Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stumped



As a nation we are obsessed with three things - Bollywood, cricket and weddings. Little surprise that no matter what happened on Gujarat's electoral landscape, the Tuscan wedding of globally hurrah-ed cricketer Virat Kohli and reigning Bollywood deity, Anushka Sharma sidelined every news. My social media notifications were flooded with pictures and videos of how the Captains knock had bowled the maiden over. The pleasure you derived from the images was directly proportional to your tolerance for candy floss.

As for me, I still can’t comprehend the need to travel to Borgo Finocchieto, a property listed second on the Forbes list of twenty most expensive holiday destinations to indulge in a Punjabi wedding, when most of it could be recreated at any Indian five star resort. But hey, who am I to comment on how a celebrity spends his money. What goes of my father!

Anyway, barring some over-pitched deliveries from the guy who tweeted, ‘I’d rather watch an ostrich wedding’ or a writer who felt that the couple shouldn’t have indulged in the extravaganza when children are being raped and trafficked, social media was awash with positivity. Twitter, albeit for one day, was like Arnab Goswami of all prickly feelings transformed into Sooraj Barjatya of all mush.

The reactions veered around jokes about how the couple will rush back to link Adhaar with their marriage certificate, how a stumped Ravi Shastri looked like a grumpy old coot, how Virushka (Virat and Anushka) should be called Korma (Kohli and Sharma) and how a journey from a dandruff commercial ended with vermillion (sindoor). One guy said, 'So happy today. They met, they fell in love and they married. What a magical love story.’ And magical it was. A text book shot.

One of the reasons why the dream wedding amid mountains and valleys felt overwhelming was because we were truly happy for the couple. Happy, that amidst all the trappings of hate and negativity, two people we adore had found everlasting love.

So what is it about a celebrity wedding that excites a billion plus people? After all, it’s just another wedding. Celebrities are normal people and most normal people get married. 

For one, we are a hierarchical society and the common man has always been excited about the weddings of kings and queens. Truth be told, some degree of fascination with the rich and famous is inherent. Moreover, cricket is not just a game in India - it is a religion where cricketers are Gods and every victory is a festival. As it happens, this is not the first time cricket has stumped Bollywood. But it is indeed the first time a team captain and a high profile actress tied a knot on a fast turning pitch.



Second, it is likely that when a cricketing hero and a Bollywood diva decide to marry in a setting that looks nothing short of a movie itself, we get excited about experiences that we are unlikely to experience ourselves. In some ways, watching the wedding snapshots are like the idealization of our dreams. How many of us can dream of a destination wedding, wear a Sabyasachi lehnga with Renaissance embroidery and surpass the net worth of hundreds of crores as a couple? Given that the new power couple represents loyalty, love and family, both Virat and Anushka will be flooded with offers to endorse brands like insurance, housing, cars and consumer goods.

The enthusiasm is not exclusive to us. The Brits hang on to every detail about their royal weddings and Americans binge on Hollywood nuptials. Also, the phenomenon of celebrity adulation is not exclusive to the common man. Remember how some of our film stars had their own fan moment when Ed Sheeran visited India? In most pictures it appeared as if Ed Sheeran was a hostage crying out for help!

Needless to add that when talent and charisma marry beauty and glamour, social media goes over the boundary. With two receptions coming up, the celebrations are going to continue this December. But since the ‘will they, wont they’ factor has gone for a toss, the events won’t be as seductive as the Tuscan wedding. And once Virat Kohli is back on the cricket field in South Africa, social media is likely to revert back to sledging, reverse sweeps and bouncers. Is Anushka lucky for Virat? Should Virat have focussed more on cricket and less on the lavish wedding extravaganza of heady wining and dining? Well, that’s how we spin, don’t we?

Image from here



17 comments:

  1. To be honest, I was hooked to the pictures too and it's surprising because I'm usually not this interested. As you said, we like to live vicariously through them. What came more as a surprise was when my Dad told me on the phone last night that for my sister's wedding he wants me to search a mangtika ( I guess that's what it is called) like the one Anushka was wearing! :)

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    1. That's so cute. The pictures were lovely. And Anushka never looked so happy.Hope all of this works for them.

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  2. Well all across the globe people saw those lovely pics.. a dream wedding GOD BLESS THEM ..but ..to be honest.. its very imp marriage should work .. it should last ..everything else will stay here jus love flies out of the window..
    left are memories ,pics ,diamond rings .. sometimes even kids at the back ..suffering
    Trauma ,sorrows.. depressions...
    happiness can purchased by simple Vows too .. happiness is not confined to money or expensive resorts .. its peace inside and satisfaction to the core ..
    my mantra spend less .. be happy forever ..
    money cannot happiness ..

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    1. Absolutely, hope it works for them.
      Good to see you here after a long time.

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    2. some corrections .. * happiness can be purchased by simple vows too
      *money cannot buy happiness.

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  3. They looked so much in love, radiantly beautiful, one couldn’t but feel happy for them.

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  4. Looks like I am an exception to this huge hullabaloo.
    I wish them all the happiness.

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  5. It was a dream wedding with an exotic location and beautiful costumes. Anushka's costume was the highlight for me. Simply loved it. Wishing the couple a long happy wedded life.

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  6. For once, just once, the entire country seemed happy for these two people and that was so very heartwarming. They make a sweet couple. I like the kind of balance they have managed to achieve between keeping their lives private and yet having a presence on social media. That's rare.

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    1. Just when I thought we were all happy for them, one nut case politician has come out and questioned the patriotism of Virat for marrying in Italy and not in India.

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  7. And Virushka brand equity will soar on the market. Bada Phataka phora dono ne and they look endearing together taking the sheen away from the shineless and bland Gujarat victory. Love this one a lot, Alka and you sure know how to make the moments light.

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  8. A beautifully crafted inning in your trademark style. You have employed the tweets of the hoi polloi to a great effect.
    Wish you a Great New Year in the offing!

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  9. Even I thought why should one have a Punjabi wedding in Italy when Punjab is a lot closer and within the country ??

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