10 May, 2021

The Double Deuce

The Sania-Shoaib-Ayesha affair had the nation transfixed. How did old-world Hyderabad take to the whole mess?

P. Anil Kumar
The Double Deuce

As the star reporter of Hyderabad’s leading Urdu paper Siasat begins recounting the developments on Day Six of our most closely-watched love triangle drama in recent times, his ageing editor, Zahid Ali Khan, is looking anything but pleased. One would think it’s the stuff of every newspaper editor’s dream: young, attractive tennis star Sania Mirza—the scion of Hyderabad’s shrinking aristocracy and the darling of its modernising Muslim youth—announces her engagement to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik months after breaking off her engagement to local boy Sohrab Mirza. A day later, a mysterious girl with two names—Ayesha and Maha Siddiqui—surfaces with an old story of a messy marriage with Shoaib. Threats of legal action fly and the Pakistani cricketer scurries ahead of his baraat to his fiancee’s home in an attempt to clear his name. Instead, he gets embroiled in police charges of cheating, cruelty and harassment, with the “wronged woman” threatening to produce his...

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