We Indians are known to be apprehensive and shy when it comes to sharing important personal news — whether on social media or in person. To make the wedding announcement, we wait for everything to be confirmed and only then share the news, first with those who are very close to us and then with the rest of the world. Most of us do not share pregnancy news till the completion of third month.
Bollywood celebrities are no different. Till a few years ago, they liked to keep their personal life away from their fans and media. Their affairs, marriages, baby news and even signing new projects were always a hush-hush affair. But last week, we saw not just one, but three celebrities making an important announcement on Instagram — their baby news.
Shahid Kapoor posted a cute post with his daughter Misha announcing that she will become a big sister; Neil Nitin Mukesh shared a post where a stork is carrying a baby and the post read, ‘to be delivered soon’ and tennis player Sania Mirza shared her pregnancy news with another post.
As soon as the announcements were made, congratulatory messages from industry friends and fans started flowing. Shahid Kapoor who married Mira Rajput in 2015, welcomed their daughter in 2016. Mira, in a recent event, had shared that she was looking forward to expanding their family. “Extending your family can only make you strong as kids are the greatest gift,” Mira had said.
Soon after the baby news got out, at an award ceremony, Shahid shared, “I am very happy. We just felt like sharing the news with everybody and Mira wanted to put up the picture on Instagram. It was a spontaneous decision — it just happened.”
Neil Nitin Mukesh married Rukmini last year and the couple is expecting their first child. The actor, who will be seen in a negative role in Saaho, says, “The arrival of our first born hasn’t seeped in yet but I’m definitely very excited for the next phase in my life. I am lucky to have great support system at home, who are constantly guiding Rukmini on the dos and don’ts. We are okay with a girl or a boy as long as the baby is healthy. This is very special since she broke the news to me on my birthday this year. She made a beautiful handwritten card and inserted it in the gift, which was actually the medical reports carefully wrapped up. It was a total surprise.”
To this, Rukmini Sahay states, “Neil will be a doting father, just as he is a fantastic husband. He loves children. The family has been taking great care of me. We have been doing a lot of baby shopping over the past few months apart from doing a lot of activities together like meditation, yoga and music.” The couple is currently in Abu Dhabi, where Neil is shooting for Saaho. “Since I won’t be able to travel later, I am making the most of it in Abu Dhabi with Neil now,” says Rukmini.
The changing attitude
In a country where stars are judged mostly on the parameters of appearance, it’s not easy for heroines to flaunt their overweight and at times, out of shape, physique during pregnancy. They are worried that it could be detrimental to their careers and they could lose their fans too. So Bollywood actresses have always tried to hide news of their pregnancy as long as they can. Sridevi kept the birth of both her daughters a secret. When Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan were expecting their daughter (Aaradhya), Ash tried to cover her body in such a way that her baby bump was not visible at public functions, but finally Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter and announced the news. Rani Mukerji, just like her marriage, tried to keep news of her pregnancy away from the media.
According to a lady manager of a star however, today, celerities are not shy of sharing their personal life with the world. “Look at Kareena Kapoor, she was seen walking the ramp flaunting her baby bump. She is a leading lady and had no qualms showing to the world that she is pregnant. Earlier, our heroines were expected to be all good looking and in shape but not any more. Our audiences have evolved and they accept celebrities as they are. Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao sharing the news of their son’s arrival through surrogacy is sign of a social change,” she says.
Why choose social media to make the announcement? “Because they can share it their own way and nothing is distorted by the media,” she adds.
To this, another celebrity PR says, “There is so much written about a celebrity’s life on social media — everything is available instantly. Often, many of the news items are not factually correct, hence the celebs prefer to share the news themselves so that they can control what and how things are written about them.”
Also, adds the publicist, “Even if they do not share news about their personal life with the media, it still gets out. Maybe people, with whom the stars have shared the news intentionally or unintentionally, share it with the media. People talk about it without the celeb’s knowledge and permission.”
Anyway, for those who are interested in knowing who is dating or marrying whom and who is in the family way, social media accounts of celebs are what they need to check out.