'Nawab' title not right, says Saif
Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan says he does not believe in titles and is still getting used to being referred to as a Nawab.
The 42-year-old actor assumed the honorary title of the 10th Nawab of Pataudi at a ceremony in October 2011, following the death of his father Mansoor Ali Khan.
"Nawab of Pataudi just reminds me of my father and somehow does not sound right in reference to me. I do take it seriously but I don't really believe in titles. We are a democratic country and the time for such titles is gone. I don't think it suits a film actor," Saif told PTI during a visit to London to promote his next film 'Race 2'.
His father, the former cricketer referred to as Tiger Pataudi, was to have an annual lecture named after him but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to formalise plans around it.
Saif's mother, Sharmila Tagore, had written to BCCI president N Srinivasan last November expressing her displeasure over the reluctance to officially name the India-England series after her late husband and the delay in instituting the Pataudi Memorial Lecture.
"I'm not sure what the BCCI is doing but Lord's (Marylebone Cricket Club) has named the India-England trophy after my father. They also had an amazing evening at the Long Room last year to celebrate his life, which he would have been very proud of.
I think that is enough," Saif said in reference to the MCC's decision to commission the Pataudi Trophy back in 2007 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first-ever India-England Test series in 1932.
However, the BCCI has maintained the trophy was already named after Anthony De Mello, the board's first secretary, and continues to be called the De Mello Trophy in India.
Saif returns as Ranvir Singh in the sequel to his 2008 box office hit when 'Race 2', which also stars John Abraham, Anil Kapoor and Deepika Padukone.
This will be his first release after his wedding with Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor in October last year. The film, described as a revenge drama cum heist thriller, has been directed by Abbas-Mustan.
"Sequels are quite fashionable now and the pressure was on to make this a cooler and better film. The story has a slight thread of the first film but it is not necessary to have seen 'Race' to enjoy 'Race 2'.
"While playing the same character was mentally easier, it was physically more demanding as this one has far more action. We were on a very Spartan diet and John (Abraham) was a real influence on us. We worked really hard, which is why I can now relax and have a beer in London," said the actor.
Saif received a special welcome to London from the city's mayor, Boris Johnson.
"I'm thrilled that Saif Ali Khan is coming to London to support an eagerly-anticipated Bollywood film.
As well as offering superb production facilities and unbeatable backdrops, London offers a massive audience for Bollywood films, and I want Indian filmmakers to think of it as their home from home," said Johnson, who had met a number of filmmakers during a visit to Mumbai last year to promote the city as a shooting location.
Film London chief executive Adrian Wootton added, "India is a very important, thriving and fertile market and we want to make sure Indian filmmakers keep coming back to make more movies here. The city offers tax incentives under the co-production treaty, besides a wide variety of locations.
"We are here to troubleshoot and ensure the most cost effective shooting experience. We have helped block whole roads in the past for Bollywood dance sequences."
Saif, who described the city as his "second home", has produced and shot a number of films in London.