Valentine’s Day Special: Forbidden romances we’ve been hooked to

Shyama Sudra



When it comes to true love, nobody can express it on screen better than our very own Bollywood film-makers. They have all made the hearts of their audiences melt and romance is one genre that keeps the audiences hanging on, including the stories where two lovers are against all the odds, and their love needs to be proven, where some have happy endings, others are destined for tragedy. However, all of them depict intensity, undying-ness and passion which reflect true love which the audience inevitably sides with. looks at five films that depict narrations of the different kinds of forbidden romance.

Devdas & Paro – ‘Devdas’ (1955)
When Devdas (Dilip Kumar) returns from abroad reuniting with his childhood friend Paro (Suchitra Sen), their friendship blossoms into true love. Where Paro’s parents see how happy their daughter is, Devdas’ parents only see the social status, refusing Paro’s proposal to marry their son. When Paro’s parents plan to marry her off to a richer man, Paro and Devdas continue their relationship, until she marries. From then on, deeply hurt Devdas begins his life of drinking and spending his nights in the company of courtesan Chandramukhi (Vyjayanthimala). Feeling his life is deteriorating Devdas eventually leaves Chandramukhi to go and fulfil a precious vow he promises to Paro – only to just get to her doorstep before breathing his last.

Salim & Anarkali – ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960)
As the Prince of the great Mughal Empire, the pride of his father the Great Emperor Akbar, Prince Salim (Kumar) falls deeply and desperately in love with the court girl Anarkali (Madhubala), who in turn feels the same for him. With the palace full of spies and whispers, the King soon comes to find out and immediately protests and demonstrates his anger against his son’s decision, and does all that he can to keep them apart, by even imprisoning Anarkali. However, Salim retaliates, by even going to war against his own father to free Anarkali. However, his efforts fail in vain, where he is then sentenced to death unless Anarkali (who escapes) takes his place. Giving herself in, Akbar sentences her to die by enclosing her inside a wall. Until her mother, a servant of the palace reminds the King he owes her a wish he granted when she gave him the news of Salim when he was born. Asking the King for her daughter’s life, Akbar grants the mother her wish, but demands they never return, where Salim and Anarkali never see each other again.

Devdhar & Manorama – ‘Prem Rog’ (1982)
Though being an orphan Devdhar (Rishi Kapoor)  is helped by the rich Thakur (Shammi Kapoor), so that he can go and study. On his return eight years later he finds his childhood friend and daughter of the Thakur, Manorama (Padmini Kohlapur) all grown up, eventually falling in love with her. However, understanding the social status divide, Devdhar knows he will never be able to marry his love. Until, Manorama returns home, as a widow, her husband having died the day after they married, and being raped by her brother-in-law. However, instead of a warm welcome, Manorama is met with the tribulations of tradition, where widows are no longer seen as a part of society. With his love still being true, Devdhar does everything he can to break the cycle and make Manorama’s life happier, however at a cost of facing the fury of the Thakur and society. Despite this, Devdhar manages to prove the strength of his love and the unfairness of such traditions, bringing the Thakur round, where he himself unites Devdhar and Manorama in the end.

Tara Singh & Sakina – ‘Gadar ‘(2001)
With the rising of violence and anger across the new borders that now make up Indian and Pakistan, nowhere seems to be safe for anyone from another religion in the other country. So when Sakina (Amisha Patel) is separated from her family, who had to flee the aristocratic home, she finds herself in the hands of Hindu goons who are about to take advantage of her. Being saved at the last minute by Tara Singh (Sunny Deol), who recognises her by the small Taj Mahal model that she holds. Protecting her and disguising her as a Sikh, he remembers Sakina from their college days where she played a prank on him with her friends when he came to the college to become a singer. On departing after he final year in the college it is Tara who had given Sakina the small Taj Mahal. Back to the present day, Tara brings Sakina to his home, looks after her where they eventually fall in love, get married and even have a son. Until one day, Sakina finds a picture of her family who she presumed were dead, in the papers. Immediately, flying to Pakistan where they now live, Sakina’s parents keep her from leaving, refusing her marriage and child. Tara, along with their son travels to Pakistan to get Sakina back only to be thrown out. Determined to free her from her family, who had even tried to get her married to a Muslim man of a similar wealthy family. After more events occur where Tara, Sakina and their son make a run for it, it’s a bullet shot at Sakina accidentally by her own father which makes him and the family come around, and allow them to return to Indian and carry on with their life in bliss.

Dev & Maya – ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ (2006)
He is bitter, angry and seems to detest his son, she suffers from what can only be described as obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, where they seem to find themselves in regular, unusual situations Dev (Shah Rukh Khan) and Maya (Rani Mukerji) establish an unusual friendship. Attempting to help each other out in their perspective marriages, Dev to Rhea (Preity Zinta) and Maya to Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan) they find themselves drawn more towards each other, where their friendship soon turns into love. Despite knowing it’s wrong, being unfaithful to their loving partners, Dev and Maya fall so deep, that all they can see is themselves. Developing their relationship, things soon take a turn for the worst when they are caught by Dev’s mother Kamal (Kirron Kher) and Maya’s father-in-law Sam (Amitabh Bachchan). When Sam has a heart attack soon after, he confides in his daughter-in-law whilst in hospital, to leave Rishi in order to for both of them to find true love. Though the guilt of Sam’s passing makes Maya stay in the marriage to support her husband.  Soon both Dev and Maya realise they have to come clean to their spouses, where they both end up divorced. However, instead of admitting their truth, both Maya and Dev explain to each other that they are still married, and decide to part ways. Three years later, Rhea attends Rishi’s engagement were they both find out they divorced Dev and Maya. With Rishi knowing Maya is on her own, he informs Rhea that neither Dev or Maya know the truth of each other’s divorce. Finding Maya, Rhea reveals the truth, prompting Maya to go looking for Dev. Finally ending up at the train station where they always used to meet, Maya declares her love for Dev, where the film ends in a warm embrace.

The team at wishes its readers a Happy Valentine’s Day!