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Public Obsession with Saif-Kareena, Anushka-Virat Babies and Problematic Paparazzi Culture

Virat-Anushka and Saif and Kareena are Bollywood couples who have welcomed babies recently.

Virat-Anushka and Saif and Kareena are Bollywood couples who have welcomed babies recently.

With Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli and Saif Alia Khan-Kareena Kapoor’s newborns, will it be Taimur 2.0 all over again?

When Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli welcomed their first child in January, they sent out special requests to Bollywood photographers to leave them alone. Seemingly taking a lesson from the life of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor’s son Taimur, in anticipation of hounding paparazzi, Virat and Anushka took this step to protect their newborn’s privacy.

Celebrity parents have a hard time going out with kids, thanks to the swarming photographers who want to capture every moment they spend in public. If you are moderately famous in B-Town, every aspect of your personal life is up for public consumption, including the colour of your kid’s bib.

We have seen this obsession reach ridiculous heights in case of Taimur Ali Khan, Saif and Kareena’s first child. Although photographers have chased other starkids like Shah Rukh Khan’s son AbRam, Aamir Khan’s son Azad or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s daughter Aaradhya, Taimur probably has had it the hardest. Forget about kids, he has probably been the most photographed celebrity across age groups in the past few years. Karan Johar once talked about the ‘rate card’ of Taimur’s photos being the highest among all stars.

Taimur’s parents had little choice other than to grin and bear it, though Saif has occasionally rebuked photographers for crossing their limit. The little kid himself has often found the incessant camera clicks annoying, appearing with a frown or yelling at them, but that has only led to more headlines.

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While viewers collectively cringed at the sight of chasing shutterbugs, they also can’t stop gushing over Taimur’s cuteness and this unending public curiosity around celebrity kids leads to their relentless pursuit. Kareena gave birth to her second child a few days ago, and it is safe to assume that Taimur’s brother will also be subjected to the same amount of hounding.

Hawk-eyed photogs are also waiting for an opportunity to capture a glimpse of Virat and Anushka’s daughter Vamika. It is already being speculated that the baby will make an appearance with her mother at the upcoming test match in Ahmedabad, although it is a little difficult to believe that Anushka would travel with a baby just over a month old.

“While we will always ensure that you get all the content you need featuring us, we would request you to kindly not take or carry any content that has our child. We know that you will understand where we are coming from and we thank you for the same,” the couple had said in their request to the media for protecting their baby’s privacy.

As modern-day celebrities, the cricketer and the Bollywood actress understand social media culture and the need to strike a balance. The statement is proof that while they do not want to alienate the media, as responsible parents they want their child’s life to be as normal as possible.

Take for example Aditya Chopra and Rani Mukerji’s daughter Adira. The filmmaker has shunned cameras all his life and has a strict no-photo policy for Adira too. Other starkids are clicked at Adira’s birthday parties, but the camerapersons are yet to catch a glimpse of her.

That is another extreme that many celeb parent choose not to opt for. Saif and Kareena have often said in interviews that though they find the cameras bothersome, they do understand that the photographers are just doing their job.

From the royal family in the UK to celebrity kids in Hollywood, paparazzi culture exists everywhere. The generations up until Taimur, for example Sridevi’s daughters, or Saif’s older children, still had it easier when they were growing up. Ibrahim and Sara probably did not have photographers stationed outside their home 24×7 during their adolescence. But their younger siblings are not so lucky.

It is definitely a worrying trend and makes one wonder about the kind of personalities these kids will develop once they grow older. With the new batch of celeb babies that have just arrived, it remains to be seen if Taimur’s case is the limit, or just the beginning of an even more desperate paparazzi culture in India.