Remember the Friends episode where Joey wanted to sound smart in a recommendation letter he was writing for Monica and Chandler’s adoption application? And how he wrote the entire letter with word substitutes he found in a thesaurus? Well, something similar happened when Saif Ali Khan tried to explain why his nepotism joke was, in fact, not about nepotism at all.
Saif Ali Khan decided to defend the much-talked about IIFA moment where he joined Karan Johar and Varun Dhawan in making unfunny quips at the expense of Kangana Ranaut. But halfway through his apology, Saif forgot that he was there to make things right after the ‘nepotism rocks’ debacle, and decided to unleash upon the world the most dangerous weapon humans possess: words. Of which he had many.
It started off well enough. Saif issued a standard apology, “It was just a joke and nothing more to be read into. But now I feel had we given it more thought, we could’ve really finished this ongoing public discourse on nepotism more decisively.” That’s not so bad, right? Right?
“I respect Kangana tremendously for what she’s achieved, for coming up the hard way. We’re a mutual admiration society. She also agrees that despite having illustrious parents, I too have had an uneven beginning in Bombay. I understand what Kangana means by her stance on nepotism, though I have a slightly different take on it. People knew who I was because of my parents but that didn’t necessarily give me an easy ride,” he said, adding, “Look at the spate of terrible movies I’ve starred in and you know that phase lasted for a long while.” Oh, Saif.
You’d think Saif would realize that he’s digging himself a deeper ditch (or as Saif would put it: trench/trough/channel/watercourse) and stop.
“I am generally perceived as being a very privileged person and I probably am; the reality of it is also that growing up in Pataudi and Bhopal isn’t what people think it is. We are privileged also in terms of getting an opportunity to meet a producer, which in itself is an advantage. But beyond that, only your talent can sustain you. There are also many star kids who are actors and directors who people aren’t so interested in because they perhaps lack the talent.”
He then decided to educate us on the difference between nepotism and genetics. Yes, that is the sound of a million angels going ‘whaaaaa?’
“It’s easy to confuse nepotism with genetics. Maybe there is something in the genes too that makes many of Raj Kapoor’s descendants actors or Pataudis cricketers. I think it’s actually eugenics and genetics that’s coming into play.”
Don’t worry, we were stumped by the barrage of words too. So we went to trusty Google and decided to look up eugenics.
Eugenics: The science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.
Saif ditched (or as Saif would put it: left/deserted/abandoned/jilted) his attempts at explaining how eugenics are behind the repeated casting of Arjun Kapoor in movies despite his dismal track record.
“Whatever it may be, this privileged versus the unaffiliated leads to a great deal of unfairness. Nepotism is also not to be confused with campism.”
Campism: Google has no definition. But we’re pretty sure Saif isn’t talking about his love of bright colours and outrageous costumes.
Yes, we’re as confused as you are. But there was no stopping Saif, who then decided to gently inform the world that Kangana might have bungled up the definition of nepotism in her pretty head.
“What Kangana might be talking about is that people generally promote their own people.” Oh Saif, sweet child plagued with the unfairness of the world. Maybe now it’s time to wrap it up? No? OK then.
“Nepotism is Donald Trump putting his son at the helm of things instead of someone more suited for the job. There are so many unequal opportunities in India today, no wonder then that people view us as being super privileged. Bollywood is a free market at its most brutal and nepotism can heighten that.”