Mumbai, Aug. 25 -- Turn the clock back, and you'll see that, as far back as 1933, late Devika Rani kissed her then-husband, Himanshu Rai, in Karma; it was one of the earliest Indian films to feature a kissing scene. In fact, the four-minute kissing scene is believed to be the longest such shot in Indian cinema till date.
Yet, cut to 2014, and Bollywood still seems unable to fully accept kissing scenes as just another aspect of life that's being depicted on screen. Every time someone does it, it leads to either controversy or debate. As a result, many of Bollywood's top stars - including Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn and Sunny Deol - have largely stayed away from kissing on the big screen. And those who have done it repeatedly - like Emraan Hashmi, and now, Alia Bhatt - have earned tags like 'serial kisser.'
Salman, in fact, called kissing on-screen "gross" during an interview with film critic Anupama Chopra. He said, "That's a private moment. I don't think it looks good... I don't have respect for the people who do this."
Interestingly, earlier this month, following allegations of discrepancy between films made here and Hollywood films shown here, the Censor Board decided to clamp down on kissing overall. In fact, a recent release featuring Om Puri and Helen Mirren had to omit a kiss to get a 'U' (universal) certificate.
But even as kissing continues to make news, the young crop of actors in Bollywood feels there's too much brouhaha over it. While Alia Bhatt calls it "mechanical", Parineeti Chopra says the scenes are just "technical".