Soha Ali Khan, an Oxford graduate who pursued a masters degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, says her parents didn’t particularly encourage her to take up acting, but never discouraged her from following her heart either.
Soha is the youngest daughter of veteran actress Sharmila Tagore and the late Mansoon Ali Khan Pataudi. “As far as acting is concerned, I wouldn’t say I was discouraged from acting, but I was not encouraged to be an actor. My parents certainly felt my personality was not suited to acting in Hindi films and so I would be happier and better at doing something else. Also, they felt, like any parent, a little protective as there’s a lot of competition, insecurity and unpredictability in the film industry,” Soha said.
She says they always wanted her to opt for something “stable” and so she gave working at Citigroup as a private banker a try. “It was about making my parents proud and especially for my father… I wanted to make him proud. I knew he wanted me to do something more in the corporate space. So I tried that but my heart was really not in it, which is why then I started working in films. It was a difficult choice but I knew my parents would embrace it whole-heartedly.
“Ultimately, they wanted me to be happy. They were not ones to dictate that ‘You’re not allowed to do this, or you must do this’. They believe in letting you go and let you live your life. They will be there to pick you up if you fall down,” added the actress, now a mother to a girl.