The allegation is the two are shameless publicity-seekers. The defence is Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma don’t need publicity; it is publicity that stalks them! A super-cricketer and a top actress, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Millions of slurping fans follow their every action. Is that all? Could it be that ‘Virushka’ (Virat+Anushka) are overenthusiastic attention seekers, some of their actions designed to catch the eye of a certain very powerful man?
B-town and C-Town are bound by the soft-power they command. Politicians court them and vice versa. Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s idea of connecting with people was by spending time with the odd ones at their impoverished huts. Remember Kalawati? Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘people’ in need of his presence is to attend the odd marriage reception of a Bollywood and cricketing celebrity in a Michelin-star setting.
After their dream big-fat Italian-wedding, Modi was the guest of honour at one of Virushka’s marriage receptions. That seems to have kind of left a halo around the heads of Virushka. Anushka became a Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan ambassador with photographs of her promoting open defecation free India with the image of a toilet in the background, nowhere like the Jacuzzi-equipped one at home but one of those standalone Paa-khanas that old Clint Eastwood and other westerns failed to popularise in the United States even after soiled villains got shot to ribbons by the gunslinger just when they sat on the john to crap their nights out!
Anyway, the crux of the matter is Virat and Anushka have caught the Modi-bug and they can’t let go any opportunity to catch the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So it was that when I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted his #HumFItTohIndiaFit challenge he tagged Virat and Virat promptly retweeted, tagging PM Modi and Anushka to the tweet. What’s more, PM Modi immediately replied with ‘challenge accepted Virat.’
How many commoners on the common will get that kind of response from a prime minister who beats Manmohan ‘Maun’ Singh in keeping his mouth shut on matters crucial, no matter what the concern, who the people and how desperate the moment. That job – conversing with the common man, listening to his concerns, answering to his SOS – has been left to the likes of EAM Sushma Swaraj, who if she wasn’t external would have made an impact, internal.
Now, Virushka can pick up the phone and ‘Dial PM for Pal Modi’ anytime they want and get him on the answering machine no matter what the hour. Of course, that is an exaggeration, if only to keep this conversation going. The point is Modi must be a frequent topic at the Virushka dinner table and the clean couple with the fabulous skin that comes with good eating must be ever on the look for litterbugs out to soil their idol Modi’s flagship programme, the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan!
To cut to the chase, out on the road the other day, Virat and Anushka spotted a piece of garbage flying out of a car window and Virat’s car chased and eased to a stop parallel to the litterbug’s car. That manoeuvre accomplished, Anushka in all righteous Swacch Bharat ambassador indignation gave an earful to the stunned litterbug, who with his beard looked uncannily like Virat. So much so, one couldn’t but get the sneaking feeling that Anushka must have done to the litterbug what she dearly craved to do to hubby Virat – give him a berating like no other berating, in public to boot!
Whose idea it was, Virat’s or Anushka’s, to chase the litterbug down and teach him some clean manners, nobody knows – unless Virushka’s chauffeur opens his claptrap – but Virat had his cellphone camera rolling and within moments of the interesting interlude, the tweet with the 17-second video was out on Twitter with a ‘Virat’s Moral of the Day’ to go with it. By the time litterbug and litterbug’s mother got to read and watch the tweet, it had gone viral and the rest is like they say ‘history’.
Later, the targeted litterbug came out with his own version of cleanliness, reminding Anushka that there’s all sort of clean etiquette and one of them is to hold the dirty tongue back in the mouth. For Delhi boy Virat Kohli, litterbug had nothing but unexpressed contempt and if he did not call the cricketer a henpecked husband it must have been because he followed his own advice to hit the ball with a straight bat – clean etiquette.
But that little shortcoming was made up by litterbug’s mother who in a Facebook post laid out on Virushka with the broom, holding them guilty as charged with ‘destroying the life’ of a young man who had just set out to make a mark in life! “How dare you?” she asked, in right royal motherly outrage, wondering what sort of people Virushka are, lots of good it must have done them chasing her poor son for cheap publicity, “go clean your own lane first, the lane you live in Anushka.”
That must be the fast-lane. Can’t imagine Virat and Anushka living in any other lane. The two have the moolah to break into the best lanes and just the other day news broke that Virat’s in the list of the top hundred money-making sporting icons of the world. With Anushka also contributing in the millions to the family kitty, the power-couple must be living in a super-clean environment, their home spotless like the kurta Prime Minister Narendra Modi dons after his yoga round with the stone on the lawn.
So, back to the question, were Virat and Anushka out for publicity on a lean day? Of course, not, definitely not. But ask the question, whether they were out to catch the eye, the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the mind tarries for a fleeting second…yeah, that could be it; the two are smitten by the Modi-bug and virtue-signalling is just one of the symptoms.(IPA Service)