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Nargis and Raj Kapoor ruled the silver screen for years as a couple – creating phenomenal films and courting controversy. As the most iconic duo of Bollywood, theirs is a love story that rivals the greatest love stories!

  1. Pinkie and Baby Rani

Raj Kapoor first met Nargis when she was twenty and he was twenty four. He turned up at her house to meet her mother who was a famous Bollywood director and producer. Nargis, who had been cooking, opened the door with unkempt hair and sticky hands. Flustered, she informed the dapper young gentleman that nobody was home. He left graciously but she had already made an impression on him. She, known well as Baby Rani, later described him as a ‘fat, blue eyed pinkie’!

2. Iconic Cinema

Aag was their first film together, but it was in ‘Barsaat’ that they cemented their on screen and off screen chemistry. ‘Pyaar Hua, Ikraar Hua’ from Shree 420 that saw them share an umbrella in the rain was yet another example that made their relationship undeniable. She invested heavily in him and RK studios, often seen actively participating in lighting, direction and even cutting mangoes for him to eat! She was also the only heroine who called him ‘Raj’ and not ‘Raj ji’. They were such a charismatic duo that Russian fans actually believed that they were husband and wife and had posters of their films sent to the North Pole expedition – such was the impact they created. 

3. Complications

Raj Kapoor married Krishna and was content to romance Nargis on the side. He even commented that Krishna was the mother of his children and his wife, but Nargis was his inspiration. However, over time, it became clear to Nargis that legitimacy as a partner of Raj Kapoor was not going to be a possibility. Everything came to a head in Russia, when she left abruptly for India while he was ill. 

4. End of an Era

Nargis had done all she could to find a way to marry Raj Kapoor, including consulting the then Home Minister on the Hindu Marriage Act! But when nothing materialised, she quietly shifted out of his life. She moved her things out of RK Studios, never starred in his films again and never spoke about him publicly. This opened up her acting prospects because she could now choose roles she wanted to do – and that is what brought her the role of a lifetime and a love that would last. She starred in ‘Mother India’, which was nominated for an Academy Award and fell in love with Sunil Dutt, whom she would later marry. 

Read more about Nargis and Raj Kapoor’s love story for free as part of #LiveLaughLearnLove here!

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