I was never one of those filmgoers who thought Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla, Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit and Govinda-Karisma Kapoor had amazing big screen chemistry. Yes, I would probably pause briefly if I were channel surfing and happened to chance upon, say, Sarkailo khatiya jaada lage (I think it’s hilarious; yes, I know it’s made it to many “worst Hindi songs ever” lists) or that heaving number from Sailaab, Dhak dhak karne laga. But the thought of watching a rerun of modern classics such as Raja Babu or QSQT sends shivers down my spine.
Vintage chemistry: Waheeda Rehman and Guru Dutt.
For every person who believes Akshay Kumar looked good with Raveena Tandon, there are two others who believe he looked better with Shilpa Shetty or Twinkle Khanna. Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh? Cute, but they got married before they grew up and it was all over for the audience. Mumtaz-Rajesh Khanna? Too energetic. Rajesh Khanna-Sharmila Tagore? Always crying.
Even the rumour that a production house plans to bring Dharmendra and Hema Malini together again doesn’t excite me. Frankly, and this will probably sound blasphemous to some of you, I thought Dharmendra looked better with Sharmila Tagore—he knew exactly how to take charge of her vigorous eyelashes. Besides, do Dharam and Hema really stand a chance after the red-hot pairing of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema in 2003’s Baghban?
Talking of Bachchan’s films, was he better with Rekha or Jaya? Yes, everyone knows Silsila went in Rekha’s favour but I don’t think Mr Natwarlal came anywhere near Abhimaan, Chupke Chupke and Mili.
But in short, what I’m asking is this: Will any star couple ever replace the megawatt couple power of Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman? After all it has been more than four decades since Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, their last film together.
Maybe it was the black and white medium? My second and third all-time favourite couples are B&W biggies Raj Kapoor-Nargis and Dilip Kumar-Madhubala respectively.
Or maybe it was the fact that all these three couples had some serious off-screen chemistry going too.
For a while I thought Shah Rukh-Kajol would be that replacement. Maybe they are, for some of you. Dilwale...still plays in a Mumbai theatre; it’s even been 10 years since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai; and the couple will be back in Karan Johar’s next, My Name is Khan.
But if you’re radical, you could place your bets on another couple. They’re both happily married and not having an affair with each other but, as we finally saw in 2006’s Dhoom 2, they have great on-screen chemistry.
Will Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan give us what we’ve all been waiting for? We’ll know next week.
Meanwhile, we’ve tried to do a different kind of Love Issue. So in these pages you’re unlikely to find out that Giordano Travel Gear has a special Valentine’s edition or that you can rush to book a luxury room at the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur for Rs65,000 upwards this February. Enjoy this week’s Love Lounge, which is filled with the stories of real couples.
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