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A son in search of his father
Mid-Day - 1 day ago
A son in search of his father
Date: 2011-01-06 Place: Mumbai
Aatish Taseer, son of assassinated Punjab Pakistan Governor Salman Taseer and Indian mother Tavleen Singh always had an uneasy relationship with his estranged father. His debut book, stranger to history was a journey that meshed the political with the personal
Aatish's royal girlfriend
Aatish Taseer, 30-year-old son of the slain Pakistani politician Salman Taseer, went out for three years with a member of the British royal family but hopes they would marry were dashed four years ago.
Aatish, Salman's son from a brief relationship with the Indian journalist Tavleen Singh, upset his father by writing an autobiographical novel, Stranger to History: A Son's Journey through Islamic Lands. Reviewers said the book reflected the anguish of a son who felt betrayed by his father for abandoning his pregnant mother.
In 2006, Hello! magazine reported that the romance between Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Aatish Taseer, which many had expected to culminate in wedding bells, had ended after the royal beauty reluctantly decided not to follow her boyfriend back to his home in India.
Somewhat unusually a spokesman for Princess Michael went on the record to state, "I can confirm that Gabriella and Aatish are no longer together, but the love and respect they share for each other has not diminished."
He emphasised, "They are not getting married. That's official. They are very young, they are just enjoying each other's company."
Some sources suggested that Princess Michael, by birth a German, did not want her daughter to marry an Indian but there was no evidence to back up this claim.
The couple, who are both writers, first met when Gabriella (known as "Ella" in short) was on a magazine internship in the US while completing her final year at the prestigious Brown University, Rhode Island. When she returned to London, Aatish followed and the couple became a regular sight on the British social scene.
"Aatish very much wanted her to go back with him to India," a close friend told the Daily Mail, "but she wants to stay in Britain and pursue her writing career here. So they have very sadly decided to go their separate ways."
Rumours that the couple were about to get engaged were given currency in 2005 by a report in the "Mandrake" gossip column of the Sunday Telegraph, which stated, "Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will announce that their elegant 23-year-old daughter is to marry Aatish early this year."
The paper quoted Aatish, a trainee reporter then with Time magazine, as saying, "I will be heading back to India to pursue my career.
The opportunities in media out there are excellent and I'm determined to give it a go. I've lived here in London and in New York, but Delhi is where I am from and where I want to be."
However, in an interview to a reputable German Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, Princess Michael categorically denied her daughter was about to get married.
"It is not true," she said. "Gabriella is so young and is not thinking about getting married. She is going first to Africa to write an article about guenons (monkeys) in the Kalahari. Why should she be sitting around in India with babies? I am very fond of her boyfriend. I would not be against a marriage even though I receive letters from many people who do not appreciate multicultural marriages."
It would have been hard for Aatish to have adjusted to his wife's royal background. But the reality is that she is royal only in a technical sense, being 31st in line to the throne. Her elder brother, Lord Frederick Windsor, 31, who was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a 2:1 in classics, is 30th in line.
MiD DAY Infomedia Ltd.