Yes, Samantha and Naga Chaitanya are finally married.
Let's not pretend that we had no interest at all in knowing which saree she was wearing (Naga Chaitanya's grandmother's, if you still don't know), who her designer was, where the wedding happened, and who made up the guest list. It's far more rewarding to read about the custom made jewellery that the gorgeous Samantha wore than the plight of the economy.
So now that we've got this out of the way, can we stop asking if Samantha will continue to act after marriage? Can we especially stop asking the Akkineni family if she will do so, as if they are the ones who have the right to decide the answer?
Obviously, nobody is asking Naga Chaitanya the same question.
One understands why. After all, many of our top women actors have gone into oblivion once they were married.
The cinema industry is extremely competitive and given that most heroines are objectified on screen, families usually lay down a condition that a woman actor must give up her career once she has been "domesticated".
Mainstream cinema sells heroines as fantasies and it's considered improper for a married woman to play that role in the minds of other men. Not just the families, filmmakers too believe so. A decade ago, a woman actor would be hesitant to even reveal that she was in a committed relationship because people in the industry would assume that she's ready to walk down the aisle. Which is the same as walking the plank, as far as her career was concerned.
As Samantha herself said, when the couple announced that they were going to get married, film offers started to dry up.
However, times have now changed. Ever so slowly but still. In Bollywood, we have mainstream women actors who are open about their committed relationships, some of them are married and some are even mothers - Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Radhika Apte, Sunny Leone, and Anushka Sharma among others.
Women who chose to stay away from the limelight after marriage have also made a comeback, like Sridevi and Kajol.
In the south, too, we're seeing comeback queens like Manju Warrier and Jyothika bag good projects and command a fanbase. Even though both of them had to give up their career to get married, the acceptance they find from the audience shows that the old rules about women, cinema, and marriage don't hold true any more.
Actors like Rima Kallingal, Amala Paul (who is divorced and continues to act) and Meena have not put an end to their career simply because they decided to get married. Nayanthara, who had, at one point decided to marry Prabhu Deva and wrap up her film career, is the highest paid woman actor in the south Indian industries today - and she doesn't bother to hide her relationships from the public any more. Trisha was briefly engaged but didn't stop signing films.
Samantha has repeatedly said that she is not going to fall into a blackhole after she gets married. She is even doing a Bollywood film, we hear. Aal izz well.
Now that the cinema industry as well as film audiences have finally made progress in this department, it's silly of the media to not move on.
The 'Will she act after marriage?' is such a dinosaur that it's time we struck it off the list of questions. By all means, let's ask Samantha all about her lehenga if she's happy to tell us. Is that colour powder blue or cyan? And how many varieties of starters did they serve?