"I was very young when my father had an affair with Nargis-ji"
Over the years, Bollywood has given many successful on-screen couples.
With amiable pairs like Dharmendra-Hema and Rishi-Neetu, many of these jodis have transcended from being just reel-life couples to becoming real-life partners. These have also become the epitome of many Bollywood romances.
From the 50s black and white era to contemporary times, DESIblitz has compiled a dynamic list of on-screen jodis that have won our hearts through appearing repeatedly together on celluloid!
Raj Kapoor & Nargis
Shri Raj Kapoor is one of ‘the greatest showman of Indian cinema’ and an RK Film would be incomplete without Nargis playing the main lead. The umbrella pose in Shree 420 (1955) has become an iconic moment in Bollywood.
Both legends have starred in 16 films together, including titles like Awaara (1951) and Chori Chori (1956). Most recently, Rishi Kapoor discusses his father’s affair with Nargis, in his autobiography: “I was very young when my father had an affair with Nargis-ji, and so was not affected by it.”
The lyrics in ‘Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua’ were also ironic: “Main Na Rahungi, Tum Na rahoge, Phir Bhi Rahengi Yeh Nishaaniyan” and we appreciate these sentiments even today.
Dilip Kumar & Vyjayanthimala
One simply cannot forget Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. They have acted in 7 films with each other including Ganga Jumna (1961). Both actors first worked together in Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955). Describing her tryst with Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala states:
“I was completely awe-stricken. And I kept waiting for him but then we found him running around the studio to get into the mood and character. He brought the character alive.”
Post Devdas, the two actors also appeared in Naya Daur (1957). Following this was Madhumati (1958) another Bimal Roy directorial and one of his finest. The characters Devendra and Madhumati were incredibly enigmatic!
Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
As for Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, these two artists starred in 7 films, consisting of classics such as CID (1956) and Kala Bazar (1960).
The most celebrated film of this golden jodi, however, is Guide (1965). In this love-saga, Dev Anand plays Raju – a freelance guide – with gusto. Waheeda Ji portrays Rosie, an unhappily married woman.
Talking about Dev Saab as an actor, Waheeda Ji says: “Dev was an institution in himself. You learnt so much about acting from him – the way he did his romantic scenes. It was a treat.”
Rajesh Khanna & Sharmila Tagore
Rajesh Khanna travelling across the picturesque valleys and searching for his ‘Sapnon Ki Rani’ has become a legendary creation in Bollywood. Undoubtedly, ‘Kaka’ aka Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore’s Jodi in movies is simply evergreen.
Having featured in a total of 12 films together, they frequently acted in Shakti Samantha movies like Amar Prem (1972). Other unforgettable titles also include Yash Chopra’s Daag (1973) and Asit Sen’s Safar (1970).
In our exclusive interview with Sharmila, this what she has to say about her pairing with Kaka:
“The audience really liked us together (smiles). I’m sure when someone works repeatedly, the audience enjoys watching them on screen.”
Dharmendra & Hema Malini
When Veeru meets his Basanti, you know it’s the perfect match. Veteran Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan also says: “He (Dharmendra) is an amazing co-artist, amazing human being and an amazing partner for Hema Malini.”
Dharam and Hema have starred in over 40 films together. Two popular films are Sholay (1975) and Seeta aur Geeta (1972), both directed by Ramesh Sippy.
Other notable films also include Tum Haseen Main Jawaan (1970) and Jugnu (1973).
It was also quite a controversial love-story as apparently Dharmendra was already married when he decided to marry Hema. In fact, Sunny, Bobby Vijayta and Ajeeta Deol are Dharmendra’s children from his first marriage with Prakash Kaur. Whereas, Ahana and Esha are his daughters with Hema Malini.
Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh
“Ek Main Aur Ek Tu. Dono Mile Is Tarah.” Albeit a song from Rishi-Neetu Ji’s film Khel Khel Mein (1975), this summarises their ‘Zinda Dil’ love-story!
Being proud parents of Ranbir and Riddhima Kapoor, Neetu fell in love with the man who apparently irritated her the most and the rest is history. The pair has featured in over 15 movies together, including loveable films like Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).
