Happy Birthday Sharmila Tagore: A glance at Bengali beauty’s ‘Amar Prem’ with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi got married in a grand ceremony in 1969.
Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore has turned a year older today, on the 8th of December 2021. The evergreen and talented persona has featured in classics like Aradhana and Amar Prem, enriching India’s film industry with her memorable performances. As Sharmila Tagore celebrates her birthday today, we shall have a glance at another beautiful aspect of her life apart from cinema - her eternal love story with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, aka, Tiger Pataudi.
It was the 1960s. She was a sensation on the silver screen, and he was an exceptional cricketer and captain of the Indian team. She was fond of Cricket but didn’t know much about it and he hadn’t watched many of her films. This was how Sharmila Tagore and Nawab of Pataudi’s story began. They met through a common friend at an after-match party in Delhi in 1965. Tiger was in the city along with his team and Sharmila had gone to watch a match. Who knew that this meeting would end in a beautiful story of friendship, mutual respect, and companionship? They soon fell in love, and after a courtship of four years, got married in 1969.
Sharmila Tagore and Tiger Pataudi’s marriage is one of equals in every right. Mansoor Ali Khan was an Oxford graduate with a charming air about himself. His royalty was evident in the way he carried himself with grace and poise. Sharmila was a skilled performer, having debuted in the world of cinema at the young age of 13, under the guidance and mentoring of none other than Satyajit Ray. Tiger Pataudi’s Nawabi elegance combined with Sharmila Tagore’s Bengali heritage complemented each other and how.
However, there were differences in their way as well. Reportedly, many did not think that Sharmila and Tiger’s relationship would last. If reports are to be believed, the Nawabs of Pataudi did not think much of Sharmila’s acting profession, and the actress’ Bengali family did not have a high opinion of the Pataudis’ royal and ‘indulgent’ lifestyle. But, Sharmila and Mansoor were determined to work it out anyway. Moreover, reports claim that before Tiger proposed to Sharmila, the lovebirds made sure he had both the families’ approval.
In more ways than one, Sharmila and Tiger’s relationship broke stereotypes and was non-conformist. India of the 1960s cannot particularly be termed as a progressive country. But here was a Bengali Hindu woman getting married to the love of her life, a royal Muslim man. However much we like to deny it, religion has always been the elephant in the room when it comes to inter-faith marriages. But Sharmila beautifully gave words to her thoughts on this. According to a report in Scoopwhoop, Sharmila said, “When we decided to get married, we didn’t even know the words secular or communal — we were in the throes of young love; we didn’t know what the fuss around us was all about. We weren’t aware of the larger ramifications because for us, the world began and ended with each other. Being together wasn’t really a deliberate defiance of norms, it just stemmed from an overwhelming desire to be together.’
Breaking the glass ceiling did not end at the marriage alone. Sharmila was also the first Indian actress to feature in a bikini on a magazine cover, while the Nawab of Pataudi supported and respected her choice. Moreover, at a time when actresses’ shelf lives were considered over the moment they got married, Sharmila continued acting in films even after embracing motherhood.
Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi became parents to three children, Saif, Saba, and Soha Ali Khan. After a rock-solid marriage of 42 years, the Nawab of Pataudi passed away in 2011.
Sharmila and Tiger Pataudi’s union was one of two bright individuals who had immense love for each other. The original relationship goals, if you will.
We wish Sharmila Tagore a very happy birthday.