“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
– Rumi reused later in Rockstar (2011)
Love, the most beautiful, the purest, and the most unadulterated feeling in the world. One feeling that has remained unchanged, be it the 13th century of Rumi, or the times of today, whether in the life of reality or in the life that we see on screen. One of the most passionate acts created by God, love is a painting created by two unique souls, seemingly similar, but different every single time it comes on the canvas of life. And over the years Bollywood has mastered the art of putting these love stories on silver screen.
There are many romantic movies, which taught India about love irrespective of generations and here we are trying to list down some of the most beautiful love stories that Indian Cinema has given us.
Devdas (1955, 2002)
The classic, with Dilip Kumar in the title role, this tragedy had the audience weeping and wiping their tears, when Paro ran after Dev, to seemingly snatch him away from the claws of death, to seemingly reverse and bring back the time of their innocent love that was killed by the harsh rules of society. Nearly 50 years later, when Shahrukh did the same rule, we loved it still, and thus it was proved, that classic love stories are immortal.
And how can we forget the unconditional love that Chandramukhi has for Dev, even after being rebuked time and again by him, for her profession. She nurtures him, cares for him, without expecting anything in return. If that is not a fine example of true and unadulterated love, nothing is. We loved Vaijayantimala, and we loved Madhuri Dixit in the role as well.
Chori Chori (1956)
A rich and spoiled girl, runs away from her home to get married to the love of her life, but here’s the catch, she meets a reporter midway, who himself is in search of a scoop. This cult musical romance had that dreamy edge to it which can make us go mushy even now. A romance that brews up while the main protagonists travel together, this was every bit a true blue romantic comedy of the times. Though the story has been told and retold many other times, none can match the magic that Raj Kapoor and Nargis created in this cute rom-com. An adaptation of the much loved Hollywood movie “It Happened One Night”, we couldn’t care less if it had the same plot, due to the sizzling chemistry of the on-screen pair.
This is a beautiful romance saga, of a poet, and a prostitute with a golden heart. This movie not only showed the society a mirror which reflected its hypocritical self but also had at its core a beautiful love story, that has the power to keep you hooked even today. Gurudutt’s rendition of the failed poet and a man ditched by his own folks was enough to move everyone to tears.
Waheeda Rahman, Mala Sinha, Rehman, Johnny Walker, they all were absolutely fabulous in their roles, and though we feel initially that Vijay’s life is not worth living, in the end, when he ditches it all for the real love of Gulabo, we somehow understand his plight, and his detachment from the otherwise materialistic world. His words finally get his due, only to have himself disassociate from them. Sad, yet sensible, when you give this love story your time.
This masterpiece by K.Asif is still considered one of the best love sagas of all times. The rift between the emperor and son, over a courtesan who dares to reciprocate the love of the prince, was captured magically on screen, with stellar performances by Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Madhubala. Six decades later, the tragic love saga of Salim and Anarkali still manages to give us goose bumps, and Prithviraj Kapoor’s portrayal of Emperor Akbar, a ruthless father, has become immortal.
One abusive husband, a distraught young wife, and a wandering guide. Their lives collide one fateful day, and it is then, that the guide Raju rescues the damsel Rosie and helps her realize all her dreams, at the terrible cost of losing every relation he has. The beautiful backdrop, soulful songs, and a beautiful Waheeda Rehman crooning and dancing to the tunes, with handsome Dev Anand in tow, it was a treat for the eyes and senses, it still is. A beautiful love story, based on a novel by R.K.Narayan, this stays in our hearts even now.
An army officer and the daughter of a doctor fall in love, at first sight, against the beautiful backdrop of a hilly terrain. Add beautiful melodious renditions by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, and you have a love story that turns us mushy even today. The pain comes through to us when they are separated by the cruel hand of fate, but when we see the love Vandana showers secretly over her son, even if as her governess, we think for a while that she might have got her solace.
