It’s bucketing down as I walk home from work, and I end up sharing my umbrella with the guy of my dreams while the choir in the background sings pyaar hua, ikraar hua and all that. 

In my defence, I grew up watching Bollywood, how else would you expect me to imagine love? However, amidst the overblown portrayal of romance, what we overlook are the movies made in the same industry but depict a more realistic love that understands many layers of a relationship.

Intrigued by the same idea, we’ve compiled a list of all the movies where the couples were more genuine and far off from the other Bollywood cliches.

1. Lunch box

‘A love that bloomed through a mistaken food delivery’ sums up the plot of Lunch box. Ila and Saajan, two lonely souls carrying their lives’ baggage, were physically distant but romantically intimate, with food conveying a significant emotion.  


2. Qarib Qarib Singlle

Yogi and Jaya, having a chalk and cheese personality, meet via a dating site and realize that what happens online might sometimes potentially convert into something meaningful and genuine offline. They end up going on a short journey together that turns out to be the most spectacular, strange, unexpected trip of their lives.

The Quint

3. Barfi 

This couple’s unspoken connection was better than many of the mainstream relationships. Barfi and Jhilmil got together because of circumstances, but stayed together because of choice. They found a love language of their own in spite of being devoid of a usual communication channel. They realised conversations are important, which every second regular couple fails to recognize *sigh*. 

India Times

4. Guzaarish

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish is may be one of the most peculiar love stories of all times. A magician spending life in a wheelchair, being looked after by a nurse played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan brings out the most beautiful vintage romance. 

India Today

5. Sir

Ratna (Tillotama Shome) works as a domestic help for Ashwin (Vivek Gomber), who is depressed after his wedding was called off. Ratna discreetly offers him moral support, and the two fall in love before they realise it. The film has a strong imagery that shows class divide is the villain in their love story.  

The Indian Express

6. Socha Na Tha

In Imtiaz Ali’s film Socha Na Tha, Viren (Abhay) and Aditi (Ayesha) are forced to meet in an arranged marriage setting. They secretly become friends and eventually fall in love. We couldn’t help but fall in love with the couple.

Pardesi Reviews

7. Once Again 

Once Again is the story of two individuals trying to give love and companionship one more chance in life. We aren’t sure how their connection evolved, but the comfort they share during10 p.m. phone conversations indicates the stability they’ve found in each other. The film is worth seeing because of Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah’s captivating performances.

Film Companion

Now I feel, the most unexpected love stories are the best!