Sacred Games star Saif Ali Khan, who received India's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2010, says he was hesitant to accept and even wanted to return it.
On a recent episode of Arbaaz Khan's chat show Pinch, Saif was taken through some ‘mean tweets’ about him.
One of them read: “This two bit thug who bought a Padma Shri, named his son Taimur and beat up some people in a restaurant. How the hell did he get a role in ‘Sacred Games’? He can hardly act.”
Saif reacted to the tweet by being brutally honest.
"“Two bit thug, I’m not... Bought a Padma Shri is also not possible. It is beyond me to bribe the Indian government... But I thought I don’t want to accept it. There are so many senior actors in the industry who deserved it even more than me, and had not gotten one...and it was very embarrassing. And of course, there are some people who have it, I feel deserve it less than me also.”" - Saif Ali Khan
Saif revealed that he changed his mind after having a conversation with his father, the late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.
"“I wanted to give it back. I didn’t want to accept it. My father said to me, ‘I don’t think you are in a position to refuse the Indian government.’ So I said ‘okay’ and I very happily took it." - Saif Ali Khan
"I look at it in a way that I hope in time...cause I'm not done yet and I'm enjoying acting, I'm doing fairly well, I'm happy with what's happening... I hope in time, when I look back and people look at it, they will say, 'Okay, I think he deserves an honour for the work he has done," he added.
During the show, Saif also had a witty reply to an internet troll who questioned him about being a "nawab".
The comments said that Saif was "being a nawab and still clinging on to rotten 'hukumat'".
After reading it, Saif quipped: "I have never been interested in being a nawab. I prefer eating kebabs."
Another commenter poked him for turning up at actress Sonam Kapoor's wedding in a simple white kurta pajama.
"It was her wedding, not mine," responded Saif.
On the work front, Saif has the second season of Netflix’s hit series Sacred Games and Navdeep Singh’s next which was earlier titled Hunter.
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