In an interview to an international magazine, Bollywood's biggest export Freida Pinto had doffed her hat to Kareena, crediting her for the way she changed the rules of the male dominated industry. Seems Pinto may have spoken a little too soon.
For despite commanding a competitive remuneration and bagging solo lead projects, Kareena has decided to play it safe after all - she has reportedly developed cold feet about her October wedding to Saif Ali Khan after the discouraging industry response to her plans to get hitched this year.
According to sources, the actress, whose Heroine is set to release on her birthday, September 21, believes she is at her career-peak. She has signed on a few other big banner projects, one of them with younger Imran Khan and she is not prepared to concede any ground to her rivals who are hot at her heels. Especially after Bhansali's biting remark that "no married heroine" can be his Juliet, Kareena and Saif decided, it was better to focus on her career right now. In fact, sources close to the couple say they were concerned that the wedding may alter the quality of projects offered to her. And Saif, being the understanding partner that he is, did not want her to compromise.
Sharmila Tagore who had sounded excited about the October 16 wedding earlier, admitted to TOI that the wedding is not happening as per schedule. In fact, she refrained from discussing further plans apparently because her son has asked her not to speak about it until he and Bebo finalise them.
This would be the second time the wedding has been postponed. Earlier Saif had said in his interviews that they would tie the knot after the release of Agent Vinod.
Though the mother chose to stay mum, a family friend revealed: "The wedding was indeed scheduled for October 16. The arrangements had begun. In fact, when Sharmilaji and Bebo were in London last month along with the rest of the family, they shopped for the wedding as well. The venue and the guestlist were also finalised. But Bebo has second thoughts now," said the friend.
And though Saif's mother rose to stardom after her marriage, the same reasoning has failed to work with Bebo. "But Sharmilaji is a very non-interfering mom and, by extension, a hands-off mom-in-law. Reports that she has served Saif and Kareena an 'ultimatum' to marry are completely false. She is the last person to persuade her children into taking any decision, especially one as serious as marriage. She has left the final decision to Saif and Kareena," said the friend.
While Kareena's cold feet may have been the primary reason behind the wedding being called off, a section of the industry believes that the dispute over the Pataudi family property in Bhopal may also have something to do with it. Saif's sister Saba is the current custodian of the Auqaf-e-Shahi (the royal wakf properties) but the impending marriage of the crowned Nawab of Pataudi, Saif to a Hindu, Kareena, had family members worried about the future. His cousin Faiz Bing Jung had in fact stated, "The custodian of Auqaf-e-Shahi has to be a Muslim. We are apprehensive about the future."
Sharmila however, dismissed the reports calling them a 'complete lie'. "They are going to get married very soon. But with the current date postponed it's hard to say when," the concerned friend concluded.
And though Bebo chose not to comment on it, the wedding, say insiders may not happen this year after all. In the light of these developments, it would be interesting to see if there is a reconciliation between Bhansali and Kareena over Ram Leela.