By Deboshree Banerjee
Watching a love story unfold on the big screen is always magical. We love to immerse ourselves in the stories of star-crossed lovers and get a kick out of the will-they-or-won’t-they teases of a good onscreen relationship. Almost everyone has gotten butterflies watching Raj and Simran weave their spell in the lush yellow fields of Punjab. And remember dancing along to Prem and Nisha’s iconic moves from “Didi Tera Devar Deewana?” From shameless flirting to sultry dancing and steamy kisses, Bollywood movies have gifted us with iconic couples who have teamed up again and again to recreate their magic. So grab your bae (real or imaginary) and get into this list, as we look at the five most popular big screen romances. Did your favourites make the cut?
Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol
It would be disrespectful to not start with the duo that helped make Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) the longest-running movie in Bollywood history. From Baazigar (1993) to Dilwale (2015), Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s love stories have kept you on the edge of your seat through their breakups and makeups, even though you knew they were fated right from the start. However, you would be surprised to know that the most beloved B-town jodi initially weren’t that fond of each other. SRK once messaged Aamir Khan saying that Kajol lacked focus, and advised him not to work with her. Likewise, Kajol in an interview reminisced the shooting of Baazigar, when SRK had asked her to ‘shut up’. But that’s all in the past. They effortlessly continue to be the most celebrated onscreen couple in the history of Indian cinema.
Deepika Padukone & Ranbir Kapoor
Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor first made their onscreen debut as a couple in Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), a film that allegedly sparked their offscreen romance. Despite things fizzling out on that front, the two exes have always been cordial to each other and have never said no to working together, even if it’s an ad or a ramp walk. Their chemistry as Bunny and Naina in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and Ved and Tara in Tamasha (2015) made them one of the most beloved pairs onscreen. As no one can seem to get enough of Ranbir and Deepika, their fans are in for a treat because the former flames will be reuniting for Director Luv Ranjan’s next film.
Aamir Khan & Juhi Chawla
The most adorable duo of the 90s, Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla have proven that together they can do justice to any genre: romance, tragedy, or even comedy. Their onscreen love story began in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), and even after 31 years, the film continues to be one of the most epic stories of all time. The following spate of flops such as Love Love Love (1989), Daulat Ki Jung (1992), Tum Mere Ho (1990) and Aatank Hi Aatank (1995) were redeemed with Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) and Ishq (1997). All through good or bad films, the bubbly duo remained consistently adorable. They are also known for having a love-hate relationship. When asked about it, Juhi very candidly said “Hey man, don’t take our bitching and fooling about all that seriously. Aamir and I get along like a house on fire…and when you’re familiar then you have the right to fool about with each other.” Well, now you know where all the chemistry comes from.
Hrithik Roshan & Kareena Kapoor Khan
It’s been 16 years since Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor Khan have appeared together on the silver screen. Considered one of the hottest couples in Bollywood (and rightfully so!), the duo first teamed up for Yaadein (2001), a musical drama that failed critically and commercially, but showcased great chemistry between the two. This was followed up with the blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and the box office bomb Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (2003). While the audience loved their sizzling chemistry, Dugu & Bebo have never worked together since. Buzz has it that the two fell in love on the sets of Yaadein, and when news about their alleged affair hit the headlines, Hrithik’s then-wife Sussanne Khan had packed her bags and left. As a result, the two decided to part ways amicably.
Raj Kapoor & Nargis
Co-stars in 16 blockbuster movies, Nargis and Raj Kapoor are crowned the most iconic leading pair of all time in Bollywood. From Aag (1948) to Barsaat (1949) to Shree 420 (1955), their onscreen romance is immortal. “Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua”, a cult song, is constantly imitated on different platforms as a tribute to the chemistry that Raj Kapoor and Nargis brought. However, the spark that we saw wasn’t just confined to the 70mm screen. Apparently it was love at first sight for the two on the set of Andaz (1949). All would’ve been good, except that Raj was married to Krishna Kapoor. Nargis reportedly consulted the finest lawyers to see if it was possible to marry a married man. However, this didn’t work out and the two parted ways after Chori Chori (1956). Raj’s son, actor Rishi Kapoor confirmed their relationship in his autobiography, Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored saying, “He was also a man in love – at the time, unfortunately, with someone other than my mother. His girlfriend was the leading lady of some of his biggest hits of the time, including Aag, Barsaat and Awara (1951).”