The little birdy, who, until a decade ago, used to be the main source of celebrity gossip for many film magazine editors is dead now. #RIP. The grapevine has dried out, and the rumour mills have finally shut for good. In 2018, thanks to social media the way we interact with Bollywood celebrities, and access news about their personal lives have completely changed.
Social media, today, gives us a window seat to view the private lives of the rich and famous — their relationships, marriages, and date nights are all on display. We know about their love lives from them in real time. However, while it is great to bypass the media apparatus, a question that always crawls back into one’s head when a perfectly clicked photo of a celebrity couple shows up on their profiles is, ‘how much of this life that they put up on social media is real?’
For actors, their public images are a big part of their appeal which is why most of them have a well-oiled PR machinery taking care of their social media profiles. However, it becomes especially tricky when they get involved in relationships with other public personalities. Then, they not only have to take care of their individual images but also that of their partners, and of two of them together as couples. It’s a hard balance to achieve, but if 2018 is any indication, our celebrity couples have not only made social media their b*tch but also used these platforms very intelligently to showcase their relationships and establish themselves as power couples. In 2018, we saw three power couples of Bollywood sealing the deal — Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone got married in Italy, Priyanka Chopra tied the knot with her Hollywood beau Nick Jonas, and Sonam Kapoor and designer, Anand Ahuja, had a big Bollywood wedding in Mumbai. We witnessed it all via Instagram of course. Not just their weddings but also their growing relationships before and after the couples took their marital vows.
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh began their social media romance by being each other’s biggest fans. While the couple had been dating for years, their PDA and flirtations on social media scaled up a year before the two got married. They were that couple who commented on each other’s photos on social media, and while it is common knowledge, that it may not be the coolest thing to do to up your couple’s quotient on social apps when Deepika and Ranveer tried it, fans aww-ed, and called them ‘cute’.
Ranveer commented, “Don’t look at me like that!” when Deepika posted a picture of herself piercingly gazing at the camera. In another one of her photo, where the actress flashes a dazzling smile and her gorgeous dimple, Ranveer simply wrote, “Melting”. Deepika, of course, returned compliments of Ranveer generously. On one of Ranveer’s picture where he is seen wearing a hoodie and sporting a handlebar moustache, the actress commented, ” Why so hot?”. In yet, another photo, where Singh showcases his bare chest, Deepika very possessively wrote, “mine.”
The couple shared their wedding invite on Instagram before they got married, and by doing so finally came out in the open to acknowledge their relationship, which had, until then been the most obvious open secret of Bollywood. When the wedding happened, many beautifully ‘candid’ photos of the rituals, several different receptions were shared on Instagram. The B-towners shared photos of them dancing, eating, posing for selfies at the Mumbai reception. All was merry and great. But, only being each other’s fans isn’t always enough on social media. Deepika’s ex, Ranbir Kapoor’s new ladylove, Alia Bhatt, knows it little too well.
Alia, a self-confessed social media addict, always brings her A-game to Instagram — be it doing lives, or boomerangs, or peppering her photos with catchy captions. She also goes a little further than mere fangirling when it comes to her love life. Earlier this year, the actress very strategically announced her rumoured relationship with Ranbir Kapoor, not on a chat show or during an interview but through her Instagram profile. It was a subtle hint drop, a photo of just the two entering Sonam Kapoor’s wedding. But, the media was quick to pick it up and thus followed the speculations. Ranbir doesn’t dwell in the virtual world and Alia is too much of a hipster to post lovey-dovey couple’s photos. But, every now and then, a photo courtesy to ‘RK’ or a dinner picture of the couple with their families together confirm that their relationship is going steady. Alia, also very ably takes up the role of being Ranbir’s publicist on Instagram. When Sanju was about to release, she very subtly plugged the film with its song and have often showered praises on Ranbir publically in the last year. Ranbir too is enamoured by Alia’s talents and is very vocal about it. The two are practically each other’s best PR person.
Sonam Kapoor too is supportive of husband Anand Ahuja’s endeavours. The actress cannot stop wearing hubby, Anand Ahuja’s clothing brand, Bhaane. From movie promotions to airport looks, many of Sonam’s understated, easy going looks are actually by her husband, Anand. Anand too is a big champion of Sonam’s films on public platforms. The designer shared not only Sonam’s film Veere De Wedding’s still on Instagram but also promoted brother-in-law Harshvardhan’s film, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero. Taking a leaf out of Anand’s book is Virat Kohli, who too, took to Instagram to share a poster of his wife Anushka Sharma’s film, Pari. Anushka and Virat’s timelines will give many relationship goals to any newlyweds — be it their beautiful holiday photos to places which we cannot locate on maps, or their aadarsh Bhartiya photos celebrating different festivals — from karvachauth to Diwali — the couple look like the epitome of nuptial happiness.
Priyanka Chopra, however, truly triumphed everyone in the social media game of 2018. The actress’ whirlwind romance and the lavish wedding with Nick Jonas were beautifully documented fairytale, thanks to Chopra’s and Jonas’ Instagram accounts. From their first meeting at the MET gala to the Roka ceremony to the extravagant bachelorette party, sangeet, Mehendi and big Indian and American weddings — every moment was shared through Instagram filters. However, it was not just the photos, but the meanings that those images conveyed which won this power couple many fans and shippers. Scan both their accounts and you’d see that there is just the right amount of PDA, and cheerleading for one another. But more than that, there is a whole lot of love and respect for each other, their cultures, and family traditions which comes through, despite the numerous subtle endorsement of products.
You may always go back to asking if any of it real? Do these couples never fight, or do they never get insecure of each other’s achievements? Are their lives truly as beautiful as they look on social media platform? But the truth is, does it really matter? Like movies, celebrity lives on social media too is often viewed after suspending reason and logic because deep down we too want our celluloid gods and goddesses, to have their fairytale lives.