By Parul Singh Last Updated:
The evergreen star of Bollywood, Dev Anand, might have had few affairs with the tinsel town ladies but it was his first love, Suraiya, that made headlines for a long time. Dev Anand and Suraiya love story was one of the most passionate love sagas of its time and an unfortunate one too.
Their story was nothing less than a movie script that had love, romance, hatred and a sad ending. Want to know the tragic love saga of Dev Anand and Suraiya? Read on to all about it.
It was during the late 40’s when the budding star Dev Anand met Suraiya, who was already a sensational singing star and a renowned actress. The newbie was already fascinated by the beauty, charm and down to earth nature of Suraiya which slowly turned into love when they did their first movie, Vidya, together.
Speaking about his lady love, Dev Anand once said:
“Suraiya and I fell in love when we started working together. She was a very nice girl who radiated warmth and friendliness. She was an established star but had no airs about her. I was passionately in love with her. I was young, It was my first love and very intense.”
Even Suraiya could not resist the simplicity of the handsome actor and was soon swayed away by his charisma. But it was an accident on the sets of their first movie which made Suraiya fall head over heels in love with the actor.
Recalling about the accident and how love happened, Suraiya once said:
“Dev was the first young, handsome hero I worked with. He was very charming. It is very difficult for me to say what exactly it was that I really liked about him. I think it was his overall personality. I remember the first time I met Dev, it was on the sets of ‘Vidya’. I was already an established star and he was a new comer. He was very nervous, especially in the romantic scenes.”
“Soon after, we were shooting in a boat and it capsized but Dev saved me from drowning. I told him, ‘if you hadn’t saved my life today, it would have ended.’ He just said quietly, ‘if your life had ended so would have mine.’ I think that’s when we fell deeply in love.”
Their association was hidden for a good two years but became public during the shooting of Afsar in 1950 and that was also the beginning of more trouble in their relationship.
Dev Anand and Suraiya wanted to marry and start a new life. The lovers even decided to get hitched and elope during the shooting of Jeet in 1949, but their plan failed as Suraiya’s orthodox maternal grandmother, Badshah Begum, came to know about their plan and dragged the actress home. After that, she kept a strict vigilant on the Dev Anand and Suraiya and wanted their relationship to end anyhow.
Recalling the incident, Suraiya once confessed:
“Eventually, my grandmother succeeded in separating us. Dev was deeply hurt and offended by my lack of courage. But I was afraid for him. In retrospect, I don't think anything would have happened if I'd been bold enough. But I was terrified of my grandmother. And was heartbroken.”
After the incident, the actress’ grandmother became so strict that once she did not allow the actress to shoot an innocent love scene like kissing on the eyelash etc with the actor. She even disrupted the shooting of a love sequence. Her strict nature and torture were becoming unbearable for Dev Anand as he could not meet his lady love at home or talk to her on phone.
Telling about the incident the actor once said:
“It was so frustrating to communicate with Suraiya those days what with her grandmother being around her all the time. Of course I remember passing on the letter in the book. I always told Suraiya that the only religion is Love. Don't let social barriers or family influence your heart. I loved her dearly.”
But the lovebirds used to meet secretly at Suraiya’s building terrace. Suraiya further added:
“But my grandmother was very orthodox and she later became angry because Dev was a Hindu. She had at one point banned me from meeting him so we had to meet secretly on the terrace of my building. Dev would come with the late Dwarka Divecha by the backstairs. We would sit behind the water tanks and chat while downstairs, Dwarka would keep my grandmother engaged in conversation. But I was always tensed."
Although, the couple faced hatred from grandmother, Suraiya’s mother, Mumtaz Begum, supported the lovebirds, but was often snubbed by others.
Young Dev once said:
“Suraiya’s mother was always on my side and encouraged us. But her grandmother hated me.”
In fact, it was Suraiya’s mother who arranged the last meeting between the couple. But Dev Anand was a little apprehensive and suspected the meeting to be a trap but he still went ahead to meet his lady love. One of his police officer friends, Tara Chand, decided to accompany him with a pistol and few torches in his pocket. He gave one torch to the actor to flash towards him in case he sensed any danger. The actor finally reached the terrace of Suraiya’s six-storey building where they met, hugged, cried and ended their four years-long relationship and decided never to meet again.
It was on the advice of his elder brother Chetan Anand that the actor decided to end his relationship with the actress and concentrate on his film career. Dev Anand confessed:
“I wanted to marry her, but could not. Cried on my brother's shoulder and then I forgot the chapter to proceed further.”
Although, Dev Anand moved on with his life and later married actress Kalpana Karthik, but for Suraiya her downfall started the day she broke up with the actor. The actress stopped taking singing assignments, did no movies and decided not to get married ever.
But despite all this, the actors shared no bitterness towards each other and carried on with their life.
Sharing his emotions, Dev Anand once said:
“One has to be on top. It has to be there on your mind. But for that one needs to make lot of sacrifices. Someday you have to break away from your loved ones against your wishes. You will be heart broken. But you have to bear the sorrow to grow and belong to the world.”
Even Suraiya expressed her views and said:
“Who can say what may have happened had I married? I've seen so many friends' marriages crumbling. I've been single and happy, living and doing the things I like, with a circle of close friends. But I'll admit that after my mother expired some years ago, I felt some amount of loneliness creep in.”
Dev Anand and Suraiya loved each other deeply and had they been united, their love story would have been an ideal example of how love overcame religion, but alas such was not the case and their love saga ended on a sad note. Isn’t this an amazing tale? What do think of this platonic and pure love story? Do let us know in the comments section below.