Anushka, for love’s sake, don’t back off!


Manoj Sebastian was livid on twitter because of Anushka Sharma!  Why?  Because she happened to be in Sydney watching her boy friend Virat’s semi final game against Australia.  A game where India lost and Virat – the star Indian batsman – scored just 1 run.  As per this guy Manoj, the reason for his bad performance was this.

…who asked her to go to scg? can’t she watch on TV? kohli wasted all his energy previous night with her.his 1 run is proof.
TOI's immense interest in Virat & Anushka's private life!
TOI’s immense interest in Virat & Anushka’s private life!

The implication is clear.  It was being tom-tomed by TOI in one of the videos that Anushka is staying in Virat’s room.  So, Manoj avers that Virat and Anushka would have rolled a bit too much in the room for him to sustain his energy for the next day.  That this is cheaply prying into someone’s personal life is obvious.  But it reflects Manoj’s estimation of his own sexual prowess extrapolated on Virat!  If he can’t sustain the act, our twitter troll thinks, no one can.

Anushka Sharma (credits due to the original photographer)
Anushka Sharma (credits due to the original photographer)

And, this vicarious voyeurism is on display on twitter from many Indians.  Couple of points before we move forward:

  • It is not all the Indians.  It is not only the Indian males.  It is not all the Indian males – who are trolling and dissing Anushka Sharma.  So it is neither an “Indian mindset” issue, nor is it an “MCP issue”!  So let us get that out of the way please.  In a billion plus population, a few hundred just don’t make up a national mindset.  Just like despite so many Americans passing racist diatribes against the Indian-American girl who became Ms. USA, Americans aren’t all racist, a few hundred Indians (males and females and of all religions) making silly and outrageous remarks do not make Indians misogynist!
  • Virat Kohli is a thorough professional.  Otherwise, one doesn’t rise to this level in one of the toughest cricket markets in the world – India!  He has been called a combination of Tendulkar and Dravid – that by any means is not a small praise.  So, let us not judge someone who is such a winner by the levels of mediocrity that twitterati shows.  He knows what to do, how to play and how to give his best.  Even Bradman couldn’t score a single run in his last match that could have made him a perfect batsman!  No Anushka there for sure!
The famous Virat kiss!
The famous Virat kiss!

Let us look at another thing – although I am in no way suggesting this ever happened with Virat, for one has no right to talk of anyone’s private life – to be sure if Manoj actually has any basis for his outburst?  Does sex hurt athletic performance of sports-people?  The answer is “No one knows”.  At least scientific reasoning doesn’t suggest so.

There have been few studies looking specifically at sex and athletic performance but results were inconclusive. For example, a mid-90s study looked at the effects of sex on measures like aerobic power and oxygen pulse among 11 men running on treadmills. The men were tested twice, once having sex 12 hours before and once without sex. Putting aside the fact that it was a very small sample size with limited testing, the data came back showing the results from both experiments were no different.
Another review of 31 studies on sex and athletics published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found weak evidence that having sex the night before the competition affects performance. Exhaustion cannot be a great factor since most sexual intercourse burns only 25–50 calories—the equivalent of walking up two flights of stairs. The authors of that research conclude that it likely just depends on the person. Some may feel that sex helps them relieve anxiety, while for others it becomes a distraction.

So at least Manoj’s strawman is out of the way.

#AnushkaSharma for love's sake don't back off! Show up at Virat's games again.. and AGAIN! U Go Girl! @Anushkasharma #CWC15 Click To Tweet

Now let us look at the diversity of those who dissed Anushka to see how a perversion and debased mindset runs across the spectrum.

[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “Vile tweets on Anushka Sharma” on Storify</a>]

Lastly, one is bewildered at the reactions from one other context.  Why is Anushka staying with Virat such a news?  Is that such a big deal?!!  Let us look at it a bit closely:

One, very few in public glare actually have the commitment and the conviction to publicly declare love for another public figure.  It is not done because the commitment levels are low and the future changes are so common.  In that situation, here is a couple which has committed to each other in public.  That isn’t a small thing!  Let us admire them for this.

Two, is living in or having an intimate time with one’s loved one such a rarity in India?  That too in Delhi, Mumbai and other large cities, where most of the twitter users are from?  In this day and age of live-in relationships and sexual intimacy openly starting from school age, with India Today Sex Surveys suggesting the mindsets are changing and becoming bolder – why are we so pretentious and prudish?  Why is it ok for some to do what they want as per 2015 and question the other as if s/he belongs to 1965?

So, let us get off our high-horse of garbled morality and accept that two loving beings with commitment and professionalism will do that right thing!

Given the sad and shameful attack by some of the twitterati against the couple, one can easily understand why it will be very tough for another lady (or man) to ever show up at an important sports event of a loved one!  Anushka would probably think twice after this harassment!  As would other women.  But for the sake of love, and redemption of Virat’s professional stature, I hope that she goes to the very next game of Virat’s and keeps doing so until her love triumphs over the prejudice of a few silly and shallow minds.  And when Virat scores his next double hundred with her present, as I know he would itch to do, we will know if Anushka is really a “panauti”?  Or a loving presence in the life of a star cricketer of our generation!

Go Anushka!  And, all the best Virat for your next big one!  Let’s hope love triumphs over all hate and pettiness!

Virat and Anushka (credit due to the original photographer)
Virat and Anushka (credit due to the original photographer)

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