And the Chief Non-Guest at the Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja Wedding Is…


And the Chief Non-Guest at the Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja Wedding Is…

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Four months after Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli brought #PinterestGoals to real life with their intimate wedding in Italy, Sonam Kapoor is all set to wed long-time boyfriend Anand Ahuja tomorrow. And with solid rumours of Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh tying the knot later in December, it’s time to declare 2018 the Year of the Bollywood Celeb Wedding.

This particular shaadi season is characterised by its ability to invoke FOMO and voyeuristic tendencies among the wokest of individuals – the same people who on an ordinary day would author a Twitter thread bemoaning the lurid invasiveness that the country’s tabloids thrive upon. A time that necessitates we remain glued to our Instagram feeds, hoping for an update on Anil Kapoor’s much-anticipated dance on “My Name is Lakhan” or to feel tears well up in our eyes as we heart a picture of Anshula Kapoor posing with half-sisters Janhvi and Khushi. It’s all about loving your fully filmy family, indeed.

In these emotionally charged moments, we neglect the contributions of one member who’s single-handedly responsible for spreading the virus known as Bollywood Wedding Hysteria. Sonam Kapoor’s wedding, for instance, is not just a happy occasion for the bride, groom, their parents, and Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. It also a sacred occasion for every Bollywood wedding’s chief non-guest: the paparazzi.

Social media has heralded a whole new breed of paparazzis in every wedding guest.

For the great Indian pap, a Bollywood wedding is also a trying time, solely because it forces them to give up doing groundbreaking work on two of the most pertinent issues of today: airport looks and documenting Taimur’s afternoons. Luckily, for them, Kapoor’s festivities are to last for only three days, a guarantee that they won’t suffer from severe withdrawal. The month-long suspense of the Virushka union had already taken a toll on many.

In their new responsibility as Annoyingly Invasive Bollywood Wedding Chronicler, the paparazzi have two weapons: their camera’s ability to focus better than the iPhone 8’s portrait mode and their stamina that will aid them in standing outside the gate of the venue for countless hours. And their superpower? To get the most unflattering angle of every celebrity wedding guest and their outfit before they make their way inside. Take that iPhone 8!

It’s also from this very position – a few metres behind the gate, jostling for an inch of space with their fellow chroniclers – that they set about their investigative reporting. Thirty minutes in, they get so invested in the wedding that they push their neighbouring paps with a ferocity even stronger than the inhabitants of a crowded Virar local, all for a blur shot of Jacqueline Fernandez’s back. Or try to focus their lens inside the house, hoping to catch a yet another blurry shot – this time of Anil Kapoor mouthing “Jhaakas” the umpteenth time.

Unfortunately, the contributions of our Indian paps now stand a risk of taking a backseat. Social media has heralded a whole new breed of paparazzis in every wedding guest. But ask yourself this: Wouldn’t Sonam Kapoor’s wedding be incomplete if you didn’t get to see Janhvi Kapoor getting out of the car in her Manish Malhotra ensemble? Or if you weren’t updated on what time she left the mehendi with her sisters?

You have to admit, there’s a certain charm in catching people off-guard while they try to walk in heavy lehengas that can’t be matched by any Instagram selfie. That’s a high only a paparazzi can give you, which is why they’re the real MVPs of any Bollywood wedding.