Why stick to the bedroom or the hotel room when other options are available? In their quest for the perfect camera-friendly spot to give full expression to their ardour, Hindi film couples have often ventured out into unconventional spaces. Is this what they meant when they said, do not try this at home?
Raaz: Whenever, wherever
No horror film is complete without a nod do the Eros-Thanatos principle that governs its doomed denizens. A blood-curdling and cruel death usually follows deeply satisfying sex (or it is the other way round?)
In the song Aapke Pyaar Mein from Vikram Bhatt’s 2002 hit Raaz, intercourse takes places wherever and whenever possible – in a forest against a tree, in front of a waterfall, against a barn door in an unnamed generic European town. Only Pankaj Advani’s erotic thriller Cape Karma comes close, as the lovers practise their moves in the garden, a car, and a conveniently empty movie hall.
Highly tame in comparison is the tune O Saathiya from Saaya, in which the pair crawls all over each other like beetles in heat.
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Murder: Against a water tank
She finds him irresistible, despite his sickly complexion and five ‘o’ clock shadow at all times of the day. Could it be because he is her ex-boyfriend – or the fact that he likes to have sex on the terrace against a water tank, a position not suggested by her dull husband?
Murder, Anurag Basu’s rip-off of the Hollywood movie Unfaithful, tries to replicate the erotic tone of the original. The big lovemaking moment in Unfaithful is transported to a terrace where Emraan Hashmi, Mallika Sherawat and water pipes combine for the first of many illicit – and therefore thrilling – encounters. It looks marginally more comfortable than the rock against which Randeep Hooda and Mahie Gill grind their bodies in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi aur Gangster (2011).
Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Luck By Chance and Befikre have also staged couplings on terraces, but how does it compare to the open field?
Kya Kehna: Under the wide open sky
Serial philanderer Rahul (Saif Ali Khan) has been snogging a woman in the storage room of the college canteen that is run by the heroine’s brother. Rahul clearly likes unusual lovemaking locations – the boring bedroom isn’t for him. When he finally deflowers the heroine (Preity ZInta), it is an emerald field with a strategically placed tree to hide their modesty. The clasped hands and twisted facial expressions tell us everything we need to know about this near au naturel experience.
A far more aesthetic depiction can be found in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982), at the end of the song Jaane Kaise Kab Kahaan. In keeping with the lyrics, the couple played by Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil circle each other around a fire in the forest. They are clad only in blankets, which come off as the song winds down.
Race: The stable
Remember that old yarn about love among the haystacks? A well-oiled Saif Ali Khan and an equally shimmering Bipasha Basu have a go at it in a stable in the Abbas-Mustan thriller Race (2008). The setting is actually woven into the plot – the title refers to horse racing, and has something to do with betting.
Outdoor locations in the countryside for intercourse are not uncommon despite the potential discomfort. In the Ramsay brothers’ horror classic Purana Mandir (1984), Puneet Issar exercises his lean body by the water as Sadhana Khote watches on in awe from her haystack perch. In Indra Kumar’s Beta (1992), a cowshed is where the characters played by Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit spend a night and perform the highly suggestive song Dhak Dhak Karne Laga. In Anurag Kashyap’s Dev.D (2009), Abhay Deol’s character makes good use of a hatchery filled with fidgety cocks and hens.
In Feroz Khan’s howlarious Prem Aggan (1998), Fardeen Khan and Meghna Kothari quote the Kama Sutra amidst haystacks, horses, and gyrating dancers. “Give me that sweet pain that I won’t be able to experience with anybody else, and make this body yours,” a red negligee-clad Kothari tells Khan after they have finally repaired indoors.
Sorry Bhai: The changing room
Have you ever been out shopping with your significant other, felt the urge in the middle of pulling clothes off the rack, and taken advantage of the changing room? That is exactly what happens in Onir’s Dan in Real Life rip-off Sorry Bhai! (2008) between Sharman Joshi and Chitrangada Singh.
