"I knew somewhere deep within me that I was going to be his wife.”
Have you ever wondered how many Bollywood stars went from being on screen jodis to real life Bollywood couples? Well, successful jodis in Bollywood span across several decades.
Relationships take a lot of effort, whether one is an actor or an accountant.
However, many husband-wife duos who hail from the world of Bollywood have made it work despite all the odds.
Overcoming stigma, controversy and disapproval, these couples have embodied trust, dedication and strong communication in order to make their relationships work.
No relationship is perfect, some have more difficult issues to overcome than others. With some couples facing infidelity and others having to cope with sudden death.
Bollywood couples have managed to embark on industry-based relationships which then unfold into marriages.
From dynasty starters like the Bachchans to Bollywood royalty such Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, DESIblitz looks at real life bollywood couples who also shared screen space as jodis.
Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano
The Mughal-E-Azam (1960) Tragedy King Dilip Kumar found his life partner in Saira Bano. Saira is 22 years junior of the thespian Dilip Kumar.
For Saira, she found her Salim. However, the age gap between the two set tounges wagging. This did not impact the stars who saw beyond the constructs of age and instead focused on their relationship.
Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano were seen setting the screen alight in films like Gopi (1970), Sagina (1974) and Bairaag (1976).
The attraction between the two is undeniable, Saira previously talks about her Saab saying:
“When he smiled at me and remarked that I was a pretty girl, I could feel my whole being taking wing and flying rapturously.
I knew somewhere deep within me that I was going to be his wife.”
Saira and Dilip were married in 1966, despite many warning that the marriage would not last due to the age gap.
The couple, however, did face a rocky patch when Kumar married Hyderbad socialite Asma Sahiba in 1981.
Saira was naturally devastated by Dilip Kumar’s second marriage. But much to her delight, Kumar divorced Asma in 1983 and returned back to Saira.
Even though Saira and Dilip Saab have no children, the husband-wife pair love each other immensely.
Saira is taking excellent care of Dilip Saab, particularly in sickness and in health.
See one of the duo’s iconic films below:
Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan
The thunder-tone, ‘angry young man’, Amitabh Bachchan and the docile, doe-eyed star, Jaya Bachchan, are an evergreen staple of Bollywood culture.
Unlike most ‘reel life’ jodis, the attraction was originally one-sided between this pair. Amitabh Bachchan admitted he was smitten with Jaya upon seeing her on a magazine cover.
When the offer to star opposite the then, Jaya Bhaduri came up for film Guddi (1971), Bachchan eagerly agreed.
It took some time for Jaya to warm to Mr Bachchan however, once she did there was no looking back.
The pair were wed in 1973 and have been happily married since.
There have been rumours and scandals. With Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan having been accused of being in an alleged love triangle.
At the time of this scandal, rumours surfaced that allegedly Bachchan and Rekha were having an affair during the making of Silsila (1981).
While there has been much speculation this has never been confirmed. With the Bachchans having bared this all stoically. Proving that steadfast and trusting relationships still exist, even in Bollywood.
The pair has starred across from each other many times, but unlike other evergreen pairs, they managed to produce a ‘reel life’ blockbuster in their later life with, Khabi Khushi Khabie Gham (2001).
Proving this powerhouse jodi still have got it as well as one another.
See below for one of this jodi’s melodic hits:
Dharmendra and Hema Malini
Everyone’s eternal dream girl, Hema Malini, found her dream man in the brazen Punjabi action-hero Dharmendra.
How did this pair come together? They were working on the sets for film Tum Haseen Main Jawan (1970) when eyes locked and lives were changed.
It wasn’t till 1979 the pair managed to wed due to the complications of Dharmendra already being wed to Prakash Kaur, with whom he had sons Sunny and Bobby Deol.
These complications caused much controversy for the stars who remained fiercely loyal to each other until they could be bound together in matrimonial bliss.
In 1975, all of Bollywood saw how the two sizzled in the blockbuster Sholay with Basanti and Veeru’s undeniable chemistry burning a hole in the heart’s of the audience.
The couple finally married in 1979 and have been going strong for 39 years, soon approaching 40 years.
Hema and Dharmendra highlight how although there may be hardships, perseverance and passion can pull you both through.
