Valentine’s Day: Bollywood romances, reel to real
Dilip Kumar-Saira Banu: Co-stars in films like Gopi (1970), Sagina (1974) and Bairaag (1976), Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu married in 1966. She was 22, he was 44. They have weathered illness and rumours of infidelity but remain married today.
Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bhaduri: Theirs was a love story that seemed scripted by Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan had been labeled a ‘flop actor’ and Jaya Bhaduri, at the peak of her career and fame, was practically the only actress who would co-star with him, appearing in films like Bansi Birju, Ek Nazar, Piya Ka Ghar, all made in 1971, and then Zanjeer (1972) which shot Big B to stardom. They went on to marry in 1973, star in Sholay, Mili and Abhimaan, and have a son Abhishek and daughter Shweta. Today, they are Bollywood’s first couple.Sunil Dutt-Nargis: They fell in love in Mills & Boon fashion after he rescued her from a fiery death on the sets of 1957 classic Mother India. They married the next year and Nargis retired from the screen. They had three children together – actor Sanjay, politician Priya and Namrata – and remained happily married till her death, of cancer, in 1981.
Shammi Kapoor-Geeta Bali: They met on the sets of 1955 film Rangeen Raaten and had a temple wedding four months later. Mr and Mrs Shammi Kapoor had a son Aditya and daughter Kanchan together but were married for just 10 years, till Geeta Bali died of smallpox in 1965.
Dharmendra-Hema Malini: The presence of a wife and young children could not prevent this love story from taking birth and then exploding on the sets of Sholay (1975), where Dharmendra is popularly believed to have bribed the film crew to mess up takes so he could embrace Hema Malini over and over again. They married in 1980, having converted to Islam to do so, and have two daughters, Esha and Ahaana, together.
Dev Anand-Kalpana Kartik: They married secretly while shooting for 1954 film Taxi Driver. They had son Suneil and daughter Devina. Kalpana Kartik’s last film was Nau Do Gyarah (1957), co-starring her husband. They remained married till Dev Anand died in 2011.
Shashi Kapoor-Jennifer Kendal: They met while working in theatre and, under the disapproving eye of Jennifer’s father Geoffrey Kendal, fell in love and married in 1958. Shashi and Jennifer Kapoor co-starred in films like Bombay Talkie (1970) and Junoon (1978) and had three children – Karan, Kunal and Sanjana – together. Jennifer Kapoor died of cancer in 1984, leaving her husband bereft.
Rajesh Khanna-Dimple Kapadia: Their 1973 wedding, just months before the 16-year-old Dimple’s debut film Bobby released and became a superhit, left a trail of broken hearts among Rajesh Khanna’s female fans. They had two daughters, Twinkle and Rinke, but then separated in 1982. For this couple, there was no happily-ever-after but they never divorced, remaining on good terms till Rajesh Khanna’s death in 2012.
Kishore Kumar-Madhubala: Co-stars in films like Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (19858) and Jhumroo (1961), Madhubala was already ill and hoping to go abroad to have the hole in her heart treated when the married Kishore proposed to her. He divorced first wife Ruma Guha Thakurta and married Madhubala in 1960. Nine years later, she died.
Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh: Teenybopper heartthrobs Rishi and Neetu were a much-loved Jodi in Seventies blockbusters like Rafoo Chakkar, Khel Khel Mein and Amar Akbar Anthony before marrying in 1980. Neetu Singh then quit films, as the Kapoor women were expected to do at the time. Recently, Rishi and Neetu – parents to son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima – reunited on-screen and have appeared in the movies Do Dooni Chaar and Besharam.
Randhir Kapoor-Babita: They fell in love while filming 1971 film Kal Aaj Aur Kal and married that very year. They had two daughters, Karisma and Kareena, but separated in 1988 for 19 years after disagreeing over whether or not to let their elder daughter become an actress. They reconciled in 2007.
Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai: Ash and Abhi had appeared in films like Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (2000) and Dhoom: 2 (2006) before Cupid struck on the sets of Guru (2007). They married that year, became parents to daughter Aaradhya in 2011 and Ash shows no signs of giving up being a stay-at-home mother yet.
Ajay Devgn-Kajol: They met while filming 1994 film Gundaraj and co-starred in hits like Ishq (1997) and Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Thha (1998). Dismissed as an odd couple, Ajay and Kajol surprised everyone by marrying in 1999 and staying married. They are parents to daughter Nysa and son Yug.
Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor: This modern love story began on the sets of Tashan (2008) and Saif and Kareena married in 2012. They continue to star in movies, together and with other actors and have not revealed plans of starting a family. Kareena is step-mother to Saif’s son and daughter from his first marriage to actress Amrita Singh.
Tagged Abhishek, Aishwarya, Ajay, Amitabh, Dharmendra, Dilip Kumar, Dimple Kapadia, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, Nargis, Rajesh Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Saira Banu, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Sunil Dutt