Suraiya, Zeenat Aman and more: The women Dev Anand loved

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Famous for his romantic films and songs, Dev Anand was equally romantic in his personal life. He was ‘always in love’, as he had confessed in 2008. However, he also added that being always in love, for him, did not mean sleeping with women all the time. Dev Anand is known to have deeply loved three women in his life – his first love Suraiya, his wife Kalpana Kartik and Bollywood star Zeenat Aman. (Also read: Dev Anand 100th birth anniversary: Some interesting facts about late actor)

Zeenat with Dev Anand in a still from the cult classic Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)

Suraiya

When they worked together in films in the 40s, they were said to fall in love with each other and had a passionate affair. As per reports, he fell in love with her when she credited him for saving her life after he rescued her from a river during the shooting of a song. They were shooting Kinare Kinare Chale Jayen Ge for the film Vidya when she slipped from the boat and he jumped into the lake to save her.

Suraiya’s grandmother opposed the relationship right from the beginning, because of their different religions. The actors continued to meet despite the opposition and even planned to elope. Eventually, they gave up on their relationship due to pressure from her grandmother. Suraiya even remained unmarried till her death at the age of 74.

Dev Anand confessed about his first love in his autobiography Romancing with Life. He wrote, “I fell in love for the first time. We all know what first love does to a human being. Then the agony of not getting it. Suddenly hope was aroused after being encouraged, but again disillusionment crept in when nothing happened.” Suraiya and Dev worked in films such as Shair (1949), Jeet (1949), Afsar (1950), Do Sitare (1951) and Sanam (1951).

In his book, Dev also wrote that they were not destined to be together, and he may not have become the Dev Anand he eventually did, had he married Suraiya.

Kalpana Kartik

Sometime after his separation from Suraiya, Dev Anand fell for another co-star. His Baazi co-star Kalpana Kartik became his wife in three years since they first worked together in the film. They got married in 1954 and also had son Suneil Anand, and daughter, Devina, together.

Talking about her late husband, Kalpana had told The Hindu in 2015, “He was a really caring husband and father. People feel we separated, but that is absolutely false. Dev is very much in my heart even today, smiling and guiding me as only he can. I just cannot believe that he is no more. To me, he is always Dev Anand my husband, right from our midnight marriage on the sets of Taxi Driver in 1954.”

Zeenat

Later, Dev Anand fell in love with Zeenat Aman while working on their film together, Hare Rama Hare Krishna. In his autobiography, Romancing With Life, he wrote, “Whenever and wherever she was talked about glowingly, I loved it; and whenever and wherever I was discussed in the same vein, she was jubilant. In the subconscious, we had become emotionally attached to each other. Suddenly, one day I felt I was desperately in love with Zeenat – and wanted to say so to her.”

He added, “To make an honest confession, at a very special, exclusive place meant for romance. I chose the Rendezvous at the Taj, on top of the city, where we had dined together once earlier.” He never proposed to her after he got to see how Zeenat was in awe of Raj Kapoor. After Dev Anand’s autobiography was launched, Zeenat claimed that she had no clue about Dev’s feelings for her.

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