However, the true test of a mother’s love comes when we see her serving a sentence to save the only surviving love of her life, her son. Years later, when Suraj, as a grown up pilot meets her again, the emotions portrayed still make us misty-eyed. The performances are brilliant beyond power, and we love both the avatars of superstar Rajesh Khanna; as the heartthrob Arun, and later on as Suraj.
Amar Prem (1972)
Another one of the gems, starring the beautiful pair of Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, this movie shows the plight of living as a prostitute in a world which shows them no respect. That was the time when courtesans and prostitutes were actually brilliant artists, who sold their art and their heart, but with dignity, but even that was stripped by the society. We love the beautiful music and love the uncomplicated, yet beautiful relation that Pushpa and Anand Babu share. Though there is nothing physical in their relation, but the sheer love for her voice shows the purity of the bond between them, which remains unchanged even decades later when they come face to face.
A movie that gave wings to the love of every teenager of the time, it launched two heartthrobs of the time Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. Bikinis, Kisses, and all things innocent, it portrayed the very aspect of love our society was repelled at, still is. But it still became the freshest and most beautiful love story that we love replay even now, decades after it hit the silver screen. The disparity of rich and poor, religion, mentality, and pretty much everything, was overcome by these two teenagers, who fell in love with each other despite all of it. Though many years have passed, but the love of Raj & Bobby is still fresh as the morning dew on daisies.
A political saga, it showed how power and responsibility can sometime eat up the lives and love of those involved, how ambition and lack of time can sometimes, be an ally to your most precious relations. Two people meet, fall in love, get married, and have a beautiful family. But here is when fate plays a funny part. The girl’s father wants her to step into his shoes, of that of a renowned politician. Soon, rifts occur in the marital heaven and power and ambition eat up the haven that they created. They separate, only to meet again after years, and realize that their love hadn’t died, they just didn’t give it another chance to survive. A beautiful movie, it is still known for its unmatched performances and beautiful melodies to match it.
Inter-religion marriage and a baby out of wedlock. This was yet another movie which broke the norms of society, against the backdrop of love. This Lakshmi & Vikram starrer was a recipe for disaster in those times when even a kiss was depicted with flowers. Surprisingly, it became a huge hit. And why not? The sizzling chemistry between fresh faces, beautiful melodies, a crisp screenplay, and a tough message for the society, this movie had it all.
So much was the success of this movie revered, that it was remade three times, and a hit every single time. One of the boldest and most beautiful love stories of all times, we can’t help but feel all mushy when someone croons…”Dil Kya Kare, Jab Kisise… Kisi Ko Pyar Ho Jaye…”
Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
Your first love, might not be your last. Sometimes, you have to lose the one you love, to gain someone who loves you even more. This love story that spans two generations, had two lovers who were separated by compulsions and norms of society, only to come face to face after decades, as the parents/guardians of their children who have fallen in love with each other. We still love the way Amitabh Bachchan crooned the lines, “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein, Khayal Ata Hai… Ke Jaise Tujhko Banaya Gaya Hai Mere Liye”
Love Story (1981)
Every once in a while, Bollywood has given us fresh faces, which make even the most cliché of stories, bestsellers. Same is the case of this blockbuster from the 80s. Introducing the cutest couple of the time, Bunty, and Pinky, played by Kumar Gaurav and Vijeta Pandit respectively. Two teenagers run away from their respective homes, for their own reasons. When they meet, sparks fly. They fight, but ultimately fall in love. The glitch? Their parents too share a complicated love triangle of a story. This is one cute story we will always love.
Seemingly “inspired” from the real life story of Amitabh, Jaya, and Rekha, this was a movie that sparked a controversy in conservative times but was beautiful in its own way. It might have been way ahead of its time, and the love story might have been odd to digest when you couldn’t think of extra-marital affairs, but “Silsila” still managed to strike a chord, and the beautiful music by Shiv-Hari, Shivkumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia only increased our love for the classic.
