When Saif Ali Khan considered renaming Taimur: 'We drafted a pathetic letter, Kareena was against it'
- After a controversy erupted around the name of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor's son, Taimur, Saif said that he briefly considered renaming him, and had even drafted a statement.
While actor couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor's fans wait for them to announce the name of their second child, let's take the opportunity to recall everything they've said about naming their first child, four-year-old Taimur.
The decision attracted much controversy, with Saif even suggesting at one point that he was open to renaming the boy. Kareena, in another interview, said that a prominent film industry personality rudely told her that she'd made a mistake by naming her child Taimur.
Kareena, in an episode of her chat show, What Women Want, told guest Neha Dhupia that they have decided to wait until the baby arrives before naming it. “After the whole controversy of Taimur, both Saif and me have not even thought about it. We’re like going to leave it last minute and then spring a surprise,” she told Neha on the show.
Asked if he had come to terms with the controversy surrounding his son’s name, Saif told The Times of India in 2017: “I haven’t told anyone about this — I thought for a second about changing his name. For a couple of weeks. And Kareena was a little against it, and she said, ‘People respect you for your opinion and you can’t’... So I said, yeah, but it’s not about people. I don’t want him to get unpopular.”
“And I still might, maybe when he’s one or two, I might change his name in a while, it’s still sinking in, what to do. Someone in my PR agreed with me, and we drafted a small letter. And when I read it, it was so pathetic, that I cancelled the idea. Because it was really like, uhh, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘I didn’t want to offend’ and ‘I’m an idiot’ (laughs), and you know, I’ve given in to pressure. It just sounded awful. However you write it, it just wasn’t sounding right. It was like I didn’t realise where I live or what I’m doing. So I did think about it. I thought about it, but it was for the wrong reason. If I feel that he’s going to get in trouble in school, I might still change it. It’s a bit late now, though. Or not. I don’t know,” Saif added.
In another interview from the same year, Saif told Mumbai Mirror that he was aware of why people were upset -- many drew a connection to the Turkish invader Timur. He said, “I’m aware of the heritage of the Turkish ruler and my son was not named after him. He was Timur, my son is Taimur. Perhaps the root is similar but it’s not the same name. Taimur is an ancient Persian name meaning iron. Both my wife and I liked its sound and the meaning. In fact, of all the names I ran by Kareena, she liked this one the best because it’s beautiful and strong. Taimur was the name of a boy he’d grown up with and a cousin too. It’s an old family name like Sara who was also named after a cousin I admired.”
He added. “I should have added a disclaimer, as they do in the movies, that any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Yes, there were some people who raised some objections but obviously just to look at medieval history and to make value judgments is, I think, ridiculous, and a lot of people have said that on my behalf. I feel quite confident that we don’t live in a right-wing society. As yet, India is still liberal and people are still open-minded.”
In a conversation with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai at the India Today Conclave in 2018, Kareena said, “Of course, there was trolling but at the same time there was an immense support from the people we were getting, not that trolls matter to us that much but it was our choice. The day before I was going to the hospital for delivery, I had a talk with Saif and he was suggesting to keep his name Faiz, he said, ‘Bebo, that is a more poetic, more romantic name’. I said ‘no, Taimur means iron and if I give birth to a son, my son is going to be a fighter, I will produce an iron man’. And yes, I proudly did so.”
More recently, in an interview with journalist Barkha Dutt, Kareena recalled a scarring story. She said, “(A famous personality), on the pretext of visiting me and the baby, came up to me and in the conversation of actually saying congratulations, and said that ‘what’s with you? Why would you name your son Taimur?’ And I was like, It hadn’t even been 8 hours since I’d delivered. And I literally started crying. That person was asked to leave. My journey with that started then where I just made up my mind and I said this is my boy, my son. I don’t care what happens. As long as he is happy, and he is healthy and we’re happy. I’m just gonna go home and go away with this. I don’t want to know anything else, what is trolling, what is happening.”
Kareena and Saif's second son was born on Sunday. Saif has two other children -- Sara and Ibrahim Ali Khan -- from a previous marriage.