Barely has the Shoaib Malik-Sania Mirza-Ayesha Siddiqui triangular drama subsided and Bollywood has begun cashing in on it. Two upcoming releases — Sajid Khan’s Housefull and Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife — are using the staple Bollywood punchline — ‘Yeh shaadi nahi ho sakti’ — pegging it on the real life love story of the sports stars and the woman scorned.
In Housefull, Akshay Kumar’s wedding with Deepika Padukone is rudely interrupted by Jiah Khan, claiming to be his wife. “It is a case of life imitating art. But you can’t say that I copied a real life incident. This (Shoaib-Sania-Ayesha fiasco) started making news two weeks ago, while I wrote my script two years ago,” says Sajid Khan. Akshay Kumar says, “Actually I’ve three women claiming to be my wife in the film.”
It’s touted as Ayesha Siddiqui’s story, has a mother going to extreme lengths to get her overweight daughter married. “But my film was shot a year ago,” says Chadha. “It’s pure entertainment and it should be seen like that.”
Trade analyst Komal Nahata downplays the phenomenon by saying, “These films must have kept the love triangle as a selling point for the film, but now they’re milking over the hype.”
Not just films, days after Pakistani daily The News coined the name ‘Shoania’ for the couple, Pakistani dealers are ordering Shoania t-shirts from China and Thailand in bulk. In Shoaib’s hometown Sialkot, Shoania cricket bats are a hit.