Saath Saath (1982)
Amazing how time flies away. One look at this beautiful pair of Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval together, and one time you hear the beautiful rendition “Tumko Dekha, To Ye Khayal Aaya” and you fall in love with it. A beautiful love story, it shows us everything from the perspective of real world issues and not rosy tinted glasses. You might not love everything it has to offer, and might be appalled when the love birds transform into a cribbing pair of husband and wife, but you empathize with them and love them when they ultimately cope with the fact that they are meant for each other, and that they can endure every problem together. Indeed, a beautiful story to watch and rewatch.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Adapted from the famous tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”, this movie was loved by all and sundry at the time of its release and still is. The gorgeous and innocent couple portrayed by the then debutantes Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, had all our hearts melting in quick successions when they met, and had it breaking into a million pieces when they breathed their last in each other’s arms. Though made and remade, none of the versions can match the melody and innocence of this one, which has the power to make you misty eyes, even on multiple watches.
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
The dashing Prem (Salman Khan), romanced the beautiful Suman (Bhagyashree) in the most romantic sequence of time, on a roof top. We loved them both then and love them both even now. Even the huge gap of class and upbringing could not separate these two extremely good looking love birds. We loved every bit of their story, from the first meet to the first intense proposal, to the celebration of their love on Suman’s birthday.
We cry when Prem toils day and night to earn her father’s approval, are scared when Suman is seemingly dragged to death, and cheer when at the end they get united. The innocence of that romance was unmatched and has us falling in love even now, 25 years later.
What do you do, when the daughter of the woman you had loved, falls in love with you years later? This surely was a mismatched story of two mismatched people, but love endured all, and with a happy ending, somehow even we were convinced, that these were the two lost souls, meant for each other. Anil Kapoor was perfect in his role in the first half as an awkward youngster who falls in love with a married woman elder to him, and his performance was even more refined in the second half when fate turns the tables and the daughter of the same woman falls in love with him. Sridevi looks beautiful and emoted perfectly the confusion of a girl hopelessly in love. A true gem of romance, this movie is a cult classic.
Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi (1991)
If you loved the classic romance of Raj Kapoor and Nargis in “Chori Chori”, you sure would love another desi remake of the Hollywood classic “It Happened One Night”. Starring none other than the chocolate boy of the time Aamir Khan, and the cute, aggressive, and lively Pooja Bhatt, we love every aspect of the movie, right from the awesome dialogues to the beautiful songs, and the electric chemistry between the lead pair. The sparkling, cribbing, yet cute and loving relationship between the lead pair had us all falling in love with the movie.
A big political event that caused religious tension, and two people of different cultures falling head over heels in love with each other. This is a gem from Maniratnam that had all the elements of a cult classic love story. Based on the infamous Babri Masjid demolition, and the Bombay riots after that, it focused on the story of Shekhar and Shaila, who fall in love and get married despite of getting opposition from their own people, and have two beautiful babies together. But their peaceful paradise get caught up in the storm of riots, and the turmoil begins. They lose their parents, and look helplessly for their boys who are nowhere to be found in a city caught up with mindless hatred. Maniratnam brilliantly put across his views on the event through this beautiful love story, decorated beautifully the masterpieces of A.R.Rahman.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
The movie that shot SRK to stardom, DDLJ was a love story everyone dreamt of, and Raj was a lover every girl dreamt of. Sparks fly when a Casanova meets a simple yet headstrong girl, on their trip. They meet, they fall in love, and they part ways. But love tugs and the same ties that pulled them apart bring them closer. Be it the infamous Casanova “Raj”, or the simple charm of “Simran”, the friendly mom, or the dad who loves his daughter yet hates the guy whom she loves, we could relate to each and every character. Who can forget the bridge scene; “Palat, palat… Palat”, or even the epic climax when finally Simran’s father leaves her hand and she runs to be with the one and only love of her life.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
Friendship is love, but maybe it doesn’t happen for both of them at the same time. Two best friends parted ways due to one-sided love but are later reunited and brought together by the eight-year-old daughter who learns about them through her deceased mother’s letters. This movie told us that love can happen for the second time, with the same person you couldn’t recognize when she was right in front of you. Be it then, be it now, we love this movie.
