On around 29 March when news of Sania Mirza's impending marriage to Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik broke out, she said to the Times of India, “This is the biggest day of my life. I have been in the media glare for too long, and would appreciate a little privacy at this very personal moment in my life.’’
There's an unsettling irony in what she said. Yes, privacy is what she wanted. Everyone knows, though, that celebrity marriages in India or anywhere else in the world is fodder for the paparazzi, media, fans and the general public. Perhaps she knew. Or perhaps she underestimated. Yet, little must she have expected, that not only her marriage would be the talking point (or breaking news, whichever way you look at news these days) of various TV news channels, newspapers, but also politicians would comment on whether she may play for India or Pakistan after marriage and such thing. I can't believe, even I am talking about it too. Add to that, copies of the groom's alleged first marriage certificate to another Hyderabadi girl were flashed on television channels alleged marriage. Every little dirty secret is threatened to come out of the closet. Every little sordid detail of what happened right from the time the groom allegedly met the first girl to the place and venue of the impending marriage is being discussed and debated. Realms of print and TV news space is being devoted. Specials report, breaking news, front page stories.
Even though India's biggest women's tennis export lost in the first round of 4 of 5 tennis tournaments she entered so far in 2010 did not create as much buzz (as it ought to have been had we been conscious of tennis as we are with cricket) as her impending marriage. That's the reality. It's unfortunate, but true. I don't remember the last time when a sportsmen's marriage or impending marriage created so much buzz. That too, for all the wrong reasons. I don't remember when Sachin Tendulkar got married, the hows, whys, whens, whats, venue, reception, catering, and so on. Maybe I was too young then, or maybe I did not pay much attention as cricket is not my favourite sport. I remember reading stories of Leander Paes's love life before and also of Mahesh Bhupathi's last year. Such is life. Such is media these days. And this is not breaking news. By now, we all know it.