Family and Staff Now Call Me Shri Saif Says Saif Ali Khan Referring to The Padma Shri He Received

Minutes before he boarded the flight to New Delhi yesterday morning to receive his Padma Shri from President Pratibha Patil, Saif Ali Khan said that his entire family and staff had already started to call him Shri Saif (the way Padma Shri recipients are normally referred to).

Saif Ali Khan Receiving His Padma Shri Award From The President of India Prathiba Patil

“They’re quite tongue-firmly-in-cheek, though, when they address me with this new title,’’ jested Saif. “My family is always teasing me mercilessly. But Kareena is the only one who is actually encouraging me to strut around with my head held high. She feels this is an honour I must cherish and she is especially proud of me.’’

Saif said that travelling to the Rashtrapati Bhavan was something he was looking forward to, but what made his special moment even more special, was the fact that Bebo would be with him. The actor had also finalised the schedule for his next home production, Agent Vinod, which he intends to start on May 20, and said, “My office is a scene of high activity at this point.’’ And he’s pleased with the envious position he now holds of being the Bollywood actor with the maximum endorsement deals, having just signed his 11th one. Said Saif, “I don’t want to count it for fear I’ll jinx it.’’ His sense of humour surfaced the next second as he said, “I guess I’m a bigger hit on the endorsement brigade than I am in films. But even ads are no laughing matter. One bad ad can do you in.’’

Saif felt that Bollywood has had such a disastrous run in the first quarter of 2010 because, “We as film people are busy making projects. What we should ideally do is tell stories. We’re in the business of telling stories and we must do it well.’’ He was, however, not too perturbed by the ups and downs of showbiz because according to him, “Real estate and Bollywood boom can crash intermittently.’’

Said the actor before taking off, “Just when you think films are flourishing you hear that a dozen have failed to take off. We must take the blame for what we do. The audience is exposed to the very best of international entertainment today. If we want our films to succeed and if we want to justify the exorbitant price of the multiplex ticket, we must give our audience something memorable to take back.

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