Garm Hava: The Taj Mahal
In MS Sathyu’s Garm Hava (1973), the lovemaking scene on the banks of the Yamuna river that flows by the Taj Mahal in Agra follows an epiphany. Amina (Gita Sidharth) has lost her lover to the Partition, and she resists the repeated proposals of Shamshad (Jalal Agha). He tells her a story one day of the Mughal prince Salim and the princess Mehrunissa. She had two pigeons in her hand, but when he leaves her side and returns, she has just one. What happened to the other one, he asks? As Shamshad gestures to indicate that Mehrunissa let the second one escape, Amina clutches his hand. I won’t let the other one get away, she says. Later, they walk through the Taj Mahal, and end up in a boat tethered along the river across the monument of love.
Monsoon Wedding: The car
Aditi is troubled about her upcoming wedding – so much so that she sleeps with her older married lover in a car in a wish fulfillment fantasy. Automobiles as mating spots also feature in Jhankaar Beats (2003), Hello (2008) and PK (2014) – in PK, Aamir Khan’s extra-terrestrial marvels at the “dancing cars” that seem to move of their own volition.
Parinda: A boat
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Mission Kashmir (2000) fully exploits the plot setting to land Altaf (Hrithik Rohan) and Sufi (Preity Zinta) on a houseboat. Chopra had previously linked boats with intimacy in Parinda (1989). Kishen is on top of the world – his truant brother Karan (Anil Kapoor) has finally married his childhood sweetheart Paro (Madhuri Dixit). The ecstatic brother gifts the newlyweds an unusual wedding gift – they are to spend their first night in a boat anchored off Mumbai’s Gateway of India. As Karan and Paro fulfill their marital duties, they get a visitor – Anna (Nana Patekar), whom Karan has betrayed, and who is determined to ruin the moment.
Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) is set mostly on a luxury cruise liner, so it’s hardly any surprise that its characters take advantage of their temporary living arrangement. Sunil Dutt and Vyjayanthimala had already been there and done that decades ago in the gorgeous costume drama Amrapali (1966). A stationary boat served the purpose just fine, thank you.
2 States: The college hostel
Lovers check into hotels (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, for instance). The hostel suits students just fine (it’s free too). In Abhishek Varman’s 2 States (2014), Krish (Arjun Kapoor) and Ananya (Alia Bhatt) make good use of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s liberal campus rules to co-habit before their wedding, which nearly doesn’t take place because of their warring parents. Hostels as dens of iniquity have previously featured in Ketan Mehta’s Holi (1984) and Manish Tiwary’s Dil Dosti Etc (2007). No wonder the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad is agitated.
Go Goa Gone: The office
But naturally – most adult Indians spend their lives at their workplaces, which offer a better controlled climate and privacy after the day’s business has been concluded. In Raj and DK’s zombie comedy Go Goa Gone (2013), the brilliant comic talent Kunal Khemu finds a willing colleague to sate his needs, but his boss plays spoiler. The moral of the story: sleep with the boss the next time, since he has his own cabin. Exhibit A: Ram Gopal Varma’s horror film Darling (2007).
Satyam Shivam Sundaram: The waterfall
Raj Kapoor’s exploitation film from 1978 is a master class both in voyeurism and suspension of disbelief. It features Shashi Kapoor as the not-too-bright engineer Rajeev, who falls madly in love with the scantily clad body belonging to Rupa (Zeenat Aman). Above the barely clothed cleavage and svelte hips lies a face scarred by burns, but because Rupa always appears half-veiled before Rajeev, he doesn’t realise that she is the same woman as his wife. Rajeev’s lust for Rupa begins at a waterfall and finally reaches its foregone conclusion at the same spot. Aditya Chopra retooled the basic idea (without the erotic content) for his movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in 2008.
Khamoshi: The lighthouse
Annie (Manisha Koirala), the daughter of hearing and speech impaired parents, has lost her heart to the musician Raj (Salman Khan), who lives in a lighthouse. The unusual residence that is situated miles above the ground finally serves its purpose in the song Bahon Ke Darmaiyan – a suitable accompaniment for Annie’s moment of weakness, which has consequences.
Shivaay: Between the mountains
Ajay Devgn plays a devoted father who rescues his daughter from a kidnapping ring in this Taken-inspired action thriller, How did that child come into the world? After daddy dearest and mommy snuggled together in a tent suspended between two mountain cliffs.