By Sonali Kokra
Look, I get it. When two obscenely good-looking superstars — in the prime of their lives, pink of health, and top of their careers — get married, it’s big news. Obviously, we want in on all the details. How many functions? Who made it to the guest list? And which ex felt snubbed in the absence of a gilded invite on scented handmade paper in the mail? It’s a matter of national importance. Nay, it’s a matter of grave personal importance for wholly unconnected, single third parties, given the hysteria with which each mundane detail is revealed, smothered by a gaggle of superlative adjectives. Are you even worthy of being called a woman if you can’t prattle off the names of all the designers Deepika and Ranveer wore, in alphabetical order — not just Sabyasachi, mind you?
The over-effusiveness, while odious, can be amusing on good days. I suppose guessing the exact length of the do chutki sindoor in Deepika Padukone’s maang during her post-wedding appearances can be a fun drinking game.
But the joke’s on them.
As a wholly unconnected, single third party, I can vouch for the fact that the wedding means little more than visual relief to most of us. I mean, we’re already drowning in an ocean of cousins’, friends’, and – most painfully – exes’ weddings, come November and December, so the chances of a dreamy filmy wedding is hardly going to throw us into paroxysms of grief and yearning. Sometime between our first paycheque and the hundredth, most of us made our peace with the fact that unless we entirely eliminate our food budget for several years, we’re not going to be get married in a multi-lakh Sabya lehenga. And Lake Como can wait, there’s a 20-year home loan to be paid off for the matchbox-sized apartment you just bought in the furthest suburb of Mumbai.
Sweet as Ranveer Singh’s gestures are, him being smitten by his wife is hardly husband of the millennium material.
Now that it’s been established that the almost vulgarly publicised DeepVeer wedding is really not the event of the year/decade/century/millennium, imagine one’s surprise by the proclamations anointing Ranveer Singh as the husband our collective womanly hearts should shudder and sigh over longingly, with all the vigour of our unmet desires. A prince among mere mortals, please to be excusing his dubious condom-inspired outfits.
Declarations like that deserve closer, more thorough examination, of course. And so I embarked on the exhilarating journey that took me through the nuanced but public gestures that make Ranveer Singh the husband of our dreams.
A somewhat complete list of all the things the man has done to “earn” the gushing #husbandgoals hashtag:
- Holding his newly married wife’s hand while walking out of the airport literally days after their wedding.
- Helping his wife navigate the pallu of her sari at Wedding Reception #1.
- Blowing kisses in her direction at said reception.
- Putting his arm around her so she doesn’t get mobbed at the airport.
- Coordinating outfits with her for Wedding Reception #2.
- Kissing her fingers after helping her receive a ginormous bouquet.
- Whispering something in his bride’s ear.
- Looking delighted about being married to his girlfriend of six years.
- “Giving” her “whatever she wished” for the wedding.
Because the sindoor as long as a meatball sub was not enough to assert Ranveer’s contribution to her identity, it had to be helped along by bhabhiji. Perfect.
If you’re as befuddled as I am, I sincerely hope we have company. Sweet as Ranveer Singh’s gestures are, him being smitten by his wife is hardly husband of the millennium material. I mean if on their wedding day, a man won’t even have the decency to look awed by his bride — especially one who looks like there are lamps permanently lit under her skin — what use is he, really? And how does adjusting your wife’s pallu make for a viral video? How low have we set the bar? And given the vast wealth that the two have amassed at a relatively young age, it would be decidedly weird if either one of them didn’t have “whatever they wished” at their super fancy, super exclusive destination weddings and receptions. Means if even the top one per cent of the country can’t have the wedding of their dreams, we might as well retire the big, fat, recession-immune Indian wedding industry. Like, seriously.
Given our tearing hurry to throw superlatives and titles at celebrities for exhibiting what can only be called thoroughly normal human behaviour, and the fact that there are a few more high-profile weddings coming up in the next few months, here are a few filters to differentiate between husband of the year contenders from garden-variety romantic ones, at least in the initial screening process.
- Someone who doesn’t refer to his contribution to parenting as “babysitting” his progeny.
- Someone who, as a grown-ass adult, is capable of feeding himself, and doesn’t believe his wife and mother had a secret handshake deal, prior to marriage, over his dietary choices (looking at you, Abhishek Bachchan).
- Someone who doesn’t refer to his current/future domestic partner as “wife material”. Unless there is some kind of super exclusive, ultra soft velvet that is called wife material, in which case, an argument can be made for referring to the entire female species as wife material.
And how does adjusting your wife’s pallu make for a viral video? How low have we set the bar?
On a side note, while Ranveer can now twirl his admittedly impressive handlebar moustache and puff his chest in pride over his new title, Deepika, the recipient of magnanimous gestures such as whispers and air kisses from her groom, too has been honoured with a charming sobriquet — bhabhiji. Because the sindoor as long as a meatball sub was not enough to assert Ranveer’s contribution to her identity, it had to be helped along by bhabhiji. Perfect.
What more can a woman want, really?
Sonali Kokra is a journalist, writer, editor and media consultant from Mumbai.
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