Ye kissa hai kiss ka!’ No, no, this is not about Mika Singh and Rakhi Sawant’s infamous kiss that gave birth to a controversy back in 2006 and later got headlined in his track, Eh Bhai Tune Pappi Kyun Li? Let’s get real about kissing in Hindi cinema this time, the ‘chumma‘ that has attracted a major section of the audience to the theatres for decades like Big B was to Kimi Katkar in Jumma song.

Watching a kiss on-screen has a butterflies-tingling effect on our tummies and something more sometimes. A pleasure to the eyes and hormones…of course, if done tastefully.

Gif credits: Gifer

Let’s discuss how the kiss has travelled its journey in Hindi cinema over decades. Its rise, fall, and more.

The trend of kissing on celluloid had begun in the 1920-1930s. While Devika Rani, the first lady of Hindi cinema, has been remembered for the longest on-screen kiss, actresses like Seeta Devi in A Throw of Dice and Zubeida in Zarina didn’t shy away from it either.

Devika Rani kissed her future husband, co-star, Himanshu Rai for over 4-5 minutes in the 1933 film, Karma that had raised many eyebrows back then. The scene required her character to revive the latter from unconsciousness after a snake bit him.

It had lasted for two minutes but looked lengthy to the audience, author Kishwar Desai shared in her book titled, The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani.

“It was a pretty one-sided kiss, as Himansu lies knocked out by the snake bite, and it lasted all of two minutes. For some reason, most people imagined it was at least five minutes long. Perhaps, to the shocked audience of the time, it seemed fairly lengthy.”

Kishwar Desai

This bold representation of the kiss witnessed a decline in the 40s and later censorship. For a long time, intimacy in Hindi cinema was symbolically represented via flowers colliding with each other to show blooming love or camera panning towards fire logs as burning desire. Even Amitabh Bachchan as Tiger pleaded for a kiss from Jumma (Kimi Katkar) in Jumma Chumma song of Hum but failed miserably.

With the exceptions of Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman’s kissing scene in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia’s in Saagar, Vinod Khanna and Madhuri Dixit’s in Dayavan, those times were just about that.

Then entered Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapur’s way-too-awkward kissing scene in the 1995 film, Raja Hindustani. Not just Karisma felt ki kab khatam ho raha hai ye, we did too.


In fact, we are scandalised till date.

The scene made to the final cut and the Censor Board seemed pretty okay with it.

Now, let’s talk about Emraan Hashmi of early 2000s, the GOAT kisser who made Murder and Aashiq Banaya Aapne all about mmmmuaaahs that we hardly remember their storylines. Hashmi was labelled as the serial kisser back then until he entered into a new serious space that we could watch with our desi parents.

Btw, Emraan Hashmi performed 20 kisses a film for over 17 years, the actor had revealed at the India Today Mind Rock 2019.

“I’m tired of kissing, man. No one feels my pain. Yaar, tum 17 years kar ke dikhao. 20 kisses a film. Mere honth soojh gaye hai yaar.”

Emraan Hashmi

Shah Rukh Khan, the legend, followed a no-kissing rule in films until Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan happened. SRK kissed his co-star, Katrina Kaif on-screen in the 2012 film and it sparked a discussion over what changed his mind after being in the industry for decades.

According to IANS, Shah Rukh had revealed the reason behind his first on-screen kiss, India Today reported.

“I will be very honest. Adi (Aditya Chopra), Yash ji and Katrina, and I say this with all humility and thankfulness to them, that they knew I was awkward, I had issues and I am a very easy actor to work with. They are like my family and they said, ‘You don’t have to do this’ and then they got together and they forced me and then even paid me for it.”


“So… when heroines say that ‘I wore a bikini because the story demanded me to’, I did it (the kiss) because the story demanded it. Believe me or don’t believe it,” he added.

Ranveer Singh kissing his co-star, wife, Deepika Padukone in a steamy scene of Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela and later Vaani Kapoor in Befikre became the major talk of the town during their releases. In fact, Ranveer and Vaani performed 23 kisses in the 2016 film.

A still from Befikre

If ek hi baar mein saari kasar nikaal dunga had a name: That’s Aditya Chopra.

While some star broke the rules for kissing on-screen, a few of them made records. Many actors use props to kiss their co-stars in films till date. The representation of kiss has witnessed a major paradigm shift in Hindi cinema over decades. Boldness of Devika Rani’s era has returned, but this time with ACCEPTANCE. With this, I’m signing off.