From Deepika Padukone’s Veronica to Ranbir Kapoor’s Ayan: 6 characters & their shades of unrequited love

Updated on Oct 27, 2021 11:55 AM IST  |  221.5K
   
From Deepika Padukone’s Veronica to Ranbir Kapoor’s Ayan: 6 characters & their shades of unrequited love
From Deepika Padukone’s Veronica to Ranbir Kapoor’s Ayan: 6 characters & their shades of unrequited love (Pic Credits: Instagram/ YouTube)
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Unrequited love has many shades, and Hindi films have made it evident. On the one hand we have, “Ek tarfa  pyaar ki taaqat hi kuch aur hoti hai…aur rishton ki tarah do logon mein nahi bantti, sirf mera haq hai ispe, sirf mera…” (Shah Rukh Khan’s Tahir to Ranbir Kapoor’s Ayan in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) and on the other we have, “Tumhe kya lagta hai Zoya? Tum bahut hoor ki pari ho? Tumse pyaar karna mera talent hai Zoya, iss mein tumhara koyi haath nahi…” (Dhanush’s Kundan to Sonam Kapoor’s Zoya in Raanjhanaa). 

In over a hundred years of the Hindi film industry, Bollywood has portrayed hundreds of love stories on celluloid. Best-friends-turned-lovers, star-crossed love stories, happily-ever-afters, tragic endings – we have seen it all on films. However, one of the most popular themes informing Hindi cinema around this human emotion is that of unrequited love, or, one-sided love. While the trope of unrequited love is not so uncommon, but what varies filmmakers’ portrayal of these characters, and how that affects the character development. 

In this article, I list down six Bollywood characters who go through the transforming experience of unrequited love, and the different shades they brought to the silver screen. Plus, I have added a song from the respective films, so that’s a bonus!

But first, Alexa, play Channa Mereya so that we can set the mood right. 

1. Anjali – Kajol (Kuch Kuch Hota Hain) 

Anjali from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Yes, I know. Rahul and Anjali get their happily ever after at the end of the film. But can we please focus on Anjali’s ‘Mera pehla pyaar adhoora reh gaya, Rifatbi’ moment? Rahul said, “Pyaar dosti hai” and everything changed for Anjali (and a whole generation of kids). However, Rahul was in love with Tina – the more feminine character in the film. So, what does sweet Anjali do when she learns of this? She accepts the truth for what it is, and simply leaves, with Rahul being clueless as ever of her broken heart. This song captures it all. 

2. Kundan – Dhanush (Raanjhanaa)

Dhanush from Raanjhanaa

Toxic love covered with sweet gestures – that’s Kundan’s love for Zoya in Raanjhanaa, and boy, does Dhanush make it super believable. Stalking, getting slapped, slitting wrists, gaslighting – everything looks romantic when one even begins to sympathize with Kundan. But, the truth of the matter is, it’s anything but healthy and romantic. In Kundan, we see a form of unrequited love that turns stubborn, revengeful, and toxic. 

3. Veronica – Deepika Padukone (Cocktail)

Deepika Padukone in Cocktail

Our girl Veronica surely deserved better. Veronica, an independent woman, falls for womanizer Gautam who does not mind cheating on her while they are already in a relationship. Apart from its playlist-worthy music, Cocktail hardly got anything right. The film propagated the age-old and overdone trope of how the ‘hot’ girl is only fit for an affair, while the ‘shy’ one is the one guys fall in love with. Poor Veronica tried to mold her personality and even dressing sense, because, of course, she was in love. But then, she was left heartbroken, found comfort in irresponsible drinking, and ended up in an accident. 

4. Ayan – Ranbir Kapoor (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) 

Ranbir Kapoor in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Dude just could not take ‘No’ for an answer. Ayan falls for Anushka Sharma’s Alizeh but the latter repeatedly tells him, she considers him a friend and nothing beyond that. Hurt and traumatized from her past relationship, Alizeh believes, ‘Pyaar mein junoon hai, par dosti mein sukoon hai’. But Ayan clearly cannot get the hint and does not understand how Alizeh could possibly be not in love with him, when he’s all things nice. At one point in the film, he even asks Alizeh, “What else do you want me to do to make you love me?” Ayan is just a nicer version of Kundan, who feels entitled to someone’s love and could not accept the truth for what it is. 

5. Kaira – Alia Bhatt (Dear Zindagi) 

Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi

In many ways, Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi offered a fresh and much-needed take on heartbreak and depression. And of course, the film gave us the charming ‘Jug’ or Dr. Jehangir Khan, a psychologist by profession, and played to perfection by Shah Rukh Khan. Protagonist Kaira falls for Jug after their several therapy sessions together. When she confides in and admits to Jug about her feelings for him, he tells her that it’s quite normal for patients to start thinking romantically about their counselors, however a relationship between them would not be possible. Kaira understands and does not lose heart. Not all unrequited love has to be super hurtful and tragic, and in Kaira, we see a glimpse of exactly that. 

6. Siddharth – Akshaye Khanna (Dil Chahta Hai)

Akshaye Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai

I save the best for the last and topping my list of ‘shades of unrequited love in Hindi Cinema’, today, is Siddharth’s character from Dil Chahta Hai. Siddharth’s character added layers of complexity to the film on male friendship. When Sid fell for Tara – a woman much elder to him – he did so sans any expectations. He did not challenge Tara to reciprocate his feelings, nor did he need his friends’ and mother’s approval. 

In Sid, we get a glimpse of an emotionally mature man, who understands love is all about acceptance. Apart from setting the ‘Goa with friends’ trend, Dil Chahta Hai managed to bring a breath of fresh air through Siddharth, amid the many machismo-filled male characters in Hindi films. 

Which of these characters are your favorite? Did I miss out on any? Let me know in the comments below. 

ALSO READ: Shah Rukh Khan & Gauri's 30th anniversary: Couple's 5 vintage photos that are proof of their everlasting bond

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Comments
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Anonymous : I always cry when I see how Anjali is suffering. I can feel her pain, too. Kajol’s performance is excellent and the song fits well. I get goosebumps.
REPLY 0 1 month ago
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Anonymous : DP is veronica
REPLY 4 1 month ago
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Anonymous : You forgot Nisha from Dil to Pagal Hai
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Anonymous : Beauty DEEPU.
REPLY 4 1 month ago
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Anonymous : Veronica,LEELA
REPLY 4 1 month ago
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Anonymous : Ram Leela - Touch me with your soul. Color me with your passion.BEST KISSER!
REPLY 4 1 month ago
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Anonymous : outstanding VERONICA
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Anonymous : singer no. 1 CHANNA MEREYA
REPLY 1 1 month ago
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Anonymous : Channa Mereya.
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Anonymous : I LIKE CHANNA MEREYA.
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Anonymous : channa mereya is the best for RK
REPLY 2 1 month ago
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Anonymous : kaira<3
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Anonymous : ae dil hai mushkil DPs song
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