Priyanka Chopra graced the red carpet at 72nd Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, co-ordinating outfits with her husband Nick Jonas. As yet another round of the couple’s “romantic” photo-op made it to social media; it yet again divided the public opinion on their relationship. Is this gorgeous couple giving us relationship goals for real? Or is it just all for the show? How much blushing, PDA, matching clothes, looking longingly at each other is too much? Have Nickiyanka overplayed the romance card, even for their ardent social media followers and fans?

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In the recent picture from Cannes, Chopra and Jonas can both be seen in white, and the matching skills will send prospective grooms and brides in a tizzy. Other set of photographs show the couple in carefully crafted poses which emulate love, intimacy and style. But all this staging to appear picture perfect, well, just makes their relationship looks choreographed. Gone are the days when it was adorable for couples to wear colour co-ordinated outfits and be joined at hips throughout parties and gatherings. In times when relationships are more about giving each other space to prosper, it is hard to digest or not sneer at these smothering levels of public intimacy. But does this revulsion have something to do with our own sensibilities, that we find it impossible to ignore the Chopra-Jonas level of PDA?

India is a country which is still opening up to the idea of public romances, even if the couple concerned is married, or rather, especially when the couple is married. We aren’t used to seeing mums and dads, uncles and aunties, and even younger couples of this generation flaunt affection. Hold hands in public or even in your drawing room, and though shalt incur a stare hard enough to cut a diamond. Which is why when Chopra and her beau go painting the town red, it stirs up the deep seated sedentary conservative beliefs in us, which convince us that all this affection is unreal.

All this staging to appear picture perfect, well, just makes their relationship looks choreographed. Gone are the days when it was adorable for couples to wear colour co-ordinated outfits and be joined at hips throughout parties and gatherings.

Chopra and Jonas’ courtship and ensuing matrimony had its fair share of scrutiny. It still begets them trolling and the desperation to seem happy perhaps stems from a desire to stop tongues from wagging. There have been forecasts that this marriage wouldn’t last long. There were rumours that their alliance is a sham. That is it all for either money or popularity. Who can forget that stingy piece of writing which called Chopra a global scam artist? The hatred this couple has received is beyond comprehension. But is it possible that their co-ordinated romance seems to revolt people so much because it is Nick and Priyanka? It isn’t as if Hollywood hasn’t seen this level of stylised display of affection previously.

Although, whether or not they are giving us relationship goals, depends on your perspective. If PDA and choreographed photographs concern you then you may be right in feeling that Chopra and Jonas nowhere give out true relationship vibes. That couples who actually love each other don’t have to put it up on display every possible second they can. On the other hand, it isn’t easy to be Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. They belong to different cultures, countries, religions and even fields, and then there is the much talked about reverse age gap. They are rich and famous and thus their relationship shall always be under public and media gaze.

It isn’t easy to be Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

Can love flourish when it is put in a fishbowl, for everyone to look at? Their shortcomings, their struggles are for everyone to see and they may be trying to blanket it with display of affection. Is it really a bad thing to fight irrational criticism with love? For couples battling hatred in the name of caste, religion, age, economic disparity, love is their only weapon. They can’t go around shutting each and every tongue which wags against them. What they can do is to continue to live their life on their own terms. And from a certain gaze, it seems this is what Chopra and Jonas are doing.

Besides, success or failure of a romance isn’t determined by how long it lasted, but by how it was lived. On those parameters Chopra and Jonas are doing just fine, they are living the rose tinted world they created for themselves and making the best out of whatever life and celebrity-hood offered to them.

Also Read: Gender Neutral Parenting: A Trend Which Needs To Catch Up In India

 Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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