The Pataudi royal family and the Kapoors might be related now, with the wedding of Saif and Kareena, but not many know that Prithviraj Kapoor had a connection to Bhopal. In December 1949, Prithviraj had sought permission from the Bhopal state seeking permission to stage plays by Prithvi Theatre in Bhopal. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s grandfather was the Nawab of Bhopal. In his letter to the chief commissioner of Bhopal he had sought permission to stage his productions Shakuntala, Deewar, Pathan, Ghadaar and Ahooti and requested their subsequent exception from entertainment tax.
He wrote, “After every show I stand near the main gate and collect donations for national and humanitarian purposes.” About Rs 50,000 was collected for the Indian National Army relief fund. With three wagon loads of theatre equipment and 90 workers, Kapoor asked for accommodation in the state guest house for 90 days. Acknowledging his request, the minister for education and local self government, Colonel Yasin ull Mulk, told him how he had seen the plays in Bombay and Delhi. No entertainment tax was levied. However, “As the month of Ramzan has commenced you will agree with that this month may kindly be left out,” says the letter. The play was scheduled for Eid week.
Who knew that one day, Prithviraj’s great granddaughter Kareena would become the daughter-in-law of the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, whose grandfather was the Nawab of Bhopal!
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