Bebo Baby! Baby Bebo!

Say that ten times fast!  Anyway, wonderful news!  Bebo had her baby!  Saif is a father again!  To a baby boy, Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Isn’t that nice, keeping the Pataudi name pattern!  Saif and Soha and their father Mansoor Ali Khan and grandfather Iftikar Ali Khan and so on and so on.  All the “Ali Khan Pataudi”s.  And now there is a new little tiny one!

The first name, Taimur, I trace back to Timur, who was the founder of the Timurid empire, and a great great great I-don’t-even-know-how-many-great grandfather of Akbar.  Which seems a bit of an odd source for a baby name, so I am just assuming there is some Pataudi relative more recent than the 1300s who he is named for.

Equally important, a new little Kapoor!  Which means a little Kapoor parade at the entrance of the Breach Candy Hospital.

 

randhir kapoor, babita, Krishna Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Taimur Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor baby, Kareena Kapoor hospital, Kareena Kapoor saif baby,

Kareena’s father Randhir and grandmother Krishna (Krishna looks SO GOOD!  Ranbir living with her must keep her young).  And I think that is Babita, Kareena’s mother, who for some reason I always have a hard time recognizing.

Saif was there too, of course, and went outside to say good-bye when Randhir left.

Kareena Kapoor, Taimur Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor baby, Kareena Kapoor hospital, Kareena Kapoor saif baby, Saif Ali Khan, randhir kapoor

 

And of course Karisma.

karisma kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Taimur Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor baby, Kareena Kapoor hospital, Kareena Kapoor saif baby,

 

No Sharmila spotted yet, or Sara or Ibrahim to visit their new brother.  Either the Tagore-Singh-Pataudi family is too classy to visit hospitals, or they are just too fancy to be photographed visiting hospitals.

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11 thoughts on “Bebo Baby! Baby Bebo!

  1. I wonder if the above post was similar to my question. If so, I’ll try to ask it diplomatically. There seemed to be a minor dust-up on the internet about the name they chose. Is there in fact something controversial about it? I don’t know if it is a Muslim custom to name a baby after a relative or not.

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    • I don’t know how much you have dived into Indian history and politics, but I’ll see if I can give you an summary of it as it relates to this. I am going to try to be unbiased, but this is primarily from what I learned from my graduate school seminars on Indian political history and issues, so it will be following the perspective of South Asian heritage academics in America. If you want more info, skip to the end of my book, and I have some resources I recommend there, along with a disclaimer that Indian history is a bit of a hot button issue.

      I guess I need to start with a bit of history-of-history. “History” as we know it now of course only came into being as a study topic fairly recently, like 500-700 years ago. Before that it was all oral storytelling and myth and magic. And, as Edward Said argues, this new kind of study based on writing and books and dates and a linear rather than circular view of time quickly became tied with politics and especially the politics of colonialism.

      European powers picked and chose the stories they wanted to tell about the countries of the “East” in order to justify colonialism as “saving” people. There were a variety of themes that came up, like a glorious past that had to be “restored” to these fallen countries, or how they are somehow “trapped in the past” unlike Europe which is plowing forward.

      In India in particular, a big focus of this history massaging was the Mughal Empire which was the major ruling power that immediately preceded the colonial era. Remember, the Indian subcontinent was never unified historically in the exact manner it is now before 1947. Think about it kind of like the German states in Europe. They have a roughly shared language and culture, and over the millennium various major rulers managed to hold on to large amounts of land. But for much of history, it was more individual states. The Mughals had one of the largest Empires, holding almost all of present northern India and much of southern India, from about the 1400s to the 1800s (with a peak around the 1600s and then a decline).

      Thanks to the British, there ended up two competing narratives around Mughal/Muslim rulers history in India. On the one hand, there is the “Glorious Past” version in which the Mughal Empire was a shining light of art and education and justice (this is the version we see in Jodha-Akbar). And on the other hand, there is the “backwards present” version, in which they were bloodthirsty ruthless conquerors who the British needed to “rescue” India from (the Bajirao Mastani version). Both these narratives are “true”, the Mughal Empire created a system of codes and taxation and built the Taj Mahal, and they also used brutal war tactics to conquered most of the subcontinent. The problem is when you exclude one from the other. The British would pull out whichever one was necessary in the moment to justify their actions. Think about it kind of like an abusive spouse, one day it’s “You are so beautiful and only I can appreciate it” and the next day it’s “You are so terrible only I would tolerate you.”

      Flicks already commented with a note as to the worst possible version of the history of Timur. But there is always a “best possible” version as well. Depending on the political needs of the moment, different versions might be chosen. Right now, India is in a period of being a bit extra Hindu, and so there is a bit extra feeling that we should not honor or respect any deeds done by Indian Muslims of the past, or even an argument that they are not “Indian Muslims” but rather “foreign rulers” (which is a whole other thing and goes back to my disclaimer that “India” as we know it today didn’t really exist until recently).

