Soha Ali Khan is back from the shoot of Deepa Mehta’s Winds Of Change in Sri Lanka, with two copies of Midnight’s Children autographed by Salman Rushdie. “Every member of the unit got one copy from Salman as a going-away present, and the other he signed for me when I was behaving like a star-struck fan. Salman is a genius with an IQ level beyond the ordinary,” the actor gushes, adding that she read the double Booker Prize-winning novel first as a student. “Historical fiction has always been my favourite genre and I was fascinated by the colourful metaphors, enlightening monologues, clever blending of fact and fantasy and Jamila, one of the most beautiful characters in the book.”
In the film, Soha plays protagonist Saleem Sinai’s younger sister Jamila, nicknamed ‘the brass monkey’ after her red-gold mane. “Jamila is a young romantic, doesn’t care much for others and grows up competing with Saleem, who is supposed to be the ‘chosen one’. But it’s Jamila who ends up becoming the most celebrated singer in west Pakistan with a legion of fans,” points out Soha.
She says that when she was signed on for the film, the assumption was that she knew how to sing. “But I don’t,” she admits, “so it was all play-acting and creating tunes out of thin air to hum on camera. I even did a crash course on how to play the piano.”
Ask Soha about brother Saif Ali Khan’s impending wedding to Kareena Kapoor and she says, “You need to ask that to the couple in question. All I know is that it’s happening.” After Saif, it will be her and boyfriend Kunal Khemu’s turn to face the wedding questions. Is her mother Sharmila Tagore keen to see her settled yet?
“It’s definitely not happening this year, we (Kunal and I) are happy in the space we are in right now,” Soha says firmly. “My mother has stopped living her life through her children. She’s finally accepted that we’re all grown up and just wants us to be happy.”