Why Virushka makes us happy

Kaveree Bamzai
Kaveree BamzaiDec 12, 2017 | 16:22

Why Virushka makes us happy

The collective sigh one heard around the internet all of yesterday and today is getting louder by the minute.

As more pictures and videos emerge of the wedding of the year, it is clear that for once India, especially internet India, couldn't be happier. In the "age of rage", it is no small thing. Between "neech" remarks and dark conspiracy chatter, India needed a break. That's what movies usually provide, but the Karni Sena stole that from us with their protests over Padmavati, and frankly, there is just too much cricket happening (and not enough with Pakistan) for India to feel anything permanent for cricket.


So thank god for Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma and their decision to get married. This is just the feel-good shot India needed in a season of GST, Gujarat elections and a perceived Pakistan plot to topple the PM.

Here are two people who have been in the public eye since they were barely out of their teens, achievers in cinema and cricket. They have spent over a decade in the public eye, one as a brash young man with a runaway tongue and even quicker bat, and the other as a pretty prop who has slowly become a powerful actor and producer of meaningful cinema.

Both are examples of new India that fortunately the prime minister cannot lay claim to, born of middle class India, in a post-liberalised India where women are not afraid to demand their share of power, and men are learning that it is not theirs to give.


The most important aspect of "Virushka" is that it is not seen as a brand that was invented for commerce. This is important in a film industry where who you marry or mate with decides your rank in the endorsement hierarchy. One only has to see the advertisements Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan as well as Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna do to realise this. This is not to say that the power couples exist because it is commercially convenient, and both Ms Khan and Ms Khanna are talented and accomplished, but clearly they are not above cashing in on their coupledom (I would, if I could). If "Saifina" has not joined the bandwagon as yet I suspect it is only because they haven't yet found the right product and the right price.

With Virat and Anushka, who ironically met on the sets of a shampoo advertisement and have just done a precursor to their wedding with Manyavar, it seems an unintended consequence. Much of it has to do with the integrity Anushka has shown in her public conduct. It is for a reason that she was upset when there were rumours of Virat Kohli financing her film production. As a young woman putting her money where her mouth is, she was understandably offended that she was not seen as being capable of handling her own money.Anushka has created a considerable body of work, acting in films directed by India's finest directors, from Raju Hirani to Imtiaz Ali, from Yash Chopra to Anurag Kashyap. She has produced her own movies, stamping her own instincts over the kind of movies she wants to be associated with: the gritty NH10 and the fun loving Phillauri. She has also spoken out when she needed to, whether it was on depression or on being an army child. She also been civil to her colleagues, male or female, no small feat in an industry that seems to provide a licence for cattiness.


And if Virat Kohli has been aggressive about protecting the couple's privacy he has every reason to given how Anushka has often been unfairly blamed for a poor performance, unravelling the deep misogyny in our society which still assumes a woman can bring luck to her man as much as she can bring misfortune. Their egalitarianism and equanimity restores our faith in India and its new generation.

So, thank you Virat and Anushka for an early Christmas, late Diwali, and every other festival spirit in between. May you continue to sparkle in and out of Sabyasachi couture.

Last updated: December 12, 2017 | 16:29
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