Bhopalis have been 'royally' ignored insofar as the guest list for the upcoming big-ticket wedding between Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor is concerned. Barely half a dozen invites for the daawat-e-walima (wedding dinner) hosted by the groom's side have gone out to people from the city.
Saif is the great-grandson of the last Nawab of Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan, whose daughter Sajida Sultan was married to Iftekhar Ali Khan Pataudi. Their son Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (Saif's father) had inherited the title of Nawab of Pataudi from his father's side and Bhopal from his mother's side.
Those who have received invites from Bhopal include entrepreneur Sikander Hafiz Khan of the Reliable Group, hotelier and relative Nadir Rashid, family friend and corporator in Bhopal Municipal Corporation Mahira Salamuddin, 'Tiger' Pataudi's friend and fellow bridge-player Rasdeep Singh, family member Nasir Mirza, writer Sikandar Malik and ADC to Pataudi Anwar Mohammed Khan.
"The family has invited those who have been close to them. I think since it is a high-profile wedding, they have restricted the guest list to a minimum. I'm sure they would have wanted to call many more people," says Mahira Salamuddin.
While the residents of Bhopal were not really expecting a grand reception, there is, however, a certain disappointment at receiving yet another cold shoulder from its erstwhile rulers. After Pataudi's death last year, Saif held a pugree ceremony in Pataudi to accept the title of Nawab, but did not hold a similar ceremony in Bhopal. "Though 'Tiger' Pataudi spent a substantial amount of time in Bhopal right from his childhood, the circle of friends he had here was very limited. I suppose that is the reason for the family not inviting many people for the wedding. One could also say that they were slightly disconnected from Bhopal," says Shamshul Hassan Arif, owner of the Urdu newspaper Nadeem.
"The family is not very keen to maintain any ties with Bhopal or else they would have invited many people. Late Tiger Pataudi had attended numerous weddings of relatives in Bhopal and if the family was keen they would have reciprocated," says Syed Akhtar Husain, author of the Royal Journey of Bhopal, a book on the princely family of Bhopal.
The walima is being held on October 18 at Aurangzeb Road in Delhi.