See here for their sizzle in ‘Sholay’
Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh
The melodious and infectious, ‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ will automatically come to mind when speaking of this evergreen jodi.
Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh both superstars in their own right make for an iconic duo, both on-screen and off-screen.
The two didn’t have an instant or sudden passion. Instead, Neetu and Rishi started off as friends. With Neetu being someone Rishi could share his frustrations with.
When Rishi Kapoor went to Paris to shoot for the movie, Barood (1976) he became aware of his feelings for Neetu. Without the ease of modern-day technology, Kapoor sent Neetu a telegram.
Neetu immediately shared this telegram and her joy with Yash and Pamela Chopra. From there the two began to date.
The couple has shared a kinship with the Chopra’s, having starred in Khabie Khabie (1976) while also agreeing to a special appearance in Jab Tak Hai Jaan in (2012).
Rishi and Neetu dated for 5 years. With Rishi being a commitment-phobe, he never imagined this union would progress to marriage.
Yet in 1980, much to Kapoor’s own surprise, the two did marry.
Neetu has stood by Rishi through many trials and tribulations, the most recent of which has been his ill health. Neetu has been away in New York with her husband who is seeking treatment for his poor health.
Neetu Kapoor has previously shared about her husband:
“Rishi has always been a very good husband and a very good father, so no matter what happened I knew what I wanted from him and held onto him.”
This patient and pure couple have stood the test of time. They are a couple that brings a smile to audiences and faces and joy to their hearts.
See below for their iconic number:
Raj Babbar and Smita Patil
A more tragic real life jodi, was that of Smita Patil and Raj Babbar. The two were at the epicentre of a scandal of their own making.
Raj Babbar, known for his roles in films such as Yarrana (1995) and The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002) found himself swept up in a media storm when his affair with actress Smita Patil began.
Babbar was married to Nadira Babbar when he first met Smita Patil. The two officially met on the sets of Bheegi Palkein (1982).
For Babbar, the attraction and attachment were instantaneous and irrevocable. The pair faced a mass backlash from the public, with people staging protests damning Patil outside her home.
The pair’s talent was undeniable when seeing their performances in films such as Waaris (1988).
Despite all the controversy, they married and Smita became pregnant. However, upon her delivery of son Prateik Babbar, Smita developed complications.
Which led to brain fever and she sadly passed away on December 13, 1986.
Babbar has stated that the sudden loss of Smita changed him irreversibly:
“Smita left me forever. I was traumatised by her death. But I didn’t want my problems to affect the lives of those who counted on me.
I sought refuge in my work, but the wounds took time to heal.”
With the death of Smita, Babbar returned to his first wife while his and Smita’s child Prateik grew up with his maternal grandparents.
A more tragic and shortlived couple, but one which Bollywood won’t soon forget.
See the duo in their prime below:
Kajol and Ajay Devgan
From Ishq (1997) to Pyar To Hona Hi Ta (1998) the 90s set this on-screen jodi in stone. Kajol and Ajay Devgan were superstars of the 90s, with their legacy still persisting even now.
Ajay known for his dapper looks and action films, whereas the Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) actress was best known for her roles as a romantic lead.
Ajay is known for being quiet and serious and Kajol is known to be loud and eccentric. The two on paper did not make sense, but they proved to all of Bollywood that opposites truly can attract.
Back in 2012, Kajol said to Vogue India, in August 2012:
“I’m really nasty, critical and cutting. Ajay is a much better person than me.”
“It’s not easy being the sensible one all the time, but he’s such a gentleman.”
The couple dated for four years and then finally tied the knot in 1999. Like most Bollywood based couples there were rumours of infidelity but Kajol never doubted her husband.
Their unflinching loyalty towards one another is one of the most admirable attributes of this couple.
In 2001 Kajol suffered a miscarriage six months into a pregnancy and Ajay was the picture of a supportive and attentive partner.
The couple now has two children Nsya and Yug who both parents dote on. Kajol and Ajay are a perfect example of how trust and understanding are two key elements in making a relationship work.
See one of the couple’s many hit songs below:
Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
When Miss Universe found her Mr Right. Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan first came together for Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (2000) and the world took note of how the duo complemented one another.
When they first met they were both involved with other actors, Aishwarya with Salman Khan and Abhishek with Karisma Kapoor.
