NEW DELHI: Around 8pm on Thursday, Twitter went delirious. IPL mastermind Lalit
had just posted his photographs with ex-Miss Universe and Bollywood star Sushmita Sen in various poses of endearment. In the accompanying tweet, Modi described her as ” my #betterhalf” and gushed that he was “over the moon”.
Merriam-Webster dictionary says ‘better half’ can mean consort, mate, partner, significant other or spouse. But in India, the meaning provided by Collins English dictionary, one’s wife or husband, is more commonly held.
Which is why as congratulatory posts and sarcastic notes (“honeymoon par India ajao sir!”) poured in, Modi felt the need to be more specific. He posted again from his verified handle, along with some more pictures, “Just for clarity. Not married — just dating each other. That too it (sic) will happen one day.”
The full first tweet went like this: “Just back in london after a whirling global tour #maldives # sardinia with the families — not to mention my #betterhalf @sushmitasen47 — a new beginning, a new life finally. Over the moon.” Strangely, @sushmitasen47 mentioned in Lalit Modi’s tweet doesn’t belong to the Bollywood actor at all. Her verified Twitter account is @thesushmitasen, from where she posted pictures from Sardinia a few days ago. Nonetheless, by 9.45pm, Modi’s first post had been retweeted nearly 3,000 times.
The two seem to know each other for some years. Back in 2011,
had profusely thanked Lalit Modi on Twitter for getting her account verified.
Bollywood and cricket have enjoyed a snug relationship over the decades. Former India captain MAK Pataudi married actor Sharmila Tagore, Reena Roy married Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan in the ’80s. An era later, another India captain (now former) Virat Kohli, is wedded to actor Anushka Sharma. Ravi Shastri once dated Amrita Singh while Viv Richards was in a relationship with Neena Gupta.
Interestingly, IPL married Bollywood with cricket like never before. Shah Rukh Khan (KKR), Juhi Chawla (KKR) and Shilpa Shetty (RR) are co-owners of different teams. Modi is no longer associated with the lucrative IPL following a string of allegations against him. But now, it seems, his Bollywood link is stronger than ever before.