Kareena Kapoor son name hasn't been revealed yet, is Taimur controversy to be blamed? There was a wave of national excitement when Kareena Kapoor, one of Hindi cinema's most popular icons, gave birth to her first son in 2016. That excitement turned sour almost immediately when Kapoor, along with husband Saif Ali Khan, made public that they had decided to name their child 'Taimur.' It resembled the name of a military leader and conqueror whose place in history has left generations divided. How could the celebrity parents name their child that? Don't they have an obligation to public service by choosing a nationally acceptable name for their son?
Five years following the controversy surrounding the name of her firstborn, Kapoor delivered her second baby - another son - whose name she has refrained from revealing to the public. Is this a consequence of what happened in 2016? Does concealing her second child's name act as a safety valve to protect him from the public's prying eyes? Has the lesson for her turned into a sharp comment on us now for having debated over a child's name back then? Did Kapoor choose to keep the name private because she knows any revelation about it will send people up in arms and prompt questions on her ">motherhood again?
The delirious anguish that came hot on the trail of Taimur's naming in 2016 was entirely needless. I'm not saying this. The people who expressed such emotion as mentioned are the ones who proved it all by themselves. Soon after the general hunger for publicly targetting a new scapegoat had passed, the public and the paparazzi were smitten by the young child's handsome looks and adorability.
Wherever he went, cameras followed, calling his once-disdained name out for a single glance from him. Every visual of him, interacting with his nanny, walking with his mother, sitting with his father, went viral, spreading like wildfire on social media. He was the apple of everyone's eyes.
And now he is joined by a young brother with perhaps similar potentials. But it looks like the parents have chosen to keep him away from any such possibilities for the time being. No name and no face on social media.
Isn't that understandable and justified, for the sanity of the parents and the privacy of the baby? Because as much as we may deny it or promise that our sensibilities have improved, don't we know that if this second baby's name even has a fraction of controversial baggage attached, it will flare up into a national issue? Aren't our biases still so fragile as to be inflamed at a deviation from our own notions about things?
In India, though celebrities are treated like near-deities, there is a sense of entitlement we feel towards every aspect of their lives. When they invite us in a little, we feel it's only fitting to go all the way. There's an unhealthy obsession we have with celebrity babies that has a high likelihood of resulting in warped perspectives for us as well as the child in question.
What effect does it have on a child growing up when they know there have been prime-time television debates over their name and by extension entire identity? That their name has been made the property of thousands, possibly millions of people, who are readily discussing the 'moral rightness' and 'wrongness' of it?
A whole generation of celebrity children, now in their teens and early 20s, are using social media as a tool to relay the pressures and scrutiny that comes with being related to big stars and the mental toll it takes - from Suhana Khan to Aaliyah Kashyap. The audience needs to do better by them. And for those young ones who are still many years away from realising those stressors and speak out against them, isn't it better we remove the unwarranted high-glare on our end altogether?
Views expressed are the author's own.