What Bollywood's great love stories have in common
Age is just a number, they say. Take the case of the 53-year-old Madonna whose new boyfriend is just 24! Come to think of it, when has age really come in the way of love?
Psychologically, age disparity in couples may create tension but there's a good reason why true romance overcomes all such differences and remains alive.
In Bollywood, marriages between older men and younger women have proved to be hugely successful. We take a look at couples who worked wide age differences to their advantage.
Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor
With wedding bells in a year's time for this couple, Saif's romance with Kareena came with heartbreaks from both sides. Just when everyone thought that this relationship won't be for keeps because of their age difference (he is 41, she's 30) and their wildly different personalities, they proved that love can withstand everything.
Their age gap hasn't affected their relationship which is going from strength to strength. There were, according to grapevine, some concerns in Kareena's family over his age and divorcee status but all that is in the past now.
Image: Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Reuters/Punit Paranjpe
Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin
"He was older and already married and I didn't want to rush into things," she says of Anurag who's 10 years older than her.
All said and done, she did give in to Anurag's "moves" and married him in a traditional ceremony earlier this year. They bond over movies and books and are enjoying the "sense of togetherness."
Image: Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin
Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao
Although they are separated by nine years in age, Aamir and his director wife Kiran Rao give the aura of a mature couple very much in love and in command of their life.
Aamir has often said that Kiran has brought new dimensions to his personality and has introduced him to many new things, including world cinema.
Mr Perfectionist is not only a perfect husband but also a perfect father to Junaid and Ira. One hears the kids get along rather well with Kiran.
Image: Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao
Sanjay Dutt and Maanyata
Maanyata's marriage to the much-older Sanjay (52, and father of a very grown up daughter) has weathered many storms including heated opposition from the Dutt family.
After the birth of their twins last year, it seems Mrs Dutt has finally found acceptance.
Image: Sanjay Dutt and Maanyata
Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah
They are aging gracefully and seem to be at the peak of their career belting out one great performance after another. Once, when asked by a magazine if there's any scope for ego between them, he put it in his inimitable style, "There's never A Star is Born situation in our lives because we aren't in competition with each other."
Image: Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah
Kabir Bedi and Parveen Dusanj
At 65, Kabir is sprightly and wooed the much-younger Parveen who is of the same age as his daughter Pooja. Kabir is a hopeless romantic and believes in true love.
He once told Mid Day newspaper, "Age has nothing to do with how romantic an individual is. When you love someone, you want them to feel good, wanted. Romantic gestures are a way of expressing your feelings, and that does not depend on how old you are."
Image: Kabir Bedi and Parveen Dusanj
Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu
He was 45, already a superstar settling into comfortable domesticity and she was 22, beautiful and madly in love with the man of her dreams.
This is not to say that their marriage didn't have its share of ups and downs; news of Dilip's marriage to Asma did disturb them until it was resolved with a swift divorce.
Image: Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu
Dharmendra and Hema Malini
Hema looks up to her "Dharamji" and has stayed loyal to him in a way only true love can. Talking candidly about her marriage in Hema Malini -- An Authorized Biography, the Dream Girl says her father opposed her marriage and that her mother was upset when she finally did go ahead with her decision.
"After all these years, he still looks at me like he did when we first met," says Hema, who is 13 years younger to Dharmendra.
Image: Dharmendra and Hema Malini
Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia
Although they separated in 1984 mutually, they came back together only to live an independent life. Age, however, wasn't a reason for the bitterness in their relationship.
Image: Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia
Boney Kapoor and Sridevi
Overcoming their nine-year-old age difference and Boney's earlier marriage to Mona, the two settled into a perfect domestic life. The ravishing actress quit acting to look after her two daughters and is now making a comeback with the film English Vinglish.
Image: Boney Kapoor and Sridevi