Love in the times of breakups; Bollywood love stories that survived in spite of the odds
The year 2016 has been one of breakups and call-it-offs in Bollywood. Indeed, the tinsel town has seen its fair share of hook ups and breakups since its inception, but this year has been particularly hard, for the fans too, as we saw some of the strongest couples parting their ways. Farhan-Adhuna, Sushant-Aankita, Malaika-Arbaaz, to name a few. However, that does not mean that their love stories were not magical. They were, but just short-lived. On the other hand, we have many B-town couples, that are going as strong today, as they were when they met for the first time.
The first couple that comes to our mind is that of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu, who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Fifty years, together, through thick and thin, that’s unimaginable at times in the current scenario, when relations are short lived, and so are the emotions. Back in the year 1964, when a moony-eyed Saira married the dream of her life, Dilip Kumar, many raised eyebrows due to the huge 22-year gap between, and many called the affair doomed, before it even bloomed. Fifty years later, as Saira ji grasps the hand of Dilip Kumar in every public appearance, those accusations seem so implausible. These two are someone who reinforce your faith in true love.
Another example can be that of the evergreen love story of Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan. The way this ‘Dilwala’ swept off his ‘Dulhania’, is nothing short of magic, especially in the time when inter-religion affairs were a taboo, and SRK was struggling, not the superstar that we know him to be now. One can only imagine what hardships these two must have gone through to ultimately be tied in the holy knot of matrimony. Gauri’s father was a retired army officer, and thus had many conditions before he gave in to the duo’s love. Not many know, but Shah Rukh’s mother played a key role in their love story. SRK was very possessive in the initial phase of the relationship, which led to Gauri leaving without telling him. It was then that Shah Rukh realised how much he loved her, and his mother gave him money to go to Mumbai and woo Gauri back. The next step was wooing Gauri’s parents, which too was a big task given they both belonged to two religions which are nearly always picking at each other. Finally, after overcoming all the hurdles, the two got married in 1991. Three kids later, they are finally going to complete a quarter of their journey together, and still going as strong, giving us relationship goals.
Back in the seventies, one diva was breaking stereotypes with her portrayal of coy heroines with as much panache as rocking a bikini. On the other hand, a young lad was taking Indian cricket to another level, with his effortless and masterful captaincy. They met, and were swept off in an affair that rocked the nation with its fairy tale existence. Yes, we are talking about the dashing Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and the very gorgeous Sharmila Tagore. They made an aristocratic couple, given the royal heritage of Pataudi khandaan, and were together for 42 long years, raising three children, before Mansoor Ali Khan breathed his last. They gave a fitting reply to all those who said their marriage won’t last, for they belonged to two polar opposite industries and two different faiths. They defied it all, and renewed our faith in true love. One more fact to make you love them more; Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi got down on his knees in Paris, to propose the love of his life. Aww, we just melted!
Sunil Dutt-Nargis, Dharmendra-Hema Malini, Kajol– Ajay Devgn, Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Kapoor, we can list down many such legendary couples for each who breaks up, in Bollywood. These are the couples, who, with their old school beliefs in the institution of love, have stood the test of time, and have made our hearts flutter, and beat just a little faster.
Which is your favourite Bollywood love story? One that induced butterflies in your stomach, and made you wish you experience a similar love in your lifetime? Do tell us in the comments below.
Kapoor & Sons: Caught the plight of homosexuals tenderly and yet made 'coming out' look doable
Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921. The house proudly flaunted that to the world, nestled in the greens of Coonoor. No one knew the darkness that was inside, the demons that were individually dealt with. But then, isn’t every family like that?
Two years have passed by since this Shakun Batra-directorial, story of a dysfunctional family had come to our lives. However, amongst the various themes that tore apart the family and eventually brought it together, one that truly had the power to transform, was that of homosexuality.
Not many know, that the role played by Fawad Khan, that of family’s elder son, a successful author, was actually offered to many A-listers, who turned it down, eventually leading him to step into the shoes of Rahul. And it was, indeed, a very big step on his part. He was venturing out of his territory, a man who has such a huge female-fan following, and comes from a country with religion as its main running philosophy. He did the role and brought such conviction to it that we were forced to stand up and applaud, his courage, and the beauty with which his character was carved.
Since times immemorial, all our memories of gay characters on screen have been that of carelessly effeminate and unimportant roles, which are just there to add a comic element. The stereotype has been high to an extent that often the champions of the same channelise it and promote it, for it is wrapped in the shiny paper of presentation. The biggest example of this was ‘Dostana’, which was an amazing story of friendship, still used homosexuality as humour, as its backdrop. Ironically, it came from the same production house, though nearly eight years before that.
