It’s perhaps human nature to want a peek into the private lives of celebrities — be it in the field of cinema, music or sports. No wonder then, our ears perk up when we hear the slightest suggestion of an affair between film stars. And when paparazzi images of them on a beach in a distant country surface, it becomes the dominant topic of conversation in office and college canteens. We cling on to every juicy bit of detail we can find.
And when it comes to Indian television, even though the subjects on screen cater largely to a conservative, middle-class sensibility, we still seem just as interested in stories of link-ups and flings. Of course, more often than not, we try and read between the lines of a report.
So we hear of impressionable, starry-eyed debutants whose personal pictures have landed up in the media. And though reading about two good-looking actors falling in love is interesting for the audience, it also affect the actors as well as the production team.
We’ve also known actors who handled link-ups and relationships in a mature fashion. The likes of Mahi Vij and Jay Bhanushali, Aamir Ali and Sanjeeda Sheikh, and Hiten Tejwani and Gauri Pradhan got married, while Sanaya Irani and Mohit Sehgal, Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput have been open about their relationships, without letting insinuations bother them.
Yet others, however, have tried to keep things private to avoid awkward questions. Actresses, especially, have often kept mum, since they worry that admitting to a relationship can affect their image. Gender bias, unfortunately, still exists here.
So Shabbir Ahluwalia and Kanchi Kaul never admitted to their relationship until the news of their marriage broke. Rati Pandey and Anas Rashid, too, been playing hide-and-seek with the media. The bigger star in a relationship — Parul Chauhan — still keeps mum about her boyfriend Yashdeep Nain. And then, of course, there are married stars who also find themselves embroiled in ugly rumours — Dipika Samson and Shoaib Ibrahim, for instance.
Of course, being favourite beta or bahus makes the gossip even juicier for the audience. To love rumours and to gossip is indeed human.