99 and we got closer. I was immediately attracted to him. I thought he was a very attractive man. I noticed his eyes and his smile. He was quiet, silent and mysterious in many ways. He kind of drew me in."
Kunal, on the other hand, had a different ‘first impression’ of Soha. Kunal expressed:
"My first impression was that here is this Oxford graduate and I don't know why she is acting in films. When I met her on the sets, she was writing an article on her laptop to send to Oxford University for their magazine. So I thought, this is serious stuff, I should think before I start a conversation with her. We didn’t speak much. I respected her as a professional. It was only towards the end of Dhoondte... that we happened to spend some time on the sets. It was very interesting because she’s had an upbringing completely different from mine, so the stories of her life were very different — hers were about Oxford and mine were about local trains. But even then, we used to have a lot of healthy debates and that’s how we got talking. Gradually it developed into a relationship."
Though Soha and Kunal didn’t hit off when they worked together on the film, destiny had different plans. Soha and Kunal were later attracted to each other were ultimately and hopelessly in love. Soha, who is 5 years older to Kunal, had a live-in relationship and got to know each other even more before taking the decision of spending their lives together in wedded bliss. Unlike typical mothers, Soha’s mother understood their decision and she gifted them a flat where the lovebirds lived together.
Soha and Kunal first went out in 2008 on a movie date. They decided to go for the film, The Dark Knight and Kunal arrived 20 minutes late. There are a very few things that Soha like, so Kunal finds it very difficult to give her gifts. About which, Soha remarked:
“I want someone to give me time and attention, care and concern rather than things. I don’t think buying things is a gesture of attention.”
Kunal, being a pro at writing poems and reciting them on guitar, did the sweetest thing for Soha when he gifted her a folder with self-written poems and her childhood pictures on Valentine’s Day, during their courtship period. On the other hand, Soha tried to cook a meal for Kunal, only after asking him how to turn on the gas. About Soha being a control freak, Kunal once shared:
“If we plan a holiday, I can trust her to book the right hotel and make sure a car will pick us up.”
Soha believes that trusting and loving a person enough to move-in with him is a commitment which is at par to marriage. When you trust a person to that extent, signing the paper is no longer significant. Speaking about her live-in with Kunal, Soha stated:
“We don’t endorse live-in relationship for people, but it has worked wonderfully well for both of us before we got married to each other.”
To which, Kunal added:
“Live-in relationship helped me to know and understand my partner better, which eventually helped my marriage with Soha. But having said that… you have to figure out your way. There is no one proper recipe. Everybody has ups and downs, and everybody should figure their way out.”
Then came the most-awaited moment when Kunal proposed his lady-love, continuing her family legacy of special proposals in Paris. With Soha’s father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi proposing Sharmila Tagore when she was shooting for the movie An Evening in Paris and Soha’s brother, Saif Ali Khan proposing Kareena Kapoor at Notre-Dame de Paris, the Pataudi clan has a special attachment to Paris.
Soha and Kunal love exploring the world together, and they keep sharing their travelling moments on social media. When Soha was on a month-long vacation in Europe with the love of her life, Kunal decided to pop up the question to her in the most romantic city in the world. Even though Paris was not on the couple’s Europe itinerary, Kunal pulled off a perfect proposal to her with the most perfect ring, and of course, she said ‘yes’!
In 2014, newly-engaged Soha shared the news with her fans on Twitter, and tweeted:
"It gives me great happiness to share with you all that Kunal proposed to me in Paris with the most perfect ring in the world and I said yes.”
Telling their parents was not a cake walk for either of them. Speaking about the same, Kunal was quoted as saying:
"I didn’t make it an event. I told my dad first and my mother later. Even in college, I didn’t discuss my girlfriends with my sister or my parents. When we were seeing each other for 8 or 9 months, I thought I should tell them because it was in the papers and they’d asked me before and I said it’s not true, because initially it wasn’t. Then there were more articles in the press and I thought I should tell them that I’m seeing this girl. It was quite casual and informal and I think they were slightly uncomfortable, especially my dad, because it was the first time I was telling them that I’m seeing a woman."
And Soha shared her experience:
"I would’ve never told my father directly because we didn’t have discussions about boys. I relied on my mother to tell him. I must’ve told her and she is very liberal and trusting of my choices and not overtly concerned. She met Kunal on the sets of 99 and unfortunately he was doing a scene in which he had to wear a pink bathrobe."
But all’s well that ends well! Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu’s band, baaja, baraat wedding was a subdued and a private one. The couple took their wedding vows on January 25, 2015, in a star-studded yet low-key affair, with the guest list mostly comprised of close friends and family. From bachelorette bash, mehendi ceremony to court marriage and wedding reception, Soha and Kunal’s wedding was surely a moment to remember.
Soha Ali Khan’s close friends, Konkona Sen Sharma and Neha Dhupia threw a bachelorette party for her on January 22, 2015, and it was a completely fun-filled girls night. This was followed by a mehendi ceremony in which the bride-to-be dazzled in a Ritu Kumar ensemble. For the wedding at their Khar residence, Soha stunned in Sabyasachi’s off-white lehenga which she paired with an orange dupatta. The groom Kunal looked debonair in a white sherwani and a golden silk saafa.
