Regretting over their sharp criticism and ridicule in the past directed towards Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, scores of Keralites have come forward and apologised to Sharapova by flooding her social media accounts with apology notes and messages.
On Wednesday, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar lead the way among the cricket fraternity for unity in India in what was seen as a veiled response to the international media attention that the farmer's protests have received.
The farmers' protest in India received worldwide attention with pop singer Rihanna and environment activist Greta Thunberg extending their support to the issue. In response, Indian celebrities spoke out against foreign involvement in Indian domestic matters.
"India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda," tweeted Tendulkar.
Upset over Tendulkar's stance, Malayalis were reminded of an incident that took place all the way back in 2014 on social media when Who is Maria Sharapova? was one of the biggest trends witnessed on Indian Twitter.
During a press meet 7 years ago, Sharapova was informed about Tendulkar's presence at the match and was questioned if she knew who he was. She simply responded by saying, "I don't."
This led to chaotic scenes online as Sharapova was widely ridiculed, abused, called names by Indians for not knowing one of the most celebrated sportspersons of their country.
Come 2021, Keralites are tendering apology for having a go at Sharapova.
“Sharapova, you were right about Sachin, that he is not a person of quality that you should know,” a social media user commented in Malayalam, in the vein of hundreds of similar messages in the south Indian language.
On Sharapova’s wall, the thousands of comments in Malayalam had a similar pattern. “I am sorry, Maria, the legend. We knew Sachin as a player. But we didn’t know him as a person. You were right and sorry for commenting bad on your FB post,” a user said. One person offered her shawarma and Kuzhimanthi (a type of biryani) and apologised, saying, “I am the sorry”, borrowing words from a Malayalam movie, while another said “One truck load of apologies, sister. We didn’t have your foresightedness. Time proved that you were right.”
On Wednesday, Sharapova posted a cheeky tweet seemingly "related" to the fiasco, and was once again bombarded with apology mentions from people of Kerala.
"Anyone else got their years confused?!" she wrote.
"Sorry for the comments we made in the past," read one reply among the sea of responses.
(With PTI inputs)