R. I. P Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi! You were indeed a ‘Noble’ Soul.
It was during my first job with Dev Features – A Sports Management Company owned by Kapil Dev that I got this opportunity to know Tiger Pataudi up, close and personel. Dev Features used to produce a monthly Sports Video Magazine – Sports Channel and Tiger Pataudi used to Anchor the Video Magazine. This was way back in 1991-92. Once I tagged along with our production team to Tiger’s house and from there proceeded to a studio with Pataudi to do the Voice Over Recording.
At his residence, Tiger was at ease in a kurta-pyajama and seeing us he hurriedly went in to dress. Pataudi was Blue-Blooded but none of the Royal Arrogance came across in his demeanour. He was hospitable, charming and friendly. We drove with Pataudi to the Studio and guess what, he carried his glass of Scotch along. He chatted about Kapil and shared some interesting anecdotes from his Cricketing days.
At the Studio MAK Pataudi went over the script and pleaded, “Guys you got to change these words. I can’t pronounce them.” Pataudi slurred while pronouncing some words but being a perfectionist, instead of going ahead with those words, he asked for a change so that the final commentary sounds perfect.
What impressed me in those two-three meetings was Pataudi’s warmth, friendliness and total absence of that irritable arrogance most Royalties indulge in. I have met quiet a few so-called Royalties who may be paupers compared to Nawab Pataudi but their snootiness were deplorable.
I also met Pataudi’s son – filmstar Saif Ali Khan Pataudi and from whatever little I can realise from those meetings, Saif has got the traits of his father. At least compared to his lady-love – Kareena Kapoor, Saif comes across to be a down-to-earth guy.