Tiger Pataudi (as he’s fondly called) & Sharmila Tagore came from royal lineages.While Tiger is  a Nawab, Sharmila is the great granddaughter of Rabindranath Tagore.The romance and marriage of them was the stuff that fairytales are made of, with a happily-ever-after ending.

They met in 1965 through some common friends in Delhi. As gorgeous and charming as Sharmila was, Tiger instantly got attracted to her. To win her heart he gifted her refrigerator.It was only after 4 years and a (refrigerator later :)) that she agreed to Pataudi’s proposal. But then real issues followed.

But this love story had seen trouble water, because parents of both the sides where against their marriage.Sharmila came from a religious typical Bengali family while Mansoor was a royal Muslim. Sharmila’s parents didn’t want their daughter to get married with Prince and Pataudi’s parents were not agree because of difference in their religion. But both fought the odds and got married in 1969.

After much prodding, both the sides relented for the marriage but society didn’t. A Hindu guru apparently  excommunicated Sharmila for marrying a Muslim thereby forcing her to convert to Islam and take up the name Ayesha Sultana. More so on the day of their wedding, 2 CBI officers were sent to call on Sharmila. But as they say, if your love is true, you overcome all obstacles and so did they.

Those close to the couple say it was Sharmila’s beauty, vivacity, yet mature outlook that bowled Pataudi over, while it was his great sense of humour and charming ways that had her smitten. The chemistry hardly changed over the years. But while Sharmila was a cricket buff, Pataudi was clueless about Hindi cinema.

A great many doubted their marriage and thought that they would soon go their separate ways. But they proved everybody wrong by sticking together through thick and thin with each other for 42 long years.

Although they both were stars in their respective fields, this did not affect their relationship or how they handled it even one bit. They lived with Patuadi’s mother in Delhi instead of staying in Bombay on their own. Sharmila although took a break from movies after the marriage, it was based on her own decision instead of anybody coercing her to do so. And she started on her own whim too.

Sharmila & Tiger have 3 kids together – Saif Ali Khan who’s a successful actor, Saba Ali Khan who’s a jewellery designer & Soha Ali Khan who’s an actress. They made sure they kept their kids grounded just like any other normal couple.
Even though the Nawab is no more today, their love is eternal and continues to inspire others.

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