      Setting aside any effort to find the historical “truth” of Timur, in today’s political situation and Indian pop culture, it is fascinating that Saif and Kareena chose this name. They must have known it would cause issues, especially since they had already dealt with posters referring to their marriage as a “Love Jihad” because Saif is Muslim and Kareena is/was Hindu (not sure what she current identifies as). And they could have easily chosen a more neutral name that would still honor the child’s Muslim heritage, like Saif’s other children “Sara” and “Ibrahim”.

      dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You know, Margaret, I didn’t think this blog was a place for political discussion, which is why I asked you to remove my earlier comment.(Thanks!) However, since you’ve now unavoidably got into a political discussion, I think there are a couple of important points that I must add to your narrative. The first is that Indian history writing doesn’t stop with the British. Specifically, around 1962, there was a major revamping of all history textbooks in India, under the order of Nehru’s government. This rewriting was done by a group of Marxist historians. I have read (though I’ve not been able to find a specific source for the statement), that there was some kind of religious riot just before that time, and Nehru thought that, if all reference to atrocities by Muslim invaders and subsequent kings were removed from the history books, it would help to ease social tensions. Whether this is true or not, what is true is that the history textbooks written after that time have not merely “whitewashed” the Muslim rulers, but actually presented them as benign benefactors to India, bringing culture and civilization to a backward and uncivilized people (much as the British presented themselves). I make this point because, in the online discussion of this topic, the question was raised by some people, “Wouldn’t Saif know what Timur did to India?” I honestly think it’s possible that he doesn’t know, first because he was mostly educated in England, but also because, even if he got any schooling in India, or read any books by these well-known historians, he would still be getting skewed and incomplete information.

        The second point I want to make is about your own summary, which, as you say, is based on the academic viewpoints of American universities. Whether or not the academicians in question are of South Asian heritage or not is completely irrelevant. There is a narrative preference in American universities, which doesn’t agree with the indigenous transmission of oral history. Notice I didn’t say “of Indian historians,” because they are of that ilk I described above. In any case, the Wiki article that Flicks linked to is hardly “the worst possible” presentation. It is actually pretty tame and cleaned up, compared to the written official records of Timur’s own court historians. Similarly, for many of the other Muslim invaders and later Moghul kings, their own official court histories give far more detail of all their ill treatment of Hindus, which the Indian historians have excised. So getting at the “truth” of the matter is not a simple exercise to be casually undertaken.

        Getting back to Saif, as I said, I think it’s possible that he was unaware of the revulsion that Timur is held in by most Indians, even with his so-called “historical knowledge” that Kareena referred to in a recent interview. Should he have known? Probably, but actors are not the brightest bulbs when it comes to general knowledge, and Saif has made stupid statements before.

        Having said all that, I also need to say that, to put it in perspective, there were and are people in India who were staunch Communists, and thus named their children Lenin and Stalin. The son of the former CM of Tamil Nadu, is M. K. Stalin, and he has followed in his father’s footsteps to become one of the important political players there. There was some Telugu well-known film industry person (producer or director) whose son was named Lenin Babu, and a famous Telugu poet who named his daughter Lenina. Neither of these latter two children became very famous, so their names might be forgotten by now. There are also people who named their children after Osama Bin Laden (after 9/11), and people who named their children after Saddam Hussein (after the first Iraq war). So Saif has plenty of company in choosing an ill-considered name for his son.

        (Why do I keep saying “Saif” and not “Saif and Kareena”? Because I doubt that Kareena has ever heard of Timur, and anyway, per Islamic custom, it is the father who picks the name for a child, especially a son.)

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        • Thanks for providing the post-colonial part of the history-of-Indian-history. I didn’t know the details of that. Although I knew that in the present day there is debate over how, or if, to include the Mughal era in some textbooks.

          I do wonder if there is more to the name choice, like perhaps an obscure Pataudi relative it is meant to honor. Because a ruler from the 1300s, no matter his actions, is a very odd source for a baby name. And it’s such an unusual name, I don’t see them picking it just because it “sounds good” or something like that.

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          • Apparently it’s a very common name in Pakistan, along with that of another much reviled Mughal emperor of a later date. It has actually been fascinating for me to read the discussion between Pakistani and Indian members of a Bollywood forum, with the Pakistanis all saying, “What’s the big deal? My cousin/brother/friend is also named Timur and it’s a beautiful name,” and the Indians saying, “Why can’t you see how inappropriate this name is?” Then the Pakistanis replied that in Pakistan, these people (Timur and the other king, as well as some others) are considered heroes, so what’s the problem? Of course they also say that Pakistanis are descended from Arabs.

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          • When I was googling it, I kept coming up with references to “Timurlane’s” in Eastern Europe, where it is apparently also a fairly common name.

            On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 4:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Timur/Taimur was also known as Tamerlane. It’s all the same person.

            BTW, to add to the complexity of understanding the history of that part of the world, you should try reading the Pakistani history text books some time. 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Karan Versus Kangana on Koffee and Beyond – dontcallitbollywood

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