By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
We have often seen and in fact, lived in a family set-up where fathers are the breadwinners and mothers are homemakers. But with time, the scenario has evolved and nowadays, the kids grow up watching their working parents balancing work life and family. Even decades ago, there were some families, who promoted women empowerment and one such family was of the Pataudis. When the Bengali beauty of Indian cinema, Sharmila Tagore tied the knot with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who was a pioneering figure in India's rich cricketing heritage, there came a time when he stepped up to become a stay-at-home father for their kids while she went to work.
Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (MAK) had embraced parenthood with the arrival of their son, Saif Ali Khan in 1970. The couple had experienced the joy of parenthood once again with the birth of their daughter, Saba Ali Khan in 1976 and two years later, Soha Ali Khan was born to them. When Sharmila and MAK had decided to tie the knot, that was the time they both were at the peak of their careers but they never let their personal life negatively affect their professional life and vice-versa.
Since Soha Ali Khan is the youngest of three siblings, during her childhood phase, Sharmila Tagore was so busy with her professional commitments that Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi became a stay-at-home father for them. In a Mother's Day 2021 special interview with BT, Soha spoke about what she had learnt from her mother's journey as a parent that helped her in her own, to raise her little one, Inaaya Naumi Kemmu. Speaking about her mom's influence on her thought process in growing years, Soha said, "By the time I was born, my parents had super busy careers and were known as star achievers. Mom, by then, had begun to wind down her career. When I was a little girl, she was away to shoot Mississippi Masala for about three months. I would write her a letter every day. My father would collect them and post them every Sunday to her."
Revealing the reason why her amma, Sharmila Tagore once said that it is hard to be a working mother, Soha Ali Khan continued, "When I was shooting in Delhi recently, Inaaya would make video calls whenever she wanted to see me and speak to me. We didn’t have that option back then. My mother had once said that it was hard for her to be a working mother. You're almost always hard on yourself. There were so many occasions when we wouldn’t be together on her birthday or one of our birthdays, because of her work schedule. But we would not hold it against her. Instead, we celebrated when we got the time with her."
Recalling how he abba, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi became a stay-at-home father while Sharmila Tagore went out for work, Soha Ali Khan said, "Around the time I was born, my dad had become a stay-at-home father, moving his engagements at home. It’s not like we always saw our father going to work and mom at home. We actually saw the reverse — dad was with us and mom would be away for her work. Since an early age, it taught us that mothers have their own dreams, ambitions and careers, too. It taught us that we should create a supportive environment for that. Amma and I have holidayed, been on car trips and played word games together. My parents were particular that the time at the dinner table was for conversations with family — no reading books or anything else. It was about spending quality time together. I am glad I had a role model in my mother who taught me that it’s okay to have a career and dreams along with having children."
On Mother's Day 2021, Soha Ali Khan posted a throwback picture with her amma, Sharmila Tagore and in the caption, she expressed not taking a cuddle for granted ever again. Soha captioned her post as "Never taking a cuddle for granted again! Happy Mother's Day to my lovely Amman and to all the other fabulous mothers (including myself) who do the most important job in the world every single day #happymothersday." Sharing a picture with Inaaya Naumi Kemmu, Soha wrote, "On this day from a happy mother to you - Happy Mother’s Day! Hold on to each other and draw strength from the purity of this love. Stay home, wear your masks, wash your hands and get vaccinated as soon as you can. And never take a cuddle for granted again! #happymothersday."
Parenting is a responsibility that a couple must share equally! Do you agree?