Bollywood Love, Lust or Bust

The Bollywood film industry is not short of stories about affairs, break-ups and divorce. Many start with love, others tempted by lust, and numerous end up in bust. We look at some of the Bollywood couples that made the headlines not just for their acting but for their relationships.

"These people are living in a world where people will do anything for them."

Love, lust or bust the three ideals that continue to roam off the sets of the Bollywood industry have caused much observation from dedicated film lovers. It appears the ethics regarding marital ties just do not exist anymore in the world of fame, with Indian cinema taking the lead displaying possibly more of their dirty laundry than any other film industry. Love affairs and breakups are on a rapid increase in the Indian film industry, the general perception still perceives Bollywood as unsuccessful at maintaining long term relationships.

Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world and remains untouchable for the quantity of films created per year. The films are known to display an emphasis of culture, endless love stories, action and a spectacular song and dance sequence, although, a subject matter you will struggle to encounter in any Bollywood film is the open portrayal of infidelity and divorce.

With such integrity this huge film industry holds against the encouragement of relationship breakups and divorce, you would surely believe that this trait be carried forward in the personal lives of Bollywood celebrities. Taking a further look at the celebrities in the Indian film industry, we unravel some true facts on the matter, and were astonished with the discovery. What seemed like a culturally led industry was in fact riddled with affairs, scandal and hidden pleasures.

Here are some golden oldie love triangles and affairs that made headlines. Few got converted into marriage, while few met the harsh end of a break-up.

Dilip Kumar and Madhubala
Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s relationship is one of the oldest off and on screen love affairs that ended in a sad break-up. The couple first met on the sets of Jwar Bhatta (1944), and it was during the shooting of Tarana (1951) that their chemistry began between them. They courted for a period of five years. Trouble started brewing between the couple during filming of Naya Daur (1957). The story goes that Madhubala’s father, objected to the outdoor shoot claiming that it was an opportunity for the lovers to spend more time together.

B.R Chopra the director of the film registered a case against Madhubala, due to the actress’s refusal to continue work, and Dilip Kumar testified against both Madhubala and her father. Tarnishing and ending their affair. However, another strand of the story is that after the case, when Dilip Kumar proposed marriage, Madhubala refused because he was unwilling to apologise to her father for testifying against them. Madhubala eventually married Kishore Kumar. Despite their break-up one of the biggest hit films for the couple was Mughal-E-Azam in 1960.

Raj Kapoor and Nargis
The legendary original showman of Bollywood Raj Kapoor entertained us with some timeless classics, captivated the love interest of superstar Nargis whilst onset on one of the hits they shared together. Their chemistry was matchless and their onscreen presence was captive. Rumours of their affection for each other soon became exploited, Raj was already married and a father. Later both parted with Nargis getting married to Sunil Dutt, whom she described as her real love. It was Sunil Dutt who did something no other man had done for her – he saved her life during a fire on the set of Mother India. This was the point when Nargis fell in love with Sunil Dutt.

Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman
Guru Dutt, one of the best directors Bollywood has ever had, fell in love with one of the finest actresses of all time Waheeda Rehman. The year was 1956, when Guru Dutt introduced the new girl, Waheeda Rehman in his movie ‘C.I.D.’ and subsequently rumors of his affair with his new leading lady started surfacing.

Dutt like Raj Kapoor was already married to Geeta Dutt who was an established playback singer, before encountering his love affair with Rehman. Their marriage of nearly 5 years ran into trouble due to the affair, and divorce became ineluctable. Guru Dutt later committed suicide at the early age of 40.

Dharmendra and Hema Malini
Dharam Singh Deol better known as Dharmendra, is a huge iconic figure in the Hindi film industry back in the 1970’s, with his super model looks, his smash hit movies and of course the trademark family name ‘Deol’. This legendary actor was a super hero to his fans, nothing could come in the way of his powers unless of course you were of the opposite sex and very attractive.

Even though Dharmendra was a married man he could never hold back from the beautiful women in his career wooing them to finally endure an off screen relationship, but one beauty in particular went on to become his second wife – mega star actress Hema Malini. Dharmendra and Hema Malini fell in love on the set of Sholay (1975). He wed Hema whilst still married to first wife Prakash Kaur with whom he had Sunny and Bobby Deol.

Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha
A well known on-screen couple from the 1970’s was Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha. They made a total of nine films together. Rumors of their affair hit B-town after their first few films together. Stories include the Big B staying at Rekha’s mansion in Bandra and not going back home some nights. While Rekha has often given her true feelings away in the course of television and print interviews in the 20-odd years since the relationship, Amitabh, as always, has maintained complete silence, neither confirming nor contradicting the allegations.

