CHANGING FACES OF LOVE: A Journey through Bollywood


Romance and Bollywood are synonymous. But the expression of love and romance has seen some drastic changes. From Raj Kapoor and Nargis strolling in the rains, to Shammi’s shimmy, from Rishi-Dimple’s young- adult romance, to Shahrukh Khan’s chocolate hero charms, Bollywood has seen it all! Let’s make a small trip through time, shall we? Just to see how ideas, expressions, emotions of love have changed. Or have they?

The Black and white era

This song showed us that something as simple as strolling in the rains sharing an umbrella can be so romantic! No matter how things have changed, this song has lasted as an iconic image of romance. Despite rains being so troublesome, irritating and sticky, lovers can’t help but smile when it pours!

Who says love can’t be fun?

As the years passed by, love didn’t necessary have to be painful, difficult, or even dreamy. It could be fun, it could be flirty, it could be about dancing! And who better than Shammi Kapoor and his carefree dance moves to express this kind of love! Love didn’t have to be coy, it could be bold and in your face!

The boundless, limitless love

Just because we had moved to modern color era didn’t mean the intensity of love had reduced in any way. With Rajesh Khanna came a phase of movies and songs about love, which knew no limits. The kind of love which happened because it did. This song still remains an absolute favorite to describe feelings of the ever elusive ‘true love’.

Sex: Another expression of love?

Bobby is till date associated with young puppy love. The kind that makes toes tingle, hearts race and stomachs knot up. The movie and this song in particular also brought out sex in an obvious way. Made that link between love and sex which was unspoken, often alluded to but rarely out in the open.

Back to the ancient ways?

The early 90s saw the release of a film named Aashiqui which with its tagline- Love Makes Life Live. It was as unambiguously about love as possible. Its songs were a rage with the youth and are still considered to be love anthems. Dheere Dheere also featured elaborate dream sequences sung by the protagonists while experiencing their love, painfully so, and all by themselves- a theme which soon became a trend in Bollywood. Despite strides being made towards just and gender equal love, films like Aashiqui took us back in time by endorsing love that requires the girl to sacrifice her career and ambitions for her to maintain a relationship successfully.

 The Larger than Life Love

Who doesn’t equate Shahrukh Khan with romance? The other Khans may be known for their intellectual films, their muscles, but no one can romance like Shahrukh. And nothing proves it better than this song. From romancing in the middle of wheat fields in Punjab, to ballroom dancing at the foothills of the Swiss Alps, this song has everything! For children who grew up on Bollywood in the 90s, love will always be lavish costumes, declaration of undying love through spontaneous singing and of course- Shahrukh and Kajol.

 The mature love

Dil chahta hain was not only radical because of its representations of friendships, it also talked about love in a very different manner. This song, picturised on Akshaye Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, talks of a younger boy falling in love with an older divorcee who is struggling with alcohol problems. He doesn’t expect her to love him back or to possess her in any manner. The song too reflects that gentle feeling, that feeling of being in love, without worrying about reciprocation or expectations.

The unconventional love


Not that Bollywood has seen a sea of change. We still have many conventional expressions of love and romance. But Barfi and its songs were indeed a refreshing break. The song depicts a unique love story between two differently disabled persons and their idea and experience of love. We see a shift from the grand gestures of love to a more realistic everyday love.

Now that you have our list, we want to know which your favorite love songs are. Share with us in the comment section below the songs which define romance for you!

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