But ‘Kapoor & Sons’ begged to differ here. The character here was real, someone who was hiding himself, for the society, his family. There was surreality to the theme of homosexuality here, which had the power to jar us inside out; and that, it did.
Two scenes from the movie specifically hit me. First one is when Sunita (Ratna Patak Shah) finds out that her ideal elder son, whom she adores and is proud of, is not straight. The aftereffects of the same jolt you, because the reaction is just what an Indian mother gives, in any situation that is beyond her control; uncontrollable anger at the offspring, and then uncontrollable guilt, of blaming herself and her upbringing. The scene is filmed so beautifully, that your eyes sting. The way Fawad’s facade falls and his fear is marked across his face, which is then replaced by the anger of hiding himself for all those years, and mother’s dilemma and hurt, it all comes out in a naked and real manner.
Another sequence is when Rahul (Fawad Khan) comes back home after the showdown with his mother and the death of his father totally uproots whatever sanity his family possessed. He sits with his mother, with whom his last encounter was one of his coming out, and she asks, hesitatingly, about his partner. A subtle way of expressing acceptance, the way they hold hands, without saying anything, it stays with you.
It may not be one masterpiece, but ‘Kapoor & Sons’ will forever remain a favourite for finally breaking the mainstream stereotype of a gay man, in Bollywood. And for that, no matter how many bans, I will forever be waiting for Fawad Khan to come back, and give us more performances; with dare and conviction.
An ode to Sridevi, the queen who inspired the queers long before it became mainstream
“I am a kid from the 90s but still can’t forget those days when, me-myself was not out and proud about my preferences. And inside my own sweet world would dance in front of the mirror on many songs, but majorly on ‘Hawa Hawai’ and ‘Main Teri Dushman, Dushman Tu Mera’. These songs were just not tunes for me, it made me feel exactly what I was; a QUEERby birth”.
The news of the legendary diva Sridevi being no more with us is still hard to believe, as she was part of my and every queer’s childhood memories. While in the late 90s my bunch of friends would idolise a star from the West as their gay icon, me being a full-fledged Bollywood fanatic was in love with Sridevi and she was a diva I used to worship (and will forever). Her golden costume and perfectly done makeup in ‘Hawa Hawai’ made me feel, “Yes! There is someone like me out there who loves bling and all things loud.” Her feather headgear in one of the songs from ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’, touched my drag Queen‘s soul. One of the lines from her song ‘Hawa Hawai’ which is ‘Soorat Hi Maine Aisi Paayi’ transported me into a world where I thought that there is someone narcissist just like me. Sridevi’s charm was on my mind and the feminine side in me just wanted to be a replica of her.
The gone actress has not only given a lot to the Indian cinema, but her sass and talent of naturally moulding herself into any character gave her an upper hand in whatever she used to do. When many gay men were struggling and were confused about their sexual orientation they found a connection to their on-going pain in Sridevi’s roles. Whether it was Sridevi as a meek Anju and ferocious Manju fighting for everything wrong in ‘ChaalBaaz’ (1989), Pooja’s mutiny against the everlasting societal conditions in ‘Lamhe’ (1991), Seema’s confidence-filled and fearless dance in the ‘Mr. India’ (1987) song ‘Hawa Hawaai’ or her role of a naagin (snake) coming out to the world about her dual identity in ‘Nagina’ (1986), Sri’s roles had a deep connection and were etched in every GAY man’s mind.
And how can one miss ‘Kate Nahin Kat Te’ song of Sridevi from ‘Mr. India’, where she owned the song and made every gay guy’s dream to dance on it once with his man. This particular song was wild, seductive and equal parts bold. Sridevi draped in a sky-blue coloured saree with a matching bindi and of course adding fuel to the fire was her dancing moves. Even at the end of the song, a fully wet in rainwater, Sridevi stretching herself on a pile of hay – ‘Tumne jo li angdayi hai’ – where the diva nibbles on straws with a drenched fire in her eyes, leaving Mr. Kapoor to chivalrously lie on a distant haystack.
While mostly when the film fraternity was in a zone where feminine men were used as a tool to add fun elements on the silver screen, Sridevi was a ray of hope for the LGBTQ community. She was like a powerful symbol for the QUEERS. Her role resonated each and every gays struggle, and also echoed their dysphoria into her characters. And with her, all the queer children surpassed the narrow-minded stereotypes which they were labelled with. Lastly, she might be gone, but the colourful rainbow universe she opened for all the fellow LGBTQ people remains there intact..
Hail the QUEEN! RIP Sridevi.