2016 started off on a romantic note for Bollywood heartthrobs Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. However, this happiness was short-lived, as the news of their breakup soon took the B-town by shock.

The toughest thing to do in Bollywood is take a relationship forward. Time and again, star splits have