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Jayati Godhawat

IWB Blogger

Soha Ali Khan & Sharmila Tagore’s Candid Confessions About Their Bond Won Over The JLF Crowd

  • IWB Post
  •  January 28, 2018

The most-awaited session on Day 4 of the Jaipur Literature Festival was that of Soha Ali Khan and Sharmila Tagore, called “The Perils of Celebrity,” which was moderated by Sanjoy K. Roy.

The session revolved around Soha’s recently published autobiography, The Perils of Being Moderately Famous. Here, Soha and Sharmila shared their memories, spoke about the relationship they shared, and their varied experiences together.

Soha revealed how her mother never shied away from imparting sex education to her. “Along with so many other things that she taught me, she also talked to me about sex. In fact, I distinctly remember that when I was in college, I got like eight missed calls from her and I got really worried as to why she had called me so many times. As soon as I rang her, she said, ‘If you are having sex, please use a condom!’ And I was like okay! Well, as it turned out she had just returned from some AIDS campaign.”

“However, she never tried to become my best friend. She was involved in what I was doing and everything with a sense of guidance and openness but it wasn’t like I had to tell her everything,” she added.

Sharmila also spoke about her equation with Soha and how it’s different from her relationship with her other children, Saba and Saif. “We do spend a lot of quality time together as we share a lot of interests. We solve crosswords together, she likes to read and I love it too, and we have similar tastes in films too.”

On her career choice, Soha admitted how initially, her mother repeatedly advised her to go to Harvard and make a career in academics. Sharmila justified that by saying, “She was a very bright student and yes, I really thought that she’ll take up law or something like that. But, one time, she told me, ‘Amma, I don’t want to conquer the world,’ and I understood it then.”

“It was like you have given me options and have always let us make our own decisions and now you cannot stop me from exercising it,” continued Soha.

Soha and Sharmila then remembered Soha’s graduation ceremony from Oxford and Sharmila shared, “Oxford was dear to Tiger. Even while he studied there, it was the amount of time he spent playing cricket there that made Oxford all the more special for him. And then to see Soha graduating from Oxford, he was so proud!”

jlf 2018

Soha then shared the incident from the day of graduation and said, “We had to wear black and while I had already prepared for a black dress and a pair of black shoes for me, I forgot that we had to wear black socks too.”

“And, she asked Tiger to give the black socks he was wearing and I don’t think he would have ever agreed to do it except for Soha and the fact that she was graduating from Oxford,” continues Sharmila.

To this, Soha remarked, “You know when I think about it, I might never know how it’s like to walk in my father’s shoes, I definitely know how it feels to walk in his socks.” And, the entire audience cheered and clapped on that one as she had a hearty laugh.

Soha also told the audience the one advice her Amma gave her during her initial days in the industry. “See the camera as the boy you want to impress. I mean you’ll always give your best shot and best angle in front of that boy, right. In simple words, it’s all about a little flirtation with the camera. And you know, I used her advice and it really helped me in my first few films.”

On why she wrote her autobiography, Soha took to self-deprecating humour and remarked, “I wanted to write as to how it feels like to be a modern day princess, and to be moderately famous, being recognized but sometimes whose name people forget, to live amongst family who have achieved more than me, and how to deal with that because one needs to be happy.”

She also revealed that writing this book wasn’t as scary as she thought it would be and she’d like to write another book some day, maybe in fiction. When a guy from the audience asked her whether it is easier for her to write a book and get it published because she’s a celebrity, she gives a rather chill reply.

“Well, I would say that the marketing of the book becomes easier. Like for the book launch, I had Kareena, Saif, Amma, Kunal, and myself. Oh, but the biggest star in the family right now, Taimur, couldn’t make it to the launch. He was busy,” and she cracked up the entire crowd with that.

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