Hug that was tweeted 'heir' and there
The country saw a cessation of hostilities on the LoC last week. Nah, not the Indo-Pak type of truce. Nonetheless, it was a ceasefire in the Longstanding Ongoing Cold-war (LoC) among two biggies that truly "bordered" on being a "historic" peacemaking.
If the mass hysteria emanating from the ceasefire in the War of the Khans Salman and Shah Rukh sounded nothing less than a cessation of Indo-Pak hostilities, it is thanks to the national deluge of tweet nothings exchanged post-patch-up.
Here's a taste of the frenzy that tamasha TV and Twitter staged as well as saw over the Great Sallu-SRK Thaw:
Too tweet to be true
That a social "hug" could send the nation into an earth-shaking debate that sidelined even discussions as pressing as stemming the fiscal "slap" delivered to the rupee et al was evident from the fact that hash tag #SalmanHuggedSRK created more ripples inside and outside Twitter India than Arnab Goswami's vitriolic vocal chords did on Primetime India.
And this mere hug became a national sensation, like a chartbusting "item number", all thanks to Congress leader Baba Siddique, who provided the platform that gave the country its most "newsworthy" embrace with a celebrity face, such that it made other kiss-and-make-up stories of recent seasons, be it the Amitabh Bachchan-Shatrughan truce or the Kareena-Priyanka patch-up, pale into Twitter trifles.
Once bosom buddies known as the Karan-Arjun pair, Salman and Shah Rukh, whose cold war had been triggered by a spat at Katrina Kaif's birthday in 2008, scripted a social media coup of sorts post the hug at Siddique's Iftaar party recently.
How the "historic" hug eclipsed all national concerns can be gauged from this tweet triggered by an Indian Netizen: "SRK and Salman have hugged each other. GDP is up, Rupee has recovered, China has gone back from Ladakh, and right now no one is hungry!!!!!!"
Some Tweeple even imbued to the embrace a political face: "UPA can list that (the hug) as an achievement and post in Bharat Nirman Ads."
That with this famous hug even Siddique bagged his Fifteen Minutes of Fame and a place in the 'Haul of Fame' was evident from the fact that some Tweeple even spoofed about this hitherto anonymous politician: "Baba Siddique nominated for the Nobel peace prize for brokering peace between SRK and Salman Khan".
For the uninitiated, miles away from our Land of Lull on the LoC, some smart Tweeple even coined a simile: "To all those firangs who dont know what #SalmanHuggedSRK means, its like #SamsungHuggedApple !"
So, the historic hug gave to the social media its Khans-mate moment, the way our sportspersons have scripted Slapgate, Towelgate and the spot-fixing bait.
Baby's Day 'Out'
Another thing the "historic" hug between hotties achieved was to hog the headlines away from celebrities who had more to do with Huggies.
For, this development that was made to sound no less than a thawing of Indo-Pak hostilities, even kept the British out of this Indian script of national frenzy.
Yes, for days the hug even hogged the headlines that would otherwise have belonged partially to the birth of the latest heir to British monarchy.
The arrival of a baby boy to Prince William and Kate Middleton couldn't quite garner as much footage as it otherwise would have, had it not been for the hug. It was thus baby's day "out" of headlines on Indian Tamasha TV, as the hug was "heir" to stay!
Puppy to Papa
For a social media that has in recent weeks seen Pappu or the Puppy trending, now had another "P" on Twitter: Papa.
Yes, Sallu's star dad Salim Khan went to town on Twitter spelling out his take on the "historic" hug.
"… love can never be maintained between two big stars, only courtesy…. It is not possible for big stars to love each other. Even stars like Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar were just courteous to each other. Salman and Shah Rukh must have decided to be mature and courteous and that is something that must be maintained," said Papa Khan.
This surely would have made foot-in-the-mouth Narendra Modi sigh with relief, seeing that it was not his "puppy" allegory that was now trending on Twitter but the Papa! The BJP biggie, who knows best how to let "every dog has his day," could have hailed the hug, for it literally let "sleeping dogs lie"!
For Congress Crown Prince Rahul Gandhi, too, it must have been a relief to find that it wasn't "Pappu" but "Papa" that was now the flavour of the footage on tamasha TV and Twitter.
So, the Sallu-SRK hug literally became the "Baap" of all patch-ups by contributing Papa to the Puppy and Pappu on Twitter India!
The writer is a social media critic