From the yesteryear heroines who sacrificed for their love and suffered happily ever after to the generation today which has parties to celebrate break-ups, Bollywood has always captured the zeitgeist of the age.
On Valentine's Day, we take a look at how the notion of love has changed with time in planet Bollywood. We begin with the era of romantic sagas where 'true love' meant sacrifice. True yet tragic loveFrom Dilip Kumar's Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Guru Dutt's Pyaasa (1957) to Meena Kumari-starrer Pakeezah (1972), Bollywood endorsed the idea of love where giving up one's self esteem, or even life, for the sake of love and consequently bare endless pain was the order of the day! Friendship as loveRaj Kapoor's Sangam (1964) brought the friendship angle to the Indian perception of love. A love triangle which had all the three characters as friends was new to Bollywood. Dev Anand's Guide (1965) in many ways celebrated the love that blooms from friendship. Raju (aka Dev Anand) befriends a married lady, helps her achieve her dream as an acclaimed dancer, but errs once too often. He even goes to jail in a forgery case. Films like Aandhi (1975) and Kabhi Kabhi (1976) had friendship and love as its core. The rebellious love But 70s also saw a major change in attitudes. Angry 'love' man Amitabh Bachchan was on the rise. Bollywood was in the mood for rebellion. The lovers had to rebel against the society and their families for their love. Movies like Bobby (1973) starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia is a case in point. Questioning traditionThere were many love stories which took on tradition. Movies like Julie (1975) and Choti Si Baat (1975) were love stories that re-defined traditions and society. Film on this theme were made time and again. Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla's debut Qayamat Tak Se Qayamat Tak (1988) showed lovers taking on families hell-bent on archaic traditions. Prem Rog (1982) and Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi (1985), Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) and Lamhe (1991) were interesting narratives where love defied the traditional barriers of caste, class, age and status. The irony called loveFilms featuring star-crossed lovers, torn asunder by luck and chance, kept making a comeback every now and then. Silsila (1981) had Amitabh and Rekha sacrificing their love for the sake of family. Sadma (1983) was yet another accursed love story where lovers do not meet in the end, with neither of the lead pair responsible for their fate! The obsessive loverLate '90s saw the rise of obsessive lovers. Shah Rukh Khan essayed this role with consummate ease in Deewana (1992), Darr (1993) and Anjaam (1994). College romance was the flavour of the times. R Madhvan, with a few shades of obsession in him as well, became the idol of thousands of school and college boys with his Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein (2001). Bollywood captured the zeitgeist of the age. Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's idealistic and self destructive Devdas became Dev D (2009). Gone was the sacrificing Paro. In came a new Paro (Mahie Gill) who refuses to cry over romance gone sour and is unapologetic about her sexuality. Idealistic no more Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone redefined the notion of filmy love in Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Cocktail (2012). Parineeti Chopra's Ishaqzaade (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013) and Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) turned conventional definitions of love on its head with her character playing the brat (traditionally played by the male actors).