So the bond between Aishwarya and Abhishek started as a friendship initially. Their separate relationships did not work out and so this left both actors single and craving companionship.
The pair teamed up again for multiple films: Dhoom 2 (2006), Umrao Jaan (2006) and Guru (2007).
It was in this period of back to back shootings that the two turned their platonic relationship into a romantic relationship.
Abhishek proposed to Aishwarya in New York with all the romantic trimmings, the two then returned to India where they had a grand wedding in India in 2007.
This duo is known as the ‘Brangelina of Bollywood’ and have even been on popular talk show host, Oprah Winfrey’s show to speak about their marriage.
Aishwarya and Abhishek welcomed daughter Aradhya Bachchan to the fold in 2011, completing their family unit.
Truly Ashwariya and Abhishek are the perfect real-life example of the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai message, that ‘love is friendship.’
Aishwarya’s cameo with Abhishek and Amitabh Bachchan below:
Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan
When the ‘Kapoor Khandaan’s’, Bebo fell for the Nawab of Pataudi, eyebrows were most certainly raised.
Unconventional has been the key spice to this couple. Starting with their age gap of 10 years causing some alarm within the fraternity.
Add that to the fact that the two were live-in lovers prior to being married, something which is usually frowned upon in Desi circles. It became very clear that Bebo and Saif dance to the beat of their own drum.
Saif and Kareena have never been ones to follow the crowd. They do what is best for them, rather than what society dictates.
Both Kareena and Saif had been in high profile industry related relationships. Kareena with Shahid Kapoor, while Saif had been married to Amrita Singh and had even had two children.
But both those relationships had ended and so the Nawab found his Begum in Bebo.
Their romance blossomed on the sets of Tashaan (2007) and culminated in a lavish wedding in 2012.
Kareena did not give up her acting and is still acting presently. The two have had projects together in order to spend time with one another.
They have been seen together in films such as Kurbaan (2009), in which they played husband and wife, and Agent Vinod(2012).
Balance and putting what is best for you both is the secret to this jodi’s success story.
See the pair at work here:
Genelia D’Souza and Riteish Deshmukh
This pair met on set for the movie Tujhe Meri Kasam (2003). While they didn’t experience love at first sight, love did blossom over the course of this shooting.
Genelia herself was still in college and Riteish was in his early 20s. The two began to mingle with one another outside of the sets.
They realised how easy it was to talk with one another and this sparked a meaningful and impacting friendship.
After shooting wrapped for this movie, the two began to officially date one another, a courtship which nearly lasted ten years.
Genelia and Riteish matured with one another, understanding each other fully, before delving into the sanctity of marriage.
They have an infectious affection for one another which audiences caught a glimpse of on-screen with film, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (2012).
The two celebrated their love with their wedding in 2012 and the couple now has two sons, Riaan and Rahyl.
The secret behind this jodi working is, the time they devoted to one another. In those nine years of dating, they understood one another and respected each other’s period of growth.
An adorable couple both inside and out.
See Genelia’s cameo in this Holi song with her husband:
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh
Finally, last but not least, the reigning Queen of Bollywood, Deepika Padukone and the King of Hearts, Ranveer Singh.
Their love story is infamous and known in all Bollywood circles developed immensely through time.
Both Ranveer and Deepika have dated within the industry previously, most famously Deepika and Ranbir Kapoor, while Ranveer dated Anushka Sharma.
Ranveer didn’t appear on Deepika’s radar until 2013 when the actors first teamed up for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013).
Both actor’s chemistry on-screen and off-screen was the talk of the town, with rumours running rampant of the two being involved.
The duo graced the silver screen two more times again with Bhansali. For the grand Bajirao Mastaani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018). With each film being a blockbuster there is no denying the enigmatic attraction these two actors hold for one another.
Their loving relationship ended in marital bliss.
See the couple ignite the screen in this ‘Bajirao Mastaani’ clip:
Thus. making Deepika and Ranveer our tenth on screen Bollywood couple to become a real-life jodi.
Each of these ten Bollywood couples had their strife, their past and their own quirks.
However, with patience, trust and communication these couples managed to turn their attractions into real romances that were solidified with marriage.
No relationship comes without its challenges, be they Bollywood or any other. Each relationship takes compassion and understanding to work and who knows, maybe even a shared interest – like Bollywood.