By Richard Lasrado
Bangalore, Mar 5 (9:45 p m): One has been hearing and reading a lot about this pair for long. Filmi gossip glossies and websites are teeming with stories about their being 'close' for quite some time.
That they were being spotted together at jewellery shows, fashion events and such other occasions. That they sat together at the IPL matches or glamour events and whispered sweet-nothings to each other intimately.
The question that arises is a big 'So what?'. Or 'Why not?' Quite naturally so.
Deepika has been linked by gossip mags in the past with a host of celebrities - Nihar, Ranbir, Mahi and so on. Let's get into some personal details. Most sources tell us she was born in Copenhagen, while a few others say she was born in Mangalore. (Given an opportunity to meet sometime in the near future, I could clarify this from her or her parents.)
She is the daughter - elder of the two - of former international badminton champion Prakash Padukone and Ujjala, a travel consultant. The roots of this family are in a village called Padukone in Kundapur taluk. In the world beyond Karnataka, it is pronounced to rhyme with 'cone', while people from Mangalore, Udupi or Kundapur know it should be pronounced to rhyme with 'conay'. (Padukone in Kannada can be loosely translated as 'westside room').
She is a celebrity in her own right, the parents' names apart. She began as a badminton player, switched over to modelling and finally landed in tinsel town.
Siddharth Mallya is the sole male issue of Vijay Mallya, who needs no introduction. Mallya Sr has interests in breweries, aviation, real estate and what have you. Siddharth is the scion of the empire.
Deepika is the brand ambassador of Kingfisher Airlines as well as the Royal Challengers Bengaluru cricket team, both of which are owned by the Mallyas. That being so, proximity and close association should be a natural corollary.
Now Deeps is said to have admitted to Karan Johar during one of the recent episodes of his talk show 'Koffee with Karan' that she has been deeply in love with him (Siddharth). To add to that English cricketer Kevin Pietersen - who was a member of the Royal Challengers team - has reportedly tweeted 'Just had a lovely lunch with Siddharth and his girlfriend Deepika Padukone'.
If it is true, so be it. They would make a wonderful couple. Could we all decide to leave them alone?
Tell you why.
Both are single, yet financially sound and mature enough to decide about their lives. Both are most eminently eligible singles and are of legally marriageable age. If they decide to get married, they won't be breaking anybody's home or family, in contrast to what happens most often in the filmland.
And for those looking for minute details - just in case - both belong to the Saraswat community. Well, there could be a wee bit of nitpicking.
Deepika is a Chitrapur Saraswat (fondly called 'Bhanap') while Siddarth's lineage is of Gowd Saraswat (equally fondly referred to as 'Dorko') from Bantwal.
When I had met the senior Mallya-saab in Mangalore airport sometime in 2006, I happened to broach the subject of his family roots. He was impressed with my general knowledge. There could be a small number of puritans, I am told, who would not approve of an alliance between the two communities.
A small research - courtesy a scholar, Shenai-mam, from Bantwal - reveals that there is a belief that once upon a time both communities had come down from a common stock.
Two brothers Dwarakanath and Bhanappayya were trustees of a religious set-up. A minor misunderstanding resulted in a great divide and they with their followers were torn apart as two separate sub-communities, with mutual social ostracism, ban on alliances and the like coming into force.
Bhanappayya's lineage became 'Bhanaps' and Dwarakanath's came to be called 'Dorkes'. Interesting !
So it is all the more simple now. To Deeps and Sids, shall we say, 'Shubhasya Sheeghram'? (Here's hoping desperately someone hasn't heard it as 'Seagram'!)
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