Sharmila Tagore is a proud and happy mother these days. Not only is son Saif Ali Khan going great guns in his career, but her daughter is also finding her groove in “films that compliment her sensibilities”. About Saif, she is no longer worried. “He has seen life closely and handled it so far. But I am getting old and I want Soha to get married and settle down,” smiled the still gorgeous Begum Pataudi. She is busy herself, shuffling between Delhi and Mumbai, not between her children but for the shoots of a reality show she is doing on TV.

Besides Saif’s upswinging career, Sharmila is also happy that her son has found an anchor in Kareena Kapoor. Especially since the last couple of years haven’t gone well for him personally. His health concerns and his failed relationships took a toll on the Chhote Nawab. “Saif looks much fitter and happier now. Inshaallah, I hope he remains like this,” said the proud mother. Sharmila has apparently taken a liking to the vivacious Kareena who, unlike Rosa — Saif’s former Italian girlfriend — is happy to join the family fold. “Kareena is a lovely girl and a fantastic actress. I have known her from before and she has always met me with great respect and love. Now I have met her again through Saif and I like her,” said Sharmila. There is another bond she shares with Saif’s new lady love. Kareena is the grand-niece of Shammi Kapoor, Sharmila’s co-star from her debut film Kashmir Ki Kali.

Sharmila said she and Tiger Pataudi had always supported Saif’s choices. Even when they disapproved of them. “Saif has always taken his own decisions. At the end, he has to live with his choices. But we will always be with him through thick and thin. He is our son and we love him,” admitted Sharmila.

Has Bollywood’s new ‘It’ couple got the Nawab and Begum of Pataudi’s blessings for marriage? “I am more concerned about Soha settling down than Saif. He will make his own decision. His children also are involved in this. Happily Sarah and Ibrahim are fond of Kareena,” Sharmila said.

Did rumours of a secret nikah between Saif and Kareena upset her? “Not really. Without telling us he did that once in the past by marrying Amrita. This time, he won’t do anything like that without telling us,” she said.

Sharmila, who herself married the man she loved, is of the opinion that a relationship should not be stretched for too long. “Especially if you have found that special someone who you want to grow old with. Either the relationship loses its charm or fizzles out,” she said. “Saif and Kareena are two responsible people and they know what’s good for them.”