Deepika-Ranveer Ki Shaadi: An Extended Diwali Celebration for Good News-Deprived India


Deepika-Ranveer Ki Shaadi: An Extended Diwali Celebration for Good News-Deprived India

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the weekend. A time when we approve of coffee being spelled with a K, even as we furiously correct the grammar of everyone on the internet. And look forward to India’s version of Gossip Girls while dissing Mrs Sharma for asking whether that female friend of ours is just a “friend” or a “friend friend”.

Tonight, the guests of honour are eclectic – Deepika Padukone’s future husband, Ranveer Singh, and Mrs Funnybones’ current husband, Akshay Kumar. Given Ranveer’s infectious energy and Kumar’s comic timing, it’s safe to say that it’ll be a cracker of an episode. Managing to get Deepika and Ranveer – who are all set to bless our news cycles with another OTT Bollywood wedding – to start off season six of Koffee With Karan is indeed a masterstroke. Just short of Virat Kohli’s record-breaking spree.

But I’m most impressed by Johar’s decision to make the two lovers sit on his couch on two different days. That’s KJo’s version of hitting two birds with one stone – command a country’s attention for two weeks while milking one piece of information – the culmination of Deepika and Ranveer’s Ram-Leela.

A few hours before the first episode of Koffee With Karan went on air, came the official confirmation of the #DeepVeer wedding.

Everyone expected the two to get hitched. Bollywood knew about it, the media couldn’t wait for #DeepVeer to trend, and the fans waited in anticipation as the couple did everything short of holding a press conference to declare they were in love. They spoke of each other fondly in individual interviews and award speeches, their Instagram messages for each other were full of mush, and when they starred in movies together the chemistry was unmissable. In between all this, they kept dropping “We’ll tell you when there’s something to tell” and “You’ll be the first to know” here and there.

Until last week.

A few hours before the first episode of Koffee With Karan went on air, came the official confirmation of the #DeepVeer wedding. A November wedding it would be. Is it a coincidence that the two actors are getting married on the day Ram-Leela, their first film together released? Maybe not.

So last Sunday, at 9 pm, with Alia Bhatt as Deepika’s sweet sidekick, Johar opened his chat show with only three things in mind – shaadi, shaadi, and babies. Ten minutes in, he announced that he was done talking about the girls and their success stories and would spend the rest of the hour discussing about the boys in their lives. Ensue not-so-subtle references to ceremonies, parties, and holy chants – a giggly Bhatt, positioned as the bride-in-waiting let out the probable dates. Then, just to mix things up, Bhatt was asked to choose between her boyfriend and her cats. Deepika was asked to choose between babies and a career. No prizes for guessing what both the ladies ended up choosing.

When they weren’t referring to the couple’s impending nuptials, they were talking about the couple’s Instagram courtship. Deepika even let us in on Ranveer’s best traits, worst habits, and her opinion on his sartorial sense. Now, it would be presumptuous to say that Deepika-Ranveer are on their way to turn their wedding into a public spectacle. But knowing how most Bollywood weddings go, is it really?

Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli promoted their wedding with a Manyavar ad, Sonam Kapoor ended up getting married to Anand Ahuja to promote Veere Di Wedding. So it’s only fair that Deepika and Ranveer get to enjoy their many wedding announcements on Koffee With Karan.

The nation could do with some extended Diwali celebrations. The month has been terribly tough with all the #MeToo revelations, the Rafale ruckus, the Amritsar train tragedy, and the ongoing CBI crisis. For a celebrity-obsessed nation, this might just be a fun distraction, a glorious wedding of the king and queen of Bollywood. A happy respite. All orchestrated of course by kingmaker Karan Johar.

So tonight the groom-to-be sits on the couch. Will his shaadi sherwani be as jhatak as his Koffee shirt? Will he ask model husband and moral actor Akshay Kumar for marriage tips? As KJo would say, these are just conjectures.