What does it say about us as a society when a man posts a photo of a sweet gesture by his wife, and is in turn inundated with lewd comments? Nothing good, we assure you.
Let us recap: Shadab Khan, who is currently in India with the team for the ICC World Cup 2023, is celebrating his birthday today. On Tuesday night, the all-rounder posted a video on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) that showed his hotel room decked in birthday decorations, with flowers, gifts and pictures of him arranged on the bed with the caption “Birthday surprise from my wife. I can’t thank Allah enough for having her in my life”.
You would think that’s a sweet message, but apparently you would be wrong as many users on X decided to only focus on — wait for it — the bed.
Khan has since deleted the video from the platform but we’re still not over the reactions that came in. Why is it that the mere sight of a bed, decorated or not, prompted people to make disgusting innuendos and lewd jokes?
Are we as a society so averse to love that a sweet and romantic gesture from a wife only looks carnal to us? The overt sexualisation of a thoughtful gesture should concern us all.
The comments under his Instagram post include criticism for celebrating his birthday ‘instead of preparing for the tournament’. Look, we’re as invested in our team’s performance as the next person, but really this is taking it to the next level of surveillance. Perhaps if people are such loyal fans, they should consider how filthy remarks can take a toll on the player.
What our people need to realise is that celebrities are also people and they live their lives while they work, just like the rest of us. So relax, the team will play the way it’s supposed to play regardless of whether someone’s wife throws them a surprise or not.
Such comments under what was meant to be a simple appreciation post by Shadab for his wife show us that we have no boundaries and that we have clearly forgotten about love and equated it with sexuality. Many people think that showing affection is not a part of our “culture” and something to be ashamed of. Until this mentality is changed and we think of love as a beautiful feeling rather than something taboo that needs to be hidden away, we will not be able to change how we perceive things. Case in point, a bed!
This issue makes us wonder: if a young couple who just got married where the husband is one of Pakistan’s most beloved cricketers, and the wife is a private individual — who also happens to be the daughter of legendary cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq — can face such repulsive comments, what must it be like for normal folk who face bullying at the hands of online trolls?
Such remarks not only show the state of decline that we are in as a society, but also that the trolls have no regard for the values they so adamantly advocate for. We hope that Shadab Khan celebrates his birthday in full swing, without caring about such vile comments.