By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
Bengali Beauty, Sharmila Tagore is one of the most iconic actresses of her generation, who created a niche for herself in the Hindi and Bengali film industry. Over the years, Sharmila has given us some memorable movies like Waqt, Amar Prem, Anupama, An Evening In Paris and many more. She had fallen in love with the cricket legend, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and tied the knot with him in 1969. Together, they welcomed three children into this world, Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan.
However, once Sharmila Tagore had become a hot topic of discussion among gossipmongers as she did a bikini shoot for a magazine cover in 1966. Clad in a black bikini, Sharmila Tagore appeared on the cover of Filmfare magazine and created a lot of controversies. Years later, in a 2020 interview, the actress opened up about her much-talked-about photoshoot. In a candid conversation with Diya Jaiswal for the book club, Ladies Study Group, Sharmila said:
“I thought I looked nice. Though the photographer was hesitant, but I said, ‘why not’ because it will look good.”
When the magazine was published, Sharmila Tagore was in London at that time. However, the situation in India was very critical, and people were criticising the actress for her bold move. In the same interview, the Aradhana actor revealed that she was quite affected by the reactions to the photo shoot and was very upset. Recalling the incident, she said:
“It was quite vitriolic…those days we did not have social media but it was very critical. I was in London at the time the magazine cover was published. Shakti (Samanta) ji called me and said we have to do some damage control…I was very upset.”
Amidst all the controversy, Sharmila's husband, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was her biggest support, and he stood by her like a pillar. Recalling his reaction to the same, the actress shared that when she sent a Telegram to Tiger, he was very supportive. She revealed that he said that she looks very nice on the magazine cover and said:
“I sent a telegram to Tiger, and he said, ‘I’m sure you are looking very nice.’ He was very supportive.”
However, along with the controversies, Sharmila Tagore also learnt a great lesson from the whole fiasco. In the same conversation, the actress mentioned that as a public figure, she has to understand her audience and know what they expect from her. Talking about her learnings from the incident, Sharmila added that she wanted to be respected, so she slowly started changing her image. In her words:
“I learnt that if you are a public figure, you have some responsibility. You have to understand who your audience is and what they expect from you. I learnt that while people are attracted towards glamour, they don’t really have all that much respect for that. I wanted to be respected, I wanted to be liked so I slowly started changing my image.”
Indeed, late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the most supportive husband to his doting wifey, Sharmila Tagore!