Zamana kya kahega: A Bollywood history of love, sex and morality from 1929 to 2015

Zenia D'Cunha February 14, 2015 13:05:04 IST
Zamana kya kahega: A Bollywood history of love, sex and morality from 1929 to 2015

He reaches out for her, she demurs. He opens his arms, she runs into them. Lightning cracks, fathers snarl, heroines weep, heroes go on rampages. It doesn't matter what the story, there's almost always a little morality tale about love and sex nestled in a Bollywood film.

While sex has been a part of movies, it hasn’t necessarily been blatantly displayed, but the suggestion of sex has lingered in our popular cinema over the decades. We've seen it in romantic leads who would sing thoroughly suggestive lyrics with cherubic faces that didn't belie the lyrical raciness. It's been stamped upon the vamps who would sing alluring invitations to bring out one's inner hedonist. Be it the smouldering gazes exchanged between beloved on-screen couples like Raj Kapoor and Nargis, the bobbing dahlias or the more pointed ‘suhag raat’ scene, symbolic sex has been a mainstay of our movies.

The question of morality came in the context of when, where and who was having that symbolic sex on screen. As the list below shows, what is considered acceptable has changed over the years. Here are a few Bollywood titles that are milestones in the filmi tale of love, sex and morality.

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