Neetu expresses: “Rishi and I made a great on-screen couple, very fresh and youthful, and starred in some fun films, full of song and dance and romance. It has been a fulfilling life with Rishi Kapoor, as a co-star and his wife.”
Amitabh Bachchan & Rekha
The most polemic and publicised jodi in Bollywood. Having starred in over 15 films together (hits like Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978) and Mr Natwarlal (1979)), Amitabh and Rekha’s affair is believed to have sprung from Do Anjaane (1976).
Amitabh-Rekha relationship was under wraps until Big B himself reportedly lost his temper with a co-actor who misbehaved with Rekha on the sets of Ganga Ki Saugandh (1978). This is what brought the relationship to the limelight.
Yash Chopra’s Silsila (1981) was a landmark film of this couple. It revolved around Bachchan’s on screen affair with Rekha – whilst married to Jaya Bachchan. The film depicted visually arresting scenes like Rekha and Amitabh in yellow fields singing ‘Dekha Ek Khwab.’ A delightful couple to watch on the big screen!
Anil Kapoor & Sridevi
Sridevi in a turquoise sari, grooving with Anil Kapoor – on a rainy night for Shekhar Kapur’s classic, Mr India (1987).
Anil and Sridevi have appeared in various films, where their pairing was loved by the audience. Especially in movies like Lamhe (1991), Laadla (1996) and Judaai (1997).
There have also been reports of a Mr India sequel, which will reunite Anil and Sridevi. A close source says: “The idea is to take the story forward, but not just for the heck of it. We wanted a solid plot, and we have got it.”
Aamir Khan & Juhi Chawla
In 1988, the two actors made their Bollywood debut with Mansoor Khan’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT) – a story of star-crossed lovers. Both Aamir and Juhi won the best debut award at Filmfare for their performances!
After QSQT emerged as a success, Khan and Chawla were seen together in other hit films like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993).
Talking about her rapport with her favourite co-stars Aamir and Shahrukh Khan, Juhi says: “I have grown in my career with them. I would love to work with Aamir.”
Salman Khan & Madhuri Dixit
Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit have been an incredible Jodi in Bollywood. Post appearing in the love-triangle Saajan (1991), Salman and Madhuri stole hearts as Prem and Nisha (respectively) in the family-drama, Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994).
This became an iconic jodi for all Sooraj Barjatya movies and other romantic family dramas. Remember ‘Didi Tera Devar Deewana?’
Reflecting on Salman’s contemporary style, Madhuri says: “When you see him doing a character of Chulbul Pandey, there is a different maturity that he brings into it. I love his dancing too.”
Shahrukh Khan & Kajol
Shahrukh Khan (SRK) and Kajol are the Baazigars of Bollywood romance. Reflecting on her chemistry with SRK, Kajol states: “He’s definitely one of my favourite co-stars. I just have too much fun working with him.”
They rose to stardom as Raj and Simran in the super-hit film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). The film had a historic run at the Maratha Mandir cinema and swept several awards.
They set the trend again as Rahul-Anjali in Karan Johar’s blockbusters Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001).
However, their chemistry in the post 9/11 drama My Name Is Khan (2010) proves that Bollywood romance isn’t just about running in the fields – it’s also about understanding your beloved and fighting for your love.
Ranveer Singh & Deepika Padukone
When we asked Sharmila Ji who best resembles her Jodi with Rajesh Khanna in today’s era, she says: “Ranveer and Deepika.”
After their exquisite chemistry in Ram-Leela (2013), Ranveer and Deepika appeared in the period magnum-opus Bajirao Mastani (2015) also directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Their performances oozed of ardour and adaa.
Deepika observes how Ranveer becomes involved during script-reading: “He’s got the most amazing playlist in the world. He has it for every kind of mood he wants to get into. If he wants to get into an angry mood, then some angry songs will play. For a romantic mood, soft songs will play.”
Overall, these are just a list of 12 iconic on-screen Bollywood couples. We must also acknowledge other memorable pairs such as: Dilip and Madhubala (Mughal-E-Azam), Shahrukh and Preity (Veer-Zaara), Shahid and Kareena (Jab We Met) and Ranbir and Anushka (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil).