Saif is shooting a film very close to his paternal grandmother Sajida Sultan's ancestral property. Sajida was the Begum of Bhopal and was married to Saif's paternal grandfather Nawab Iftekhar Ali Khan, the ruling nawab of Pataudi.
Saif Ali Kha is currently shooting in Bhopal for Prakash Jha's Aarakshan. He gets nostalgic, "Though I haven't been to Bhopal in the last 15 years, I still have wonderful memories of the place. We lived in a joint family of 20 people consisting of my uncles and their children. When I was a child, I had studied in the Bal Bhavan School in Bhopal for four years.
“During my trips to school, I would often visit the fields and eat the farmers' lunch, fried bhindi, daal and rice, far tastier fare than the food at home. My maid would yell at me and threaten to tell my grandmother."
A quiet existence
Saif adds, "Maybe that's why today I enjoy both the simple, rustic life and the life at Staadt. I like simple food and would love to eat a farmer's lunch even today. I would like my children to love that as well. I feel living both the different kinds of lifestyles are equally important to me.
“Though it was a basic little school, it was the first and last time that I came first in class. I was a good student. It was a quiet existence. I can see the compound of the old palace across my hotel where I used to walk with my dad."
Saif remembers his grandmother as a very strong lady who could crack a walnut in the crook of her elbow.
"She would eat betel nuts, drive a Jaguar very fast and shoot Nitro Express rifles and go for big game hunting. Daadi had steely grey eyes, brought up all the children on her and survived the communal riots.
“I remember her as a very pious lady whose head would be always covered and she would be attired in white. She would always carry some money with her to give to beggars. She couldn't cool as she had never seen a kitchen in her life but she was the matriarch of the family."
Saif Ali Khan, known for his naawabiness, is today eager to share a farmer's meal in Bhopal, like he used to in his school days.