India’s win at the World Cup may have taken away half the fire from the fourth season of the Indian Premier League, but something else has been keeping the action going. It’s the public display of affection by celebrity spectators that has everyone glued to their screens.
Be it Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne’s steamy smooches with British actor Liz Hurley, actor Deepika Padukone’s first public liplock with Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Sidhartha Mallya, actor Vivek Oberoi whispering sweet nothings into wife Priyanka Alva’s ears or Chennai Superkings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s arm-in-arm display of love with wife Sakshi Singh Rawat, this season is all about passion in the stands.
And viewers are lapping up the lovers’ PDA happily. “Earlier, it was just the cheerleaders that grabbed attention from the game. Now, it’s the hugs and kisses — there’s so much to see!” says Nikhil Sachdeva, 24, an IPL buff. Rohan Walia, a software engineer, says, “Even those who’d otherwise never watch a match want to witness what’s going on off the field.”
Some, however, think the unrestrained coochie-cooing is uncool. “I feel this entire PDA thing is quite frivolous. You don’t need to make a spectacle of your love, especially during a tournament of such order,” says Megha Sareen, 25. Arnav Sinha, a 19-year-old DU student, says, “I watch the matches for the love of cricket, and these kisses and hugs are distracting.”
Still others feel it’s no big deal. “Why even care so much? I see nothing unusual in hugs and kisses. We should let it be,” says TV host Gaurav Kapoor.