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Kissing Scenes in Indian Cinema: A journey from where it all began

Kissing Scenes in Indian Cinema: This is not about the infamous kiss between Mika Singh and Rakhi Sawant that sparked a scandal in 2006. Let’s be honest about the ‘chumma’ that has drawn a sizable portion of the public to the theatres for decades.

Our bellies sometimes feel more than just butterflies when we see a kiss on film. Hormone- and eye-pleasing, provided it’s done with style.

In the 1920s and 1930s, kissing on film became popular. While the longest on-screen kiss is credited to Devika Rani, the first woman of Hindi cinema. Other actors and actresses didn’t hold back either, including Seeta Devi in A Throw of Dice and Zubeida in Zarina.

In the 1933 movie Karma, which at the time caused quite a stir, Devika Rani kissed her co-star and future husband Himanshu Rai for more than 4-5 minutes. The latter was rendered unconscious after being bitten by a snake, and the sequence required her character to revive him.

According to author Kishwar Desai, who wrote the book The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani, the kissing scene lasted for two minutes but seemed to endure a long time to the audience.

This daring depiction of the kiss declined in the 1940s and was eventually censored. For a long time, intimacy in Hindi cinema was metaphorically symbolised by flowers merging to show blossoming love or by the camera panning towards fire logs to represent burning desire. In Hum’s Jumma Chumma song, Amitabh Bachchan as Tiger begged Jumma (Kimi Katkar) for a kiss but failed miserably.

kissing scenes
Image Credit: Youtube

Raja Hindustani’s awkward Kissing Scene

Then there was Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapur’s awkward kissing sequence in Raja Hindustani in 1995. Not only did Karisma feel ki kab khatam ho raha hai ye, but so did we. karisma in an interview once said she was waiting for the scene to end.

Kissing scenes
Image Credits: Youtube

Well interestingly, the scene made to the final cut and the Censor Board seemed pretty okay with it.

Now comes Emraan Hashmi the GOAT of kissing scenes in Bollywood. He made Murder and Aashiq Banaya Aapne so focused on mmmmuaaahs that we hardly recall their plots.

For your information, Emraan Hashmi performed 20 kisses a film for over 17 years. This was revealed by the actor himself in an event.

Shah Rukh Khan had a no-kissing policy in movies up until the release of Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan. In the 2012 movie, SRK kissed Katrina Kaif on-screen, which ignited debate about what made him change his attitude after working in the business for so long.

In a sensual moment from Goliyon Ki Raasleela, Ranveer Singh kisses his co-star, wife Deepika Padukone. Ram-Leela and later Vaani Kapoor in Befikre were the primary talking points at the time of their releases. In the 2016 movie, Ranveer and Vaani actually shared 23 kisses.

While some celebrities violated the rules for on-screen kissing, others broke records. To this day, many actors in movies use props to kiss their co-stars. Over the years, Hindi film has undergone a significant paradigm shift in how it depicts kissing.

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