At the height of their affair, Yash Raj managed to pull off a casting coup by securing Amitabh, Rekha and Jaya for the love triangle movie Silsila. Which many feel was a reflection of reality between the three. This was Rekha’s last film with Amitabh and she went on to live a life alone.

Assessing a break up from the world of fame compares variably from the everyday person. A psychologist Aric Sigman analysed the subject saying:

“The celebrity marriage is a professional amalgamation of two children. Celebrities need to be applauded and a spouse often doesn’t do that.”

Age, religion and occasionally status are not a concern in the Indian film industry to build a relationship but still Bollywood encounters many break ups. The list of current stars shacking up with each other is endless and here, we name a few:

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and beauty symbol Aishwarya Rai’s relationship was a hot break up. Salman began to date Aishwarya after acting with her in 1999’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. After ample amount of controversies, Salman and Ash broke up. “The most beautiful woman in the world” Aishwarya claimed that Salman was harassing her after their break up because he did not take it well. She certainly seems to be quite the heart-breaker, also reportedly breaking up with actor Vivek Oberoi afterwards. And finally settling with Abhishek Bachchan, who many think was a clever move on her part, becoming the Bachchan bahu.

Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty
The Punjabi stallion and Casanova of romance Akshay Kumar in his prime went on to find comfort in the hands of Shilpa Shetty, and this too happened soon after a much speculated affair with 1990’s heroine Raveena Tandon.

Like most Bollywood affairs this one was far from lasting with Akshay settling down and marrying actress Twinkle Khanna, daughter of Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia.

Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor
Shahid and Kareena were one of the industry’s most talked about couples, and ended up being Bollywoods most iconic modern day break up. The couple had been seeing each other for over three years, when they finally went their separate ways, Kareena delving straight into the arms of Saif Ali Khan; who himself dumped his ex-star older wife Amrita Singh for Rosa Cateleno.

Shahid has been linked with a few new Bollywood females, including Priyanka Chopra.

Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone
This Bollywood couple were one of the new generation of stars seen in love all over the tabloids. Ranbir the son of veteran actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh was courting Deepika openly and they were seen as the youngest Bollywood hook up, admired by teenagers. However, things became sour between them and Ranbir decided to end his love affair with Deepika.

Many blamed the Kapoor family not being happy with Deepika as Ranbir’s choice of woman, whilst others blamed Ranbir for being a hypocrite and a cheat. But interestingly, Deepika still kept her tattoo of Ranbir despite their bust-up.

Whatever the length of a celebrity relationship, doesn’t it seem like most celebrity relationships are doomed? Just where does it seem to be going all so wrong for these celebs? Break ups and divorce have always been a foundation of showbiz life, what seems to be particularly interesting are the high number of affairs and break ups in Indian cinema. This industry usually keeps romantic affairs and infidelity narrative amongst their films to a minimum. Because it simply is not something that happens very openly in Indian society. But why does it happen in high numbers off the sets in Bollywood?

Actors live an uncomparable lifestyle where everyone wants to be them. They are surrounded by the most beautiful people on screen almost making it impossible for infidelity not to occur. Their lifestyle can become extremely overwhelming that the glamour and unreality of being on set is just too seductive for some actors to resist. As quoted by a film casting director: “An actor is away from domesticity and playing a different character and it just becomes easier to commit an infidelity. These people are living in a world where people will do anything for them.”

Some Bollywood stars invent break ups and related storylines in their personal lives to help boost their public ratings and awareness. In the past film stars did not flaunt their affairs in public. But now, faced with flops and a sense of insecurity failure brings, they make sure that their exploits are made into sizzling cover stories.

The people in the Bollywood industry are so ideolised by the public that they start living reel life in real life too. But, after a while the fantasy starts dying and when reality descends, it is hard to accept encompassing a break up. And as far as actors are concerned, their work pressure is so high and lifestyle so crazy, that somehow they lose a balance in a relationship, not able to spend as much time with their loved ones ultimately resulting in a break-up too.

However, while you don’t want to be watching your friends or peers marriages crumble into divorce or relationships end, it is amazing how fascinated we all are when it comes to watching celebrity relationships slowly or rapidly deteriorate. In many cases, we look up to celebrities as a contemporary form of royalty, afterall celebs are more attractive than us and much richer than most of us could ever imagine. Overall a celebrity is an entertainer, it is their job to amuse us endlessly, the public love drama and the Bollywood celebrity sure does provide that satisfaction with their break-up sagas!

Nicky, displays a fascination with documenting controversial issues. Her hobby of music includes radio presenting, producing, directing music videos and interviewing Bhangra artists. Her motto is “You are your greatest asset. There is nothing you can’t do.”