Bollywood is known for its love stories, both in reel and real life. Though the love stories which end happily give us hope and are even responsible for the high expectations around the idea of love, it is the stories where the lovers don’t end up together that introduce us to a different side of love and break our heart.
The Hindi film industry has seen several such tragic love stories, especially in the old days. These are the prominent faces of Hindi cinema that received immense love from the audience but sadly, couldn’t meet a happy end in their relationships.
On the occasion of Valentine’s day, let us take a look back at such relationships which were full of love and romance but their fate was doomed.
Madhubala and Dilip Kumar
The stars of their time, this couple was a beautiful on-screen pair. Both of them have given life to on-screen couples like Saleem and Anarkali (Mughl-e-azam), Shankar and Kamal (Sadgil) and Amarnath and Anju (Amar). As it fanmoulsy turned out, even in real life, their love story is nothing short of an epic that ended in tragedy.
While doing films together, both of them grew fond of each other and fell in love. Their relationship lasted for almost nine years before the beginning of the end of their relationship. AS told by Madhubala's sister Madhur Bhushan, it was before the shooting of the movie ‘Naya Daur’, directed by BR Chopra, that a legal battle got in the way of their relationship. It was caused by a rift between Madhubala’s father and Chopra. Madhubala’s father was very protective of his daughter(s) and didn’t want the film to be shot around Gwalior as some harassment against women cases were reported there. However, Chopra insisted on shooting the film at the said location. He even replaced Madhubala and asked her to return the advance payment of rupees 30,000. This is when a legal rift started in which Dilip Kumar decided to side with Chopra. It made Madhubala angry and upset and they both parted ways eventually.
However, their professional terms remained intact as both of them shot Mughal-e-Azam after they separated. The popular feather scene (with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali khan providing background vocals) from the film becomes all the more epic with the context that both of them were not on talking terms and still pulled off one of the most romantic scenes Bollywood has ever witnessed.
A few years later, Madhubala succumbed to a heart ailment and Dilip Kumar, in his autobiography said, “I must admit that I was attracted to her (Madhubala) both as a fine co-star and as a person who had some of the attributes I hoped to find in a woman at that age and time…She, as I said earlier, was very sprightly and vivacious and, as such, she could draw me out of my shyness and reticence effortlessly”
Parveen Babi and Mahesh Bhatt
Considered one of the most beautiful Bollywood heroines ever, Parveen Babi’s real life was not as sparkling as her reel life. Though she was loved immensely by many, her love life was a pure tragedy.
Parveen Babi has had affairs before as well but it was her chemistry with Mahesh Bhatt that caught all the attention.
Parveen Babi was immensely in love with this director who was already married to someone else. However, this scandalous love affair turned pretty serious when Mahesh decided to move in with Parveen and left his wife and daughter for that.
Things turned south as Parveen Babi was allegedly diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Mahesh Bhatt, in his interviews, has shared about how Babi’s mental health affected their relationship but he decided to stick by her side. However, when schizophrenia took better of her, it eventually paved the way to the end of their relationship. Mahesh always continued to care for her and never shied away from addressing questions regarding her in public. He even made ‘Arth’ inspired by this part of his life.
While recalling Parveen’s tragic death in her apartment, he in an interview said, “It was January 22, 2005. I was at the airport, having returned from Hyderabad when my phone was flooded with SMSes, “Parveen Babi is dead. She was found dead in her apartment (due to diabetic complications).” It seemed unreal. I learned that her body was lying unclaimed at the Cooper Hospital. I thought if none of her relatives came forward I’d bury her. She was the springboard of my success. Arth (based on his relationship with Parveen) became the lifeblood of my resurrection. You take away this defining watershed tragedy and my narrative ceases to exist. I owe it all to her. By offering to bury her I felt a sense of closure. As they were laying her to rest on January 23, 2005, I wondered what I’d have been without this woman. She had brought some ‘arth’ to my existence!"
Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman
Guru Dutt, a legendary actor, director and filmmaker of Hindi Cinema, fell in love with Waheeda Rehman while shooting the film CID. However, he was already married to famous singer Geeta Dutt which further caused problems in his relationship which eventually ended.
It is believed that initially, Dutt was about to cast Dilip Kumar opposite Waheeda in 'Pyaasa' but later, he decided to share the screen with her. By this time, he was head over heels for her. They further went on to work together on several projects and the news of their closeness started to see the light of the day. However, something happened that caused turmoil between the both of them.
This affair also affected Dutt’s relationship with his wife Geeta Roy. According to some records, Geeta even refused to sing for Waheeda in Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam.
Some personal tussles between Dutt and Rehman lead to both of them separating ways while his wife, Geeta Roy also left him. This was the time when his life turned apart and at the young age of 39, we lost Guru Dutt, a gem of an artist.
Sahir Ludhianvi and Amrita Pritam
One of the most intense love stories in Bollywood was that of Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi. Both masters of their art, it was natural that they fell for each other. Ludhianvi fell for the pretty face and her talent while Pritam gave in to the magic he created with his words.
Amrita Pritam was so much in love with Sahir that she has described him as “Mera shayar”, “Mera mehboob”, “Mera khuda” and “Mera devta”. Their love blossomed over the love letters they wrote to each other while both of them were in different cities.
Sahir, though a master of his art who could beautifully give life to any emotion through his words, was, in reality, a reserved man. It was his personal reservations that he never fully gave in to this relationship even though he loved Pritam. Some even blame his fear of long commitments in romantic relationships on his Oedipus tendencies. Even though they didn’t end up together, their love for each other was never a matter of doubt. It has remained alive through their letters for each other and still remains to be one of the most epic and tragic romances.