First Cut

Casual sex in Bollywood

Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari in LPNYThere was a time when casual sex was a complete no-no in Bollywood. Remember the scene in 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' (1995) where Raj (Shah Rukh) had to give Simran (Kajol) a long monologue on 'hindustan ladki ki izzat' after he had joked that there might have been a night of drunken lovemaking between them.

In 'Hum Tum' (2004), Karan (Saif Ali Khan) had to quickly propose marriage after a night of passion with Rhea (Rani Mukherji). Karan felt that was the right thing to do since they had inadvertently ended up in bed after an emotional outburst. Fortunately, Rhea turns down the proposal on the ground that only love should be the reason for such a big commitment. Well, Karan was only following the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) — remember, according to 'hindustani sabhyata' you wed and then you bed or you only bed who you will eventually wed.

More recently, in 'Band Baaja Baraat' (2010), while the morning after was awkward between Bittoo (Ranveer) and Shruti (Anushka), there wasn't too much talk about the 'kand' as they called it.

In fact, it was actually a relief to see that other recent films like 'Jodi Breakers' and 'London Paris New York' treat sex as a natural progression of a boy-girl relationship and not as something that is seen in isolation, only symptomatic of the corrosion of Indian tradition.

If Hindi films mirror societal changes (at least, they claim to in some cases), does that mean we as a society have become more open to casual sex? While the depiction of casual sex on celluloid has come a long way from 'DDLJ' in 1995 to 'LPNY' in 2012, how much has our take on casual sex changed?

Also read: In Bed with Bollywood

What's interesting however, in most of the scenes mentioned above is that sex has not been a premeditated act and maybe that's why the consenting adults have been high on alcohol in most cases — whether it was Simran in 'DDLJ', Saif in 'Hum Tum', Anushka in 'Band Baaja Baraat' or Bipasha in 'Jodi Breakers'. Are filmmakers still weary of depicting casual sex as a deliberate act?
Share your views/comments with us on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also connect with me on Twitter.