Sharmila Tagore says she was an ‘absentee’ mother

Sharmila Tagore says she was “absent” for the first six years after giving birth to her son Saif Ali Khan. The veteran actress, who is married to cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan, said that when Saif was with her, she was working at least two shifts a day in the film industry.

Speaking at a recent Mother’s Day event for YFLO, the 79-year-old actor opened up about becoming a mother for the first time and how she probably made “some mistakes.” Sharmila also has two daughters Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan.

Sharmila Tagore said, “When I had Saif, I was very busy. I was working two shifts a day and for the first six years of his life, I was virtually absent. I did whatever I had to do/I went to parent-teacher meetings, participated in their plays but I don’t think I was a full-time mom. My husband was there, but I was not. Then when I became a mother, I became an overzealous mother. I wanted to feed him, bathe him and do everything. That was the other side of the pendulum. To be honest, I made some mistakes.”

“But he has grown up pretty well. My husband was there, and we had the support of extended family and my friends. One of his school teachers lived across the apartment in Mumbai. She and her husband really took care of Saif too… I used to take care of the girls there too,” she added.

Decades ago, Sharmila Tagore appeared in the show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, where she was joined by her daughters Soha Ali Khan and Saba Ali Khan. In the episode, the veteran actor had said that when Saif Ali Khan was born, she was working “constantly”, which was cut short when her daughters were born.

“I was doing two shifts a day and sometimes I would not see her for three-four days at a stretch. But by the time my daughters were born, I wasn’t working that much, so there was no filmy atmosphere at home.

On the show, Soha Ali Khan recalled how she had never seen the “filmy side” of her mother. Soha had said that she was unaware of her mother waking up early in the morning for shooting, while Saba reminisced about old memories with her mother. “We were stunned to see her crying a lot. He told us it was glycerine! That’s when we realized there is such a thing as fake crying! She was fine, there was nothing wrong with Amma,” she had recalled.