Flashback Fridays: Truth behind Dev Anand and Suraiya's Tragic Love Story!!

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Their golden names might not be writ on celluloid anymore, but just the mention of it brings back nostalgic memories of a love story of a passionate woman and dewy-eyed man.

In a world where money reigns through facades, Dev Anand was the warmth that won hearts! When one talks about love, Dev Anand was always celebrated. His autobiography, Romancing with Life, shows him as a person who was romancing life in every true sense.. He didn't complain, and never used strong words against his worst adversaries. Despite being given the title of 'die hard romantic' hero of the film industry, his tragic love story with Suraiya is not to be given a miss. The Suraiya-Dev Anand romance was easily one of the most passionate ones of their time, and most unfortunate too.


How did the two lovers meet?


During the early 1950's, Suraiya was already at the peak of her career and had bagged laurels for being the 'sensational singing star' and 'chocolate charmer'. Producers during that era rushed to such actresses who could sing their own songs and thus, Suraiya was easily a trinket there.

Into Suraiya's world of fame and limelight, stepped a lean, brooding, young new comer- Dev Anand. None of Suraiya's interviews were complete without a reference to her love story with Dev Anand. In one such interview she 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, specially 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.”

Dev Anand on the other hand too became vocal on his fondness for Suraiya. On various interviews, he was seen talking about her with beaming love. "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."


When Suraiya's Grandmother opposed to their affair


Soon after, Dev-Suraiya's romance became the talk of the town and was among one of the main headlines of almost every leading daily. The news of their infamous affair however, didn't go down too well with Suraiya’s grandmother, who soon started opposing their affair openly. She went to the extent of not allowing them to shoot even innocent love scenes like kissing on the eyelashes etc. More than once she disrupted the shooting of a love sequence. Describing in her own words, Suraiya once quoted, 'Actually in the beginning my grandmother didn’t mind him. We even invited him over to our place for dinner once. I remember we made chicken specially for him because it was his favourite dish. 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."

Dev Anand tried to speak to Suraiya on multiple occasions, but each time her grandmother picked up the phone and warned Dev to stay away from Suraiya. Whenever Dev came to visit Suraiya at her apartment, he found his detractors already sitting in the drawing room. She also threatened Dev with filing a complaint against him. “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.” recalled a heart-broken Dev in one of his interviews.


When eloping seemed the only answer:



The highlight of this romance was the plan the lovers made to elope. While shooting for 'Jeet', the director decided to film on location instead of erecting a set. Also part of the plan was the summoning of a real 'panditji' to get Dev and Suraiya married during the shot. They would then get into the car and drive away - all as part of the scene, but in reality escaping. Everything was set but as luck would have had it, Suraiya's grandmother came to know of the plan. "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.." confessed Suraiya.


One final meeting with the help of Suraiya's mother:

While Suraiya’s grandmother showed her displeasure openly over the affair, her mother on the other hand was more reasonable. However, she was snubbed every time she tried to side with them. Dev Anand was all praises for Suraiya's mother. "Suraiya’s mother was always on my side and encouraged us. But her grandmother hated me.” quoted the Guide star.

It was in fact, Suraiya's mother who had arranged one last meeting between them. One fine night, while Suraiya’s grandmother was asleep, her mother answered Dev’s phone and assured a meeting between them. The time fixed was at 11.30 pm. At first Dev suspected it to be a trap. But he decided to go ahead. One of his friends from Punjab, Tara Singh (Tara Chand), a police officer in Bombay, decided to accompany him. Tara had a pistol in his pocket and a couple of torches. He gave one torch to Dev to flash towards him, if there was any trouble. The meeting place was at the roof of the six-storey building, where Suraiya lived on the ground floor. When Dev reached the meeting place at the scheduled time he found Suraiya standing behind the water tank. They embraced each other and for several minutes kept crying. After about half an hour they parted company to never meet each other again.


Dev Anand Moved On while Suraiya stood still in the nest of love:



On the advice of his elder brother Chetan Anand, Dev Anand decided to part ways with Suraiya and pursued his film career. But for Suraiya, this setback was the beginning of her stumbling block. She was offered many singing assignments which she politely declined.

Dev Anand eventually went on to marry Kalpana Kartik and, later, to romance several other women, but for Suraiya, it seemed that love began and ended with Dev Anand. "It hurt very much but I didn't let it make me bitter. I cried when I lost her but slowly I got over it." revealed Anand.

The empty hearted woman during one of her last interviews chided with the fact that had she chosen one of the many marriage proposals that came her way, life would have been very different. But, she also raised a question, "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."

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isnt this tragic that an old woman was standing against two people's love. thats a big sin

This would make a great movie.

what a beautiful story

i wish people were as loving as these two in today's time.

That is the most filmy love story ever... 50s were weird times

yes you are right, Pinkvilla we love reading such stories. write more

wow so beautiful lovestory though sad, not like today's dramaebaaz lovestory.

such innocent love of those times

we loved dev anand

Destiny played its role...

wish they got married

Dev Anand was my Dad's fav hero. I have grown up watching his movies..it is sad that he could not get the one he loved.

Yep, as usual family plays spoilsport . A lot of actresses were remote controlled by parents . Suraiya went the Rekha way (or rather vice versa) & became a solitary recluse . She used to dress the same way like she did when she was young & people cruelly mocked her for it. Dev got over it pretty quickly , married Kalpana Karthik & fooled around on her giving that poor lady a nervous break down . It would have certainly hurt Suraiya had she married him after sacrificing so much & he was unfaithful to her too.

'It would have certainly hurt Suraiya had she married him after sacrificing so much & he was unfaithful to her too' I don't think he would have been unfaithful to her, I believe that both were soul mates, hence she never married anyone and he also couldn't stay faithful to his wife. He clearly was not content in his marriage and tried to find happiness elsewhere which sadly he could never find.

I wonder ...when they met Suraiya was the star , Dev became a superstar much later . Call me a cynic , but look at 3 of India's biggest superstars who married their childhood sweethearts (Aamir , SRK & HR ) all from another religion. Add Farhan now to that list . It's not religion but fame & power that changes people . I don't think there is a single superstar who has not cheated on his wife.

So sad. The 3 superstars of their time all had somewhat tragic love stories. Raj didn't end up with Nargis, Dilip didn't end up with Madhubala and Dev didn't end up with Suraiya. Love sometimes truly isn't enough sadly.

they were my fav couple from yesteryear celebs!

i wish they made it till the end..sad ending

How i loveee reading your nostalgia section Pinkvilla!! write more of them..

Grandmother ? Really ? What kind of abusive society were we if a Grandmother was controlling an adult woman (and her mother too by the looks of it) on the choices of her life ? Sickening.

At that time this was considered normal.

true romance ahh how i miss the good old days.

Aww. Was Dev faithful to his wife ?

Yup we was. He was not involved with anyone during his marriage.

innocent and intense lovestory.

This is indeed very sad :(

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