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Bollywood lives and loves
Deepa Gumaste | January 16, 2003 16:13 IST
And they lived happily ever after is an all too familiar denouement for Bollywood.
In the end, the hero and heroine overcome several seemingly insurmountable hurdles and, more often than not, blissfully walk into the sunset. Interestingly, many of these joyous endings spilled onto real life. In fact, the love stories of film stars, their secret weddings, illicit affairs, heartache, separation and reunion can provide innumerable plots for the screen.
In 1954, Dev Anand proposed marriage to Taxi Driver costar Kalpana Kartik. One afternoon, the screen duo tied the knot during lunch on the film's set.
Equally dramatic was Shammi Kapoor's wedding with the glamorous Geeta Bali. Fearing parental opposition, the couple had a secret ceremony at the Banganga temple in south Mumbai at dead of night!
In 1957, when Mehboob Khan was shooting Mother India, Nargis was trapped in a fire on the set. Her gallant costar Sunil Dutt jumped to her rescue. A grateful Nargis -- who was playing Dutt's mother in the film -- graciously consented to be his wife.
Not all love stories of the time ended in matrimony. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar's relationship was thwarted by her father Ataullah Khan who did not want his daughter to marry the Pathan. Eventually, she married Kishore Kumar. In 1966, Dilip Kumar, then 44, tied the knot with Saira Banu, who was exactly half his age, 22.
The 1970s saw a fresh burst of star relationships. In 1971 or thereabouts Jaya Bhaduri -- already a star with Guddi -- fell in love with another newcomer Amitabh Bachchan and signed four films with him.
Soon after Zanjeer made Amitabh -- a flop until then -- a star the couple planned to go on a celebratory trip to London. But Amitabh's mother Teji was keen they married before they went on holiday. Jaya put her career on the backburner after their children Shwetambari and Abhishek were born in 1974 and 1976 respectively. The marriage survived Amitabh's reported relationship with Rekha through much of the late 1970s. And this family drama tumbled onto the screen when Jaya worked in Yash Chopra's Silsila alongside her husband and Rekha.
Another superstar who had a sudden wedding was Rajesh Khanna. India's first real superstar had women writing him letters in blood and swooning at his sight Elvis style. Kaka, as he was called, dumped girlfriend Anju Mahendru and married 16-year-old Dimple Kapadia in 1973. Raj Kapoor's Bobby had just released, and Dimple was a huge star herself. After nine tumultuous years, the couple parted ways and Dimple returned to showbiz with Ramesh Sippy's Sagar.
After her Bobby costar Rishi Kapoor starred in half-a-dozen films with Neetu Singh they wed in 1980. A few years ago, this fairytale marriage showed the first cracks when Neetu allegedly filed a complaint with the police against her husband for harassment. The storm seems to have passed and today, Rishi says they are happy and together again.
Another duo that had a long screen innings before settling down to marriage was Dharmendra and Hema Malini. They acted in 30 films! together before the dream girl -- who had turned down Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kumar -- finally consented to Dharamji's entreaties and became his second wife. She continued with her career, but never acted with him again.
Smita Patil took a leaf from Hema's book and found her soulmate in already married costar, Raj Babbar. After acting in half-a-dozen films with him, she proclaimed him her husband. A few weeks after the birth of their son Prateek in November 1986, Smita died suddenly. Raj Babbar later returned to his wife, theatre personality Nadira Babbar.
Mithun Chakraborty married Yogeeta Bali -- who was once married to Kishore Kumar -- surprising many people in the industry. Though the marriage hit rough weather thanks to the star's alleged indiscretions, it has survived to this day.
In the decade of the star sons, Sanjay Dutt married relatively unknown actress Richa Sharma, Jackie Shroff wooed and won over one-film wonder Ayesha Shroff, while her Teri Bahon Mein costar and Nutan's son Mohnish Behl married another lesser known actress Ektaa Sharma. Saif Ali Khan defied convention and took the plunge with the gregarious Amrita Singh, several years his senior.
One of Bollywood's most-anticipated weddings took place four years ago when Kajol draped a green nine-yard sari and settled down with long-time boyfriend Ajay Devgan.
And just when showbiz thought Akshay Kumar would never relinquish his Casanova image, he stumped everyone with a rather hurried wedding with Twinkle Khanna, Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia's daughter. This, after he was linked with Pooja Batra, almost married Raveena Tandon and proclaimed his love for Shilpa Shetty.
Last year Aamir Khan and Reena Dutta -- neighbours who fell in love long before he became a star-- decided to file for divorce after over a decade of marriage. Bollywood's new find Vivek Oberoi broke off his engagement with Gurpreet Singh after over five years of being together.
Now comes the shocking news of Abhishek Bachchan and Karisma Kapoor breaking off their engagement. No one knows why the relationship -- which seemed to give Amitabh Bachchan so much happiness and satisfaction -- came unstuck. The only comment has come from Karisma's aunt Neetu Singh who confirmed the development and said it was truly sad.