15 Best Bollywood Love Stories Of All Time

Team FC

Barfi! (2012)

A modern classic, Barfi! is a rare Hindi film that looks like love. Just as the loss of one sense is known to sharpen the others in humans, the film's exaggerated sense of feeling and colour – the popping greens, reds and goldens of West Bengal – is a direct result of the two protagonists being differently-abled.

Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Before DDLJ and KNPH, there was QSQT, a watershed moment for the renovated Romeo+Juliet musical. The debut of Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla, as well as the ultimate late-80s college anthem, was so much more than just that – especially in terms of how the movie weaponized the intersection of two cinematic eras by design.

Pyaasa (1957)

It's a good time to recognize the irony that one of the most perfectly composed tragedies in all of cinema is based on an artist who is dismissed for not writing love stories.

Rajnigandha (1974)

What's a list of immortal love stories without the very mortal love of a Basu Chatterjee–Amol Palekar classic? I find myself revisiting Rajnigandha the most, just for its audacity to be ordinary – fallible, flawed, normal, indecisive, human – at a time when escapism became the official language of mainstream Hindi cinema.

Sparsh (1980)

Sai Paranjpye's modest masterpiece features arguably the greatest – and most intellectually truthful – portrait of physical disability in Hindi cinema. Naseeruddin Shah's National Award-winning performance as a defiant blind man aside, the love story at the center of Sparsh is in fact an indictment of feeling.

The Lunchbox (2013)

The genre of epistolary romance, where careful letters replace the physical being, is a site for some of the most quiet, distraught, and painful revelations.

Jab We Met (2007)

When the bubbly Geet (Kareena Kapoor Khan) meets the forlorn Aditya (Shahid Kapoor), something moves. Over the years, they swap personalities, and it is the impulsive and idealistic Aditya, this time, who needs to rescue Geet from depressive ambivalence after suffering a humiliating heartbreak.

October (2018)

When Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) slips and falls off a balcony, she is hospitalized. Her last words before that was "Where is Dan?" Dan (Varun Dhawan), another intern with Shiuli at the hotel, aimless, boisterous, kind-hearted but not kind, is suddenly moved, and keeps visiting her, fighting with everyone, losing his gig at the hotel.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's first brush with extravagant and dildaar maximalism, this film, set in Gujarat and later Italy (it is actually Budapest), charts the emotional journey of a husband (Ajay Devgn) who selflessly tries to reunite his wife (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) with her former lover (Salman Khan).

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Before October 1995, the leading trope in Bollywood love stories was the running away of the star-crossed couple. They were young and in-love, but without their parents' consent, had no other choice but to elope to find their happiness together.

Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)

There perhaps had been several films before the Maneesh Sharma directorial that were based in Delhi. But this was arguably the most Dilli love story to release in the longest time.

Kabhi Kabhie (1976)

Yash Chopra's story of love, heartbreak and acceptance, written by Sagar Sarhadi, was as poetic as it was progressive. Vijay (Shashi Kapoor) is married to Pooja (Raakhee), who shared a past romance with Amit (Amitabh Bachchan).

Mughal-E-Azam (1960)

Not all love stories have a happy ending. And Mughal-E-Azam, despite its ethereal and exquisite sets and sounds, didn't have one either. But somewhere, the tragic love story of Salim (Dilip Kumar), the crown prince, and Anarkali (Madhubala), the court dancer, continues to endure.

Aandhi (1975)

Yet another film that subverted the tropes of its time, Gulzar's Aandhi poignantly dealt with an ageing romance. JK (Sanjeev Kumar) and Aarti (Suchitra Sen), an estranged couple, come across one another after years of separation.

Rangeela (1995)

As its name suggests, the film is bursting with vibrance and colours, capturing the Bambaiyya streets and its love for cinema in a gaze that's almost romantic in itself. Mili (Urmila Matondkar), a background dancer in the movies, aspires to be an actress.