Moviemakers marry their heroines!
V. Shantaram – Jayshree: The legendary director V. Shantaram was known for discovering new faces and Jayshree was definitely his most outstanding discovery for the title role of Shakuntala (1943). Jayshree was an instant hit with the viewers on account of her very charming looks and extraordinary talents. Shantaram was himself floored by her beauty and married her while they were still celebrating the overwhelming success of the film.
Sohrab Modi – Mehtab: In 1946, the famous producer-director Sohrab Modi, after his relationship with the beauty queen Naseem Bano had run its course, married Mehtab, an actress 20 years younger, whom he had directed in Parakh (1944). For his prestigeous project, Jhansi Ki Rani (1953), India's first technicolor film, Modi cast Mehtab as the young queen of Jhansi who took up arms against the British during the mutiny of 1857, with Modi essaying the role of Rajguru (Chief Advisor). Sadly the film failed at the box-office for which most crics blamed him for casting Mehtab who they believed was by then too old to play the role of the young queen.
Mehboob Khan - Sardar Akhtar: After humble beginning in Bollywood studios, Mehboob Khan had become a famous producer- director with many hits to his credit when he cast the already established actress Sardar Akhtar in his classic Aurat (1940), the original version of his another classic movie Mother India (1957). Sardar Akhtar was acclaimed for portraying with perfection the grim struggles and sufferings of women in rural life. Mehboob was so impressed by her personality on and off screen that he could not resist the temptation to marry her.
Himansu Rai - Devika Rani: The founder of Bombay Talkies, the famous Bollywood banner of 30s and 40s, Himansu Rai had acted in and produced two notable films with German collaboration, Light of Asia and Shiraz by the time he met Devika Rani and made Karma (1933) with her. The film had many firsts to its credit - it was India's first bi-lingual film made in English and Hindi, had its premier in London, had 4-minutes long kissing scene, the longest kissing scene in the movie world. Devika Rani became an instant superstar after the release of the film and came to be known as the first lady of Indian cinema. Himansu Rai fell in love with her heroine and married her.
A. R. Kardar – Bahar Akhtar: The famous film producer of 1930s-40s and one of the pioneers of film industry in Lahore since the Silent Era, A. R. Kardar introduced Bahar Akhtar along with her sister Sardar Akhtar in his eighth and the last silent era movie
Sweetheart. Before the picture was completed Kardar was floored by Bahar's beauty and married her. He destroyed all the negatives of the film as he did not want his wife to be seen romancing Nazeer, a leading artist of that era and hero of Kardar's movie. Incidentally, Bahar's sister Sardar Akhtar later became a leading actress who married producer-director Mehboob Khan.
Nazeer – Swaranlata: At the age of 18, Swaranlata, a tall and alluring Sikh girl from Punjab, married a rich merchant P. C. Balmoria, who introduced Swaranlata to the world of films. Swaranlata became popular with back to back hits Awaaz (1942), Tasweer (1943) and Rattan (1944). In 1945, director-cum-producer-cum-actor Nazeer started Laila Majnu taking Swaranlata to play Laila. The film, an Arabian love legend, gave rise to a real life romance off the screen as well. Swaranlata converted to Islam and changed her name to Saeeda Bano, before she married Nazeer. After the Partition, they shifted to Lahore (Pakistan).
Shaukat Hussain – Noorjehan: Revered in Pakistan by her title Mallika-e-Tarranum (Queen of Melody and considered to be one of the greatest singers to have come from the Indian sub-continent, Noorjehan got her break as a heroine in debut director Shaukat Hussain Rizvi's Khandaan (1942) opposite Pran, who later became India's most popular villain. Khandaan's success saw her and Rizvi shift from Lahore to the mainstream movie center Bombay. The year 1945 brought Noorjehan and director Rizvi their first super hit movie Zeenat, famous for the Qawalli – 'Ahein na bhari, shikwe na kiye'. Director Rizvi and the star Noorjehan celebrated the success of the movie with their marriage. After Partition, both shifted to Pakistan and made some hit movies together.
Roop K. Shorie – Meena Shorie: Born in Raiwind near Lahore in rural and poor family, she was totally an illeterate girl when luck brought her to Bombay in late 30s to become Bollywood's temptress and the happy-go-lucky actress in the 40s and 50s. Sohrab Modi gave her a chance in Sikandar (1941) that was an all India hit and there was no looking back for Meena. Diractor-producer Roop K. Shorie's runaway super hit Ek Thi Ladki (1949) dubbed her as the sensational Lara Lappa girl after the song from this film 'Lara lappa lara lappa lai lagda' became the greatest hit of the year. Meena married her director and lover Roop K. Shorie and thereafter became popular as Meena Shorie.
R. K. Nayyar – Sadhna: Director R. K. Nayyar introduced to Hindi cinema one of the most talented actresses Sadhna in Love in Simla (1960). The biggest surprise hit of the year, Love in Simla, made the debuntante Sadhna an overnight star. The queen of style for the Indian women of 1960s, who brought a fresh new image to the Hindi film heroin, Sadhna was only too happy to say 'yes' when her mentor, R. K. Nayyar proposed to her after the success of the movie.
Boney Kapoor – Sridevi: Son of producer-director Surender Kapoor, Boney Kapoor had already produced two movies with Sridevi in the leading role – Mr. India (1987) and Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993) – and was in the process of making Judai (1997) when they made the surprise announcement of their marriage. In all the three movies the romantic lead role was played by Boney's younger brother Anil Kapoor, but nobody in the industry had any idea of the ongoing romance of Boney and Sridevi behind the scenes. The gossip columns came up with many guesses but the one that stuck was that Boney and his first wife Mona had accommodated Sridevi in their home during Sridevi's stay in Bombay and it was then that the two developed relationship. Mona had been married for several years and had two children. Mona stayed with Boney's parents for 10 years after the divorce to give the children a sense of family.
Goldie Behl – Sonali Bendre: October 11, 2002 was more than a fabulous Friday for the swelte Sonali Bendre, one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of Bollywood. It was the day when Sonali and her long-time sweetheart Goldie Behl got engaged in an improptu and sudden fashion. Goldie was co-producing Sonali starrer Angaaray in 1996 when they first met and since then the couple had a great affinity for each other and began dating soon after. Their relationship remained the point of industry speculation for few years, but they fiercely guarded their privacy, preferring not to admit or deny anything to the media. It was on October 11, when the who's who of the industry was gearing up to wish Amitabh Bachchan on his 60th birthday that the momentou announcement of their engagement was made by Jaya Bachchan. The couple got married after one month, on Nov. 12, 2002.
There may have been many more relationships between female movie stars and their mentors, which might have remained well-guarded secrets or broken before culminating into their marriage, of which we may come to know at some point in future.