Their morning wedding was followed by a star-studded wedding reception in the evening. While Soha looked breathtakingly gorgeous in a pink and gold Sanjay Garg lehenga, Kunal looked suave in white kurta and trousers which he paired with a smart jacket. The wedding reception witnessed dance performance by Soha’s brother and sister-in-law, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, which undoubtedly stole the show.
Soha revealed that Kunal is the one who makes up after their fights. She shared:
“I really wonder why his or my guards have never come knocking, asking if someone’s been murdered in the flat. I really wonder why no one comes. It does get loud and passionate and maybe it’s a by-product of two actors who get into a very melodramatic state.”
In 2016, the newly-wedded couple came under the public scanner and media scrutiny, and there were reports that Kunal and Soha are facing trouble in their marital life. The reason behind this was Kunal’s insistence on having a family, and Soha not ready to embrace motherhood. And this conflict of interest resulted in fights between the couple.
Squashing all the divorce speculations, Kunal broke his silence and slammed the reports in the most amazing and filmy way possible. Kunal tweeted:
“What!! Why is my marriage in trouble?? Why am I heading for a divorce? Am I in a different reality or the people reporting this nonsense”
In Salman Khan style, the tweet said:
“Ek baar jo maine commitment de di toh phir mae PRESS ki bhi nahi sunta!”
Soha too laughed off these conjectures and said:
“The rift rumours are laughable. It started with a shot in the dark piece and then just took on a life of its own from fighting to filing for divorce. Kunal has been putting off filing his nails for ten days now. Forget filing for a divorce!”
Further emphasising on the fact that her parents’ 44-year-marriage is an inspiration for her, Soha quipped:
“I’ve always felt when you are committed in a relationship, you have to work through the difficult times. I’ve seen my parents in a successful solid marriage for 44 years. There is no perfect relationship. You have to work around the dissatisfaction. I am sure even my parents had their problems. They were completely different personalities, but they must have worked on their marriage and made it work.”
Living their ‘happily ever after’, this much-in-love couple announced stepping into the next phase of their lives, i.e. parenthood. In 2017, the elated father-to-be Kunal gave a statement to media tabloids:
“Yes, it’s true. Soha and I are very happy to announce a joint production coming later this year – our first child! We feel blessed and thank you all for your good wishes.”
Soha and Kunal were beaming with excitement in their babymoon pictures. Then soon-to-be-parents, Soha and Kunal went to London for their babymoon, and in August 2017, Soha had her baby shower ceremony at bhai Saif and bhabhi Kareena’s residence. Pretty damsel, Soha looked radiant in a powder blue dress, and her pregnancy glow was the cherry on the cake. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sara Ali Khan, Ibrahim Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Konkana Sen Sharma, Shivani Tanksale and Neha Dhupia were a part of the baby shower. Kareena and Saif little munchkin, Taimur Ali Khan stole the show at his bua’s baby shower ceremony.
Soha revealed how supportive Kunal was through her pregnancy phase. She was quoted as saying:
“Kunal and I have been together for nine years now. We feel very blessed and were ready for this phase in our life. But I haven’t felt alone at all…Kunal has been extremely supportive of me in this journey and takes care of me in all way possible and makes me feel like a yummy mummy…I have my and Kunal’s family. Kunal has been a wonderful partner and this phase can be overwhelming for the to-be mother and father. He has done very well.”
Mommy-to-be further continued:
“I wasn’t feeling well, so we ordered a jar of Imli candy. There would have been around 500 candies in that jar. You’ll be surprised to know that Kunal ate all the candies. Because of eating 25 candies in a day, he suffered from sour tooth.”
To which Kunal added:
“Even I feel pregnant just like my wife. You can say that I am part of this, but actually all the headaches, backaches, nausea… this woman is going through. The least a man can do is just extend his support. The actual partnership happens when the baby comes out. So, I am trying my best to be the supportive and silent partner.”
Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu were blessed with a baby girl on September 29, 2017, whom they named Inaaya Naumi Kemmu. Soha shared:
"It was me who named her. Both me and Soha had our list of baby names and we decided to go ahead with Inaya Naumi Kemmu. We named here Inaya Naumi as she was born on 'Naumi'.”
Inaaya is the internet sensation nowadays and has surpassed the fame and love of her star parents. Speaking about how life changed after Inaaya’s birth, Kunal expressed:
“I would like to think so! On other days, I would go back home, put up my feet and watch something on TV or call my friends home, make a plan to go out. Now, I just want to go back home to my baby and watch her. And talk about her. Everything else comes later. Priorities have changed for sure. There’s more to come.”
He also said that since they have a daughter, he cannot be stricter with her and said:
“Definitely her. Because I love kids and it’s a girl. She just smiles at me and I’m done. Soha will have to be stricter because I definitely can’t."
While Soha shared her experience and stated:
“The first week after leaving the hospital was terrifying. Earlier, you lived in joint families. Now it’s just Kunal and I at home. Of course, my mother came for some time and his parents also dropped by. Also, his sister, my sister and sister-in-law dropped by. But ultimately it is just us at home. So it’s quite different. The obvious change for me is that I am used to being in control of things. I am a control freak. I like to plan and organise things, whether it’s fitness, eating on time and getting my ten hours of sleep. All of that has gone out of the window. I’m no longer the boss, Inaya is. Life revolves around her.”
We wish Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu a wonderful married life with their little angel, Inaaya Naumi Kemmu. Stay tuned with us for more updates from the royal family.