Good morning. Wake up. Smell the copy. Asian Age’s lead picture, the stuff that is bang at the top centre, had this headline:
Exclusive: Shoaib's Hyderabad 'wife'.
There was a photograph of a smiling young woman, rather studious looking. The caption stated:
First look: Ayesha Siddiqui, who “married” Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, in happier times. Her father, Mr Ahmed Siddiqui, is trying to get a divorce for his daughter from Malik, who, Mr Siddiqui claims, “tormented” Ayesha before deserting her. Shoaib Malik denies Ayesha and he were ever married.
A few things bother me:
- Why are the words wife and married in quotes? If the newspaper believes this is not certain, then ought it not to produce some evidence?
- If she is not the wife, and even if she is, does this require such prominence?
- Is this not a personal matter between the two individuals and their families? True, it is a cross-border alliance, but it is also about human relationships.
- Shoaib Malik had made a huge noise about how he loved her and there was talk of marriage in the days when the relationship came to light. In a recent interview he denied the marriage and stated “family differences”. That report mentioned that his colleagues were dissuading him because of the girl’s weight. With all this as background information, why is the woman being exposed?
- The picture has been credited to the newspaper; someone must have visited and the girl consented. Perhaps she is trying to salvage the situation? It is possible that the family too wants some attention, although if I recall she was absolutely against any publicity earlier.
PS: When will newspapers stop this clichéd use of “in happier times”? It is particularly ridiculous in this context because it was a solo picture and would have been taken recently, which is why it is “exclusive” and ‘newsworthy’. So, are we being told that these are happier times?! And even if it is after their separation, does it convey that people, men and women, suddenly become unhappy or project it?
French President Nicolas Sarkozy married Carla Bruni at the Elysee Palace. Francois Lebel, mayor of Paris’ eighth arrondissement, called it "a moment of family intimacy for the young newlyweds, of great simplicity and apparently a lot of affection between the spouses. I wished them a lot of happiness."
I found the young newlyweds part cute. Even more importantly, Sarko has shown in their short romance that he can stand by a woman and not merely treat her as a trophy. I am aware that he divorced his wife four months ago and it is too short a time to move on…but people do. And that marriage lasted quite a bit so there were already fissures. Sarko did not hide Carla, and not only in France but elsewhere too; he clearly expressed his disappointment when she could not accompany him; he has made this official because he is in a position where there’s greater scrutiny and he wants her to be respected. He has a history; she has one too…no one is putting hers under scrutiny in a negative way.
I don’t care what kind of a president he is, but Sarko is a true man at least in this context.