When we announced the HT Power Couple series with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena in a list of couples who were all ‘married’, a few eyebrows were raised. But, Saif and Kareena are clear — no certificate is deemed necessary right now as a stamp on their relationship.
With his jeans carelessly strewn on the couch, her body suit on the hanger, and personal stuff scattered about, the make-up trailer of Bollywood hottie Kareena Kapoor is a home away from home. Kareena is simply beautiful, even without a scrap of make-up and dressed in the blue surgical gown she has donned for a hospital scene. The Prince of Pataudi, of course, looks his usual rock star self.
While stardom did not come easy for both, handling it did, given their backgrounds. “We’ve seen success and failure so closely that I take everything in its stride. I’m very sorted, thanks to my family,” answers Kareena. Saif says, “Despite my parents being number one in their respective fields, we were never spoilt. We travelled in economy class, got limited pocket money. Even in movies, I was pretty much left to figure things out. Today I’m thankful my dad taught me how not to let success go to my head or failure hold me down.”
What are their earliest memories of each other’s families? Saif says, “As a child the only person in the industry that I would call uncle was Sashi Kapoor. He did movies with amma [Sharmila Tagore]. Otherwise, we were brought up in my dad’s world — that of cricket.” Kareena says, “I was always a big fan of his mum’s movies. Her career graph is one I would love to have — a queen of glamour doing meaningful roles like in Mausam. About his father, I don’t know much as I don’t follow cricket but my mom used to be a big fan because of his amazing good looks.”
Saif recalls the first time he saw Kareena: “Oh, this is something even she doesn’t know. She was 14, sitting on a ledge outside a makeup room, staring ahead with big green eyes. Someone told me ‘this is Karisma Kapoor’s kid sister. I thought she was simply stunning”.
It’s argument time
Constant media reports about them bickering doesn’t bother them. Saif says they don’t argue much. “If at all, we argue about routine things, like attention issues, or something as minor as the AC temperature. She likes it warm —like 24 degrees while I like it cold — like 18 degrees. Now we’ve settled on a healthy 22. We’ve realized that to adapt from living all by yourself to being with someone else, a lot of flexibility is needed.”
So if there is an argument, who says sorry first? “Whoever is wrong,” says Saif while Kareena mischievously adds, “And most of the times, I’m not the one who’s wrong.”
It must be tough to handle the relationship in the constant media glare. “We’ve always been under media glare, even before we became a couple,” says Saif. Kareena nods, “Yeah, but sometimes media goes on and on about us.” Saif adds, “It’s good to see our picture in the newspaper but when it gets too much, we think very soon people are going to get tired and say, ‘Oh God, not them again.’”
Did you know?
* Kareena loves horseback riding and cooking.
* They both address each other by their respective nicknames — Bebo and Saifu.
* Both Saif and Kareena are active followers of Power Yoga.
* Together, the couple has the distinction of being the highest paid celeb couple (Rs 10 crore for a brand endorsement).
They are one of the few unmarried couples in Bollywood who are open about their relationship. “I don’t understand how people can be two-faced about being in a relationship,” says Kareena, “If you love someone, the worst you can do is to hide it.” Saif echoes, “It takes a lot to come clean and admit a relationship. Like the way I did few years back at the fashion week. But it’s important. Otherwise, imagine you are at a party and someone passes a remark about the woman you love, without knowing about your relationship.”
A question about the most outrageously funny thing ever said about them brings a unanimous answer, “Being called Saifeena.” Saif laughs, “Being a man, I have a right to cringe at being called Saifeena. It’s like painting me pink and wrapping me in a lacy ribbon.”
So how do they spend a free evening? Saif reveals,“For all her glamorous image, Kareena’s also deeply old fashioned. She watches all the typical TV serials.” Kareena says, “We also love Agatha Christie’s Spyro series. We are murder mystery junkies. We both independently had a great collection of DVDs…now we have a combined massive collection.”
What’s the most romantic thing they’ve done for each other. “On her birthday last year, she was shooting in Leh and I couldn’t go there as flights had been cancelled. She called and said she’ll do anything to be with me. So we each drove nine hours to meet at a seedy hotel called Dorzilla in Kargil for just a few hours,” revealed Saif. “We lit a fire on the rooftop and had champagne,” adds Kareena. “But I must tell you that the ‘Princess’ was willing to travel nine hours more to check into a five star in Srinagar instead. She said I can’t sleep on this bed,” teases Saif.
He’s the best
She looks artificially cross, but just for a second and says, “It’s amazing how Saif goes out of the way to do that something extra. This is what makes this man so unique and different from anyone I’ve earlier been with”
“Easy, easy,” says Saif, clearly uncomfortable at being compared with anyone. “I don’t think I did anything great, it’s most natural to be wanting to be with your woman on her birthday,” he says. Too emotional to stop, Kareena goes on, “He’s a superstar, but has no hang-ups like ‘I don’t want to be seen here’. If we are at a Four Seasons, we are also at Dorzilla Hotel. He’s the best I could ever ask for in life.”
* Kareena Kapoor, grand-daughter of legendary show man Raj Kapoor is a successful film actor and immensely popular for her glamorous persona. A winner of five filmfare trophies, she is also the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Young Achiever award..
We ask them the question everyone wants an answer to — when are they tying the knot? “I’ve already said in an earlier interview to HT, wedding is just a piece of paper now. Mentally we are already there,” says Kareena. Saif adds, “the rush is only when one’s ready to have kids. That’s the only reason one gets married, apart from, of course, wanting to live with each other.”
We wrap up by asking them who their favourite couple is and Saif replies, “Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie. They are both strong and independent and seem to have a good life…lots of children, partying in big villas. They are also committed to social causes. Glamorous, yet grounded.” “Saifu?” asks Kareena innocently, “Can we also have a Villa?" "We already have one in Pataudi darling" he answers. She smiles.