Whether it is the Amitabh Bachchan-Kimi Katkar chartbuster Chumma, chumma de de in Hum or Emraan Hashmi’s reputation as a ‘serial kisser’, on-screen kissing in Bollywood movies has always created a stir, leaving viewers half-scandalised, half-curious. But before independent India got its censor board and decided that a kiss was ‘indecent’, many movies in the 1920s and 30s featured liplocks.
The 1929 silent film 'A Throw of Dice' featured a kiss between actors Seeta Devi and Charu Roy. But it was Devika Rani’s four-minute passionate liplock with her real life husband Himanshu in the 1933 film Karma which remains Hindi cinema’s longest kiss till date. Conservative attitudes prevailed in the 40s and 50s and films became chaste.
The prudishness of this era gave way to the symbolism and titillation of the 60s and 70s – shaking flowers, crashing waves and wet saris. Kissing made a comeback in the 80s and 90s, with a much-hyped kissing sequence in Raja Hindustani.
“Every second movie today has a kissing sequence, even family movies. It’s considered respectable to see it and show it,” said film critic Shubhra Gupta.
Devika Rani kisses actor/husband Himanshu Rai in the film Karma. This was the first onscreen kiss and supposed to be the longest (four minutes) in Indian films.