Actor Saif Ali Khan, who was reported to have “purchased” his ancestral home, for a whopping Rs. 800 crore has called it a “massive exaggeration.”
Just recently there was a lot of buzz about the Nawab buying Pataudi palace for the said amount, but he explained it is impossible to put a figure to the sprawling property.
Emotionally, it’s priceless, said Saif.
Saif’s father never sold the property; it was a lease
The palace in Pataudi was built by Saif’s grandfather for his grandmother. When things changed, and the monarchs had to let go of their titles, Saif’s father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, leased the property.
“My father leased it out and Francis (Wacziarg) and Aman (Nath), who ran a hotel there took good care of the property,” he told Mumbai Mirror.
Already owned property, didn’t buy it back: Saif
Saif explained he wanted the palace for the family after Mansoor Ali Khan’s demise in 2011.
“When I was offered the chance, I wrapped up the lease that was left, paid up, and took possession of our home again. It was a fair financial arrangement…I didn’t have to buy it back because I already owned it,” he revealed.
He termed the reported amount a “miscommunication.”
The actor feels a spiritual connection to the palace
The palace has seven bedrooms, has British Raj-style architecture, but for Saif, the emotional quotient is important.
“My grandparents and father are buried there, there’s security, serenity, and a spiritual connection there for me,” he said.
Once, Saif thought of building a farmhouse in Mahabaleshwar. But when he discussed the idea with his mother, he was told that he “already owned such a house.”
Saif wouldn’t mind shifting there some day
While he noted that the property was well taken care of, Saif said he wouldn’t like strangers walking around his home. However, gardens and outdoors would be rented for shoots, etc.
Saif seemed content that his father’s photographs are up on the wall. In fact, he didn’t dismiss the idea of shifting there someday.
He also cherished the time son Taimur spent there.
The Pataudi trust supports farmers, girl education, acid attack survivors
What the area lacks, said Saif, is good schools. He revealed the functional Pataudi trust has given land to local farmers.
“It already supports a few charitable initiatives like education for the girl child and acid attack survivors. My mother and I are developing it further, doing more work,” he said.
If he shifts there, Saif would get busy with reading, cooking, and gardening.