What Do Ranveer and Deepika Have that Virushka, Nickyanka, & Sonam-Anand Don’t?

Bollywood

What Do Ranveer and Deepika Have that Virushka, Nickyanka, & Sonam-Anand Don’t?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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ow that Diwali is behind us, the shaadi season can officially be declared open. It’s time to pick out the wedding gifts, alter the sherwani to accommodate your new festive paunch, book your salon appointments, and by-heart the hashtag for your cousin’s mehndi.

Still, the only one we won’t have any trouble remembering is #DeepVeer. The nation’s dream girl, Deepika Padukone, is getting hitched to fellow actor and human Road Runner cartoon Ranveer Singh in a two-day affair, November 14 and 15. What could be more exciting than the formation of a brand-new Bollywood power couple?

Perhaps the fact that a second pairing of stars, whose constellation we have fondly christened “Prick”, is likely to occur in Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan during Deepika and Ranveer’s Mumbai reception? You’d think that Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s global appeal might render them more important than our homegrown DeepVeer. But their down-to-earth beginnings is precisely what makes Mr and Mrs Padmaavat exceptional, not just in their own careers, but as a couple. Where you’d otherwise be hard-pressed to find an A-list star whose name does not end in either Kapoor or Khan, Deepika and Ranveer are among the few who give us hope, however slight, that there is still room for (almost) outsiders in Bollywood.

Although Deepika and Ranveer are ready to serve us the closest thing we’ve had to a royal wedding since the union of Virushka last year – featuring the now-ubiquitous Lake Como venue and the colour-coordinated Sabyasachi wardrobe – they remain refreshingly relatable.

Of course, Deepika and Ranveer, with their privileged backgrounds and better-than-average connections, are no Kangana Ranaut. But unlike today’s star kids, neither was warding off the paparazzi while still in their teens, nor were they handed a K.Jo launch as their Class XI graduation gift. Instead, like the rest of us, they struggled in a way before finally bagging the big banners.

Deepika played competitive badminton like her father before abandoning the strenuous life of a sportswoman, only to enter the cut-throat world of modelling. When she began to receive film offers, she turned them down to first focus on learning acting – a move that squares with every gushing description of her professionalism and work ethic.

Ranveer, on the other hand, was closer to Bollywood – Sonam Kapoor’s second-cousin, but yet less acquainted with fame than Deepika. Like so many creative strugglers, he attempted to hold down a normal job, working in advertising and then ADing on films before taking the big leap to be in front of the camera.

Although Deepika and Ranveer are ready to serve us the closest thing we’ve had to a royal wedding since the union of Virushka last year – featuring the now-ubiquitous Lake Como venue and the colour-coordinated Sabyasachi wardrobe – they remain refreshingly relatable. Deepika has rarely clung tightly to her too-perfect image, discussing her ex Ranbir Kapoor, what it feels like to be dumped, and her own struggles with depression. Ranveer, meanwhile, seems physically incapable of not baring his heart and soul on every talk show, red carpet, and film set. His energy is infectious and he makes his fans feel that they matter.

The DeepVeer romance, captured in heartfelt confessions, mushy Instagram comments, and photos so sweet that they make singletons spontaneously burst into tears, feels strikingly genuine in an industry where, as actor Richa Chadda once claimed, people regular use dating as a PR strategy. Their love story feels like a classic fairytale, with all the necessary ingredients of overcoming the odds, achieving dreams, and finding true love after heartbreaks. And this is refreshing because for the most part, that narrative has sagged under the weight of Bollywood’s intermingling, ever-growing khandaani tree.

The union of DeepVeer, the odd couple, breathes some life into our old, starry-eyed ideals. Maybe that’s why, even if we aren’t invited, we feel like spectators at their glamorous and highly private destination wedding. Because if there’s one Bollywood love story that doesn’t look scripted, it’s this one.

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