In the end, it was an open secret like none other. Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli made their own version of Under The Tuscan Sun with more than a dash of Punjabi josh thrown in as they finally got married in Italy. From the moment we saw pictures of her family at the airport with just a few bulky suitcases too many and heard of Virat excusing himself from the Sri-Lanka series, it was just a question of when.
For a country that only obsesses about cricket and Bollywood, in no particular order, they gave us an early Christmas celebration. After all, when was the last time the cricket captain married an A-list actress? Thankfully though, we have been spared details of whether the bride ate more or the groom. It's probably because no one got that close to the villa that is considered the second most expensive holiday destination in the world. Some media channels tried but we squinted and we went cross-eyed but beyond the green fields that they zoomed into, there were only more green fields.
We didn't have to wait too long after the news of the wedding to get an over load of tiny snippets from the Italian vineyard. Admit it, even the most sceptical of us couldn't resist a peek. What Tiger Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore started is now an ever-increasing tribe that fascinates even the most hardened gossip hater. But unlike those times, Virat and Anushka, once they got their private wedding without even a single cricketer or actor in attendance, have been quick to share their fun.
Dressed by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anushka looked elegant without a hint of filmy in her dressing. There is a reason that Sabya designs are copied in every narrow lane of Chandni Chowk which is a must-visit for most Punjabi brides-to-be and we now know which will be the hot-selling design in the months to come. The subtle, pastel tones of Anushka's lehenga were spot on, as were her other outfits.
Recently, Anushka and Virat were on TV in an advertisement attending a wedding and giving the vows their own personal twist. Some of the pictures of the real wedding were so perfect that many on Twitter can be forgiven for wondering if this was a grab shot being re-played. The Kohli family's Punjabi touch was obvious with the very public exchange of rings but Anushka couldn't have looked more stunning than she did in her burgundy sari. And that hug after the exchange of rings was a perfect mix - respect of tradition by a modern-day couple.
The Punjabi music in the background, the haldi and mehendi ceremonies, the drama of dodging the jaimala that every bride or groom does, we have already seen it all. Some, though, may perhaps be still viewing it on loop. Nor did the couple sell any exclusive pictures for millions to a magazine as the trend in Hollywood is. This, then, was a millennial marriage, acknowledging the power of the social media.
Their public statements were carefully identical, released at the exact moment and for those still wanting more - after all, we aren't satisfied that easily - there was also a hint of what lies ahead. Virat now preps for the upcoming South Africa series and Anushka has at least a couple of projects to dive into. Hopefully, the cinema-goer has matured and won't end her career just because she got married, while an unmarried Salman Khan (pushing 52) continues to mint money.
Living and working in a culture where loud is more, it was probably easy for Anushka Sharma to get swayed. Remember Preity Zinta in a cringe-worthy Manish Malhotra red gown at her reception, her matching lipstick giving garish a whole new meaning? Anushka, like some of the other actresses of her generation including Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt, is part of a breed that could be mistaken for any normal person on the road, dressing like us in distressed jeans and over-sized tops.
While Anushka lived in Mumbai understandably, Virat is giving up his Delhi citizenship and moving to the city of the bride. It is such a refreshing change for once, to see the boy make the changes and hopefully sets an example for those who think it's the done thing for a girl to move lock, stock and house. If his phenomenal form still didn't touch some, this will certainly win him the remaining fans.
The couple have always given us major relationship goals by never hiding their relationship from a public that isn't always easy to please. Even BCCI once ludicrously blamed Anushka for Virat's slump in form in a series against England. Over the years, Anushka has been our convenient scapegoat for any poor shot played by the Indian captain. She was blamed for his debacle in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup against Australia simply because she was in the stadium. We do these things and we will do it again in the future. These days, Virat can do no wrong but there is always a slump. And that day, forgetting everything, all fingers will once again point to his wife. The couple may have respected the curiosity of their fans by sharing their private moments almost instantly but, sadly, when the time comes we will forget it easily. That's how fickle we are.
(Jyotsna Mohan Bhargava worked with NDTV for more than a decade and now writes on a variety of topics for several news organisations.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
Blog: As A Gay Man, The End Of 377 Is A Dream Come True, Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Blog: Dressed In Their Indian Best, Priyanka Chopra And Nick Jonas Had Us At Hello
Blog: Exclusive: Finding Happiness In Hong Kong - By Yami Gautam
Blog: I Find My Best Friend's Boyfriend Attractive, And I Don't Know What To Do About It