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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Soha Ali Khan on Pataudi Palace, feeling close to father Tiger Pataudi when there: ‘It is a different world…’

Actor Soha Ali Khan talks about Pataudi Palace, her experiences, memories and how she "feels closer" to her father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, when she visits.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
Updated: January 8, 2022 8:41:30 am
soha ali khan on father mansoor ali khan, pataudi palace, inaaya naumi kemmuSoha Ali Khan shared her fondest memory of being in Pataudi Palace. (Photo: Soha Ali Khan/Instagram)

Actor Soha Ali Khan is returning to screen with Kaun Banegi Sikharwati after a gap of three years. The series sees her sharing the screen space with Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta, Anya Singh and Kritika Kamra. “I wasn’t sure of the dynamics of working with three other women in the same frame,” she told, talking about the series. However, she shared that her experience was “relaxed and chilled out” because all her female co-stars were “secure and confident about their personalities.”

While Soha plays Gayatri, Lara plays her elder sister Devyani. “Lara has seen so much success and has so much experience but she has no airs at all. In fact, if we needed something on set, we would fire the gun from her shoulder and she would get a lot of things done for us,” Soha shared about Lara, adding that working with her, Kritika and Anya was “a nice experience.” Kritika and Anya play Kamini and Uma, respectively.

In the series, Soha’s Gayatri is a yogini. The actor says that unlike Gayatri, she is “a creature of comfortable possessions.” As the conversation continued, we quizzed Soha if playing Gayatri was easy because she herself comes from a royal background. “I am trying really hard to think how could it help me but I am struggling because I don’t know what people expect us to be doing when we visit our palaces…” she chuckled.

“Whenever I visit Pataudi, I take my cook from Mumbai with us. Here, he calls me Didi, there he calls me Soha Bia. He calls Kunal as bhaiyya, and Mia there. So, things do change when you step into Pataudi. Apart from the innate sense of sophistication that I have, I don’t know much. I like the world (of Shikharwati). I was comfortable being in a palace, wearing beautiful costumes and airs and graces you are supposed to have as a princess. It was not an alien world to me,” Soha explained, adding that in her personal life, she is also part of the modern world. “I am juggling between two worlds. There’s a world that is a bit ancient and a world that is modern. Those things look good in Pataudi, not in Mumbai. So, you have to adapt with time and place. That is the rule of evolution.”

As she mentioned Pataudi, we asked her to share her fondest memories of the place. The actor said Pataudi Palace is a place for her to unwind. “The architecture, the landscapes, the gardens my mother has done, just visually, it is relaxing to go there. You just feel, after the hustle and bustle, the insecurities and competitiveness of a city life like Mumbai, you just go there, take a deep breath and you feel unburdened in so many ways,” Soha expressed.

But for her, Pataudi is more than just a place. It is memory of her father, her childhood and a way of finding her inner peace. “I just like the open spaces, the greenery. I somehow feel closer to my father when I am there. I go to his grave and spend time with him. It is his home. So, there is that connection as well. So many memories growing up. I remember the time when there was no electricity and we had visited as children. We used to sleep outside, under macchardani (mosquito net). Now we have AC, but back then, there was no AC and no mobile phones. So, it was a complete cut off. I remember being excited to have seen the first fax machine. Even the first AC. Now, it has some modern amenities. But there is still an old world charm to it,” she told.


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“We play cricket, do organic farming. Inaaya (Soha’s 4-year-old daughter) also goes there and plants something. Picks up potatoes, carrots and all. We make a salad out of cucumbers, carrots, which she herself has grown and harvested. There peacocks and adopted dogs, sometimes snakes… so, it is like being amidst the nature,” she concluded.

Kaun Banegi Sikharwati is set to stream on ZEE5 from January 7. The show also stars Naseeruddin Shah and Raghubir Yadav.

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