"Aankhon Hi Aankhon me Ishara hogya, Baithe Baithe Jeene Ka Sahara Hogya!"
These beautiful lines perfectly match the romantic story of the legendary actor Dev Anand and Suraiya. It was the era of romance, where couples used to be madly in love with each other, making promises to live and die with one another. In the industry where nothing is permanent, Dev Sahib and Suraiya's passionate love story was an inspiration for all the lovers, yet it met a tragic ending.
Dev Anand- Suraiya love story is no less than a film script. It has love, compassion, trust, promises, heartbreak and family members coming between the lovers. In the 40s, when Dev Anand started charming the world with his looks and acting skills, he had a huge female fan base. He met Suraiya, the young, compassionate, beautiful and successful actress on the sets of 'Vidya' and got attracted to her simplicity.
Dev Anand and Suraiya love story begins
Dev Sahib never shied away from accepting his love for Suraiya. While talking about the same, he once said, "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."
Even Suraiya couldn't stop herself from getting attracted to the legendary actor. Revealing the exact moment she fell in love with Dev Anand, she said, "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 and Suraiya were madly in love with each other and since their families were against their union, they decided to elope and get married. But fate has something else in mind.
Suraiya was 'dragged' and 'locked' by her grandmother
The lovebirds Dev Anand and Suraiya became the victims of religious bigotry. Dev and Suraiya decided to get married by eloping during the shooting of Jeet in 1949, but their plan failed as Suraiya's conservative maternal grandmother, Badshah Begum, came to know about their plan and dragged the actress home.
Talking about the painful incident, Suraiya said, "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."
'Frustrated' Dev Anand tried to convince Suraiya
Suraiya's grandmother was so strict that she would interrupt in the shoot and wouldn't let her meet Dev Sahib. Dev Anand once confessed that "It was so frustrating to communicate with Suraiya those days 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."
Secret meetings on the balcony
Due to grandmother's strict vigilance, Suraiya and Dev Sahib used to meet secretly on the terrace. "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."
The couple fought for their love but religious barriers were so strong, that Suraiya was compelled to leave Dev Anand. He last met his lady love in her balcony where they cried, hugged and parted their ways. After that, Dev Anand was completely shattered. His brother Chetan Anand supported him and asked him to focus on his career. "I wanted to marry her, but could not. Cried on my brother's shoulder and then I forgot the chapter to proceed further," said Dev Anand.
Although Dev Anand got married to actress Kalpana Karthik, Suraiya never got hitched with anyone. Dev Anand and Suraiya were head over heels for each other and had they been united, their love story would have been an inspiration for young couples, with different religious backgrounds.