Flashback Friday: Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah - An unconventional love story of the last liberal couple

In today's Flashback Friday, we explore Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah's beautiful love story.

Bollywood industry shows us the good and the ugly side of human nature. We see a lot of relationships blooming as well as getting destroyed in the industry. Coming to the love stories, many Bollywood couples fall for each other on their film sets and after several years of dating they tie the knot or sadly part ways too.

But, have you heard of a love story which started off in theatre and have set an example of a beautiful one until now? Yes, we are talking about an amazing and unconventional couple - Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah.

The couple has been married for more than three decades and their love story started off at a sugarcane juice stall outside a popular college in the city. When a weekly magazine asked Naseer about his first encounter with Ratna, he revealed, "I was first impressed by how clear her speech was and the fact that she spoke Hindi very well, which was a rarity in Bombay."

The couple went on to work together in a play by Satyadev Dubey titled Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak (1975), which flagged off their amazing love story.

Ratna added, "Getting to know Naseer was partly inspiring and partly disturbing. It made me aware of my shortcomings and how little I knew. That’s what inspired me greatly to go to the [National School of Drama]."

Describing their relationship, she said, "One day we were not even friends; the next day we were going out together."

The couple had a registered wedding in 1982 at Ratna's mom Dina Pathak's home. The couple indulged in a simple wedding and talking about it, Ratna said, "Only our family and immediate friends were present. We didn’t tom-tom about it because we both felt that there are certain things which are extremely personal, and marriage is one of them. But it was great fun. I think ours was one of the few marriages where the bride and the groom enjoyed as much as the guests."

This is Naseer's second marriage, he was first married to Manara Sikri and separated within the first year of their marriage. The couple has a daughter Heeba Shah, who returned to him after her mother passed away. Now, all five members including Naseer, Ratna, their two sons Imaad, Nivaan and Heeba live together as a happy family.

In Naseeruddin's biography titled And Then One Day, he described Ratna with beautiful words in the preface of the book.

The couple described themselves as the last liberal couple. While talking about it, Ratna said, "We are the last of the bloody liberals left. Today, girls are doing Karva Chauth! C’mon, that’s what we fought against." While Naseer said, "Today, girls as young as two are wearing hijabs. Muslim boys are growing beards claiming it’s a sense of identity."

Ratna concluded by saying, "We lived in much more liberal times where you were expected to have your own opinion. Now everyone wants to have one opinion—which is a dangerous thing for us."

Naseer in his biography titled And Then One Day: A Memoir, wrote some beautiful words for Ratna in the preface of the book. This short paragraph summed up the whole relationship of this hatke husband and wife. Check out:

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Great couple, and sensible too.

Love Ratna Pathak

He was magnificent in Monsoon Wedding and she I'm discovering is an amazing actress in her own right. They are so cool xx

Damn this inside rain in my eyes!!! Is there anything that these two do or say that isn't CUTE??

"last liberal couple"??? but what about Saif and Kareena?

Saif and Kareena are attention seekers. Not a liberal couple by a long way off.. understand what it means

Great actors and great people..it's true that times were different when there was no social media, people had opinions but kept to themselves. But now everyone needs to get their opinion out and no one wants to listen to other's opinion.

I still watch Idhar Udhar on YouTube just for Ratna Pathak.

The last paragraph is so sweet, after so many years and he still hold her in high esteem. Such a rear thing in this time

And we need more men like Naseer

beautiful talented couple. bless them

God bless them!!

They are both amazing actors

I love both of them. They were so cute in jane tu ya jane na. And I really want to see ratna in her sarabhai avtar soon.

So cute. Love them both, especially Ratna.

Wow! Loved the last quote on Ratna Pathak. Love love her style of acting. God bless this couple.

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