Dil Se… (1998)
Another one of Maniratnam’s masterpieces, and yet another movie with soulful renditions by A.R.Rahman, this movie was a controversial love story between an AIR Program Executive and a suicide bomber. A fresh yet frightening perspective, though this movie was not a commercial hit at the time of its release, it is now considered one of the classics of the genre. The intense love between Amarkant and Meghna is scary yet beautiful, and impossible as you realize that death is the only path this story will take. A beautiful classic, this shows that how the power of love can sow a seed into the most barren hearts and make them come alive.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
A beautiful romantic musical, it showed us two sides of love; one, an innocent first love, that suffers the wrath of society and fails to survive the tests of life and time, and the other, the non-expressive yet caring side of love, who is ready to do anything, even if it hurts and kills his soul. A different take, it actually told us that sometimes, first love is not necessarily the one to stay with you all your life.
Veer Zaara (2004)
An Indian army officer rescues a feisty Pakistani girl from an accident site, and the both eventually fall for each other. They separate, to the seemingly impossible fate of their feelings for each other, and destiny plays a cruel part in keeping them apart for no reason, but years later, a young girl brings these two lost souls together and completes their beautiful love story. It was a tear jerking love saga, one of its kind, and loved by everyone.
Hum Tum (2004)
Two strangers, meet time and again, and grow up over time and its trials, to finally realize that they are the love they had been running from all their lives. The beauty with which the lead characters have been shown to develop with their age, is unmatched. From cribbing teenagers to mature professionals, their love is evident in all the fights they have with each other, every time they meet. Loved it then, love it now.
The story of two childhood friends, separated by monetary status and the societal norms of the time, this different take on Sharatchandra’s classic novel had all the essentials of a beautiful love, and it proved itself worthy, frame by frame. In the end, love conquers all, and time, society, all are spell bound, when Shekhar brings his Lolita home, and the firecrackers lighten up the skies of the Calcutta of the 1960s.
Jab We Met (2007)
What can happen to a guy who has lost everything in life, and is about to kill himself? Geet, a beautiful chatterbox of a girl who unintentionally barges into his life and teaches him how to live, and how to fall in love, not knowing that she is the one. But then the tides turn for Geet, and she loses her beautiful lease of life, and then it is time for Aditya, to return the favor. And when they kiss, we cheer.
Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008)
One angelic guy, and a fiery gal, both best of friends, and unaware of the fact, that they are soulmates, no matter how different from each other. And no matter how cliché the airport scene might be, we can’t help but cheer, when Jai “Rats” Singh Rathore runs across to stop Aditi “Meow” Mahant from boarding her flight, and proposes to her in the cutest manner. We will forgive you for being so out of tone here Jai. From here, we all started crooning the long forgotten Kishore Da number again, “Tera Mujhse, Hai Pehle, Ka Naata Koi…”
It takes the pain of true love, to bring out the true artist inside you. The suffering gives way to pain and give music to your lyrics. Janardan and Heer’s love story faces the cruel twists of fate, at this terrible cost. Together they can’t stay, and apart they can’t live. Heer dies and Janardan destroys himself with his music, to ultimately believe that he will meet her beyond the boundaries of right and wrong. The quotes of Rumi and A.R.Rahman’s soulful renditions made this heart-wrenching tale all the more beautiful.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)
Quite a cliché, the nerdy girl falls in love with the flirty guy, who realizes his feels for her years later, this story still gives us those goofy smiles, those feelings of nostalgia, and those mushy feelings when we relive those moments on screen. We fall in love with them on the cliff when they shout together, we fall in love with them when the share a kiss beside a lake, and we fall in love with them when they confess their love with the start of New Year. Love and friendship, this movie made us fall in love with all those small things in life, which we apparently forget and leave behind, in the race to excel.
Love completes two incomplete souls, and brings together two imperfect people, in the creation of a perfect life. These movies might have, or might not have happily-ever-afters, but surely gave us some memorable stories, with lessons to learn, where matters of the heart are concerned. Which are your favorite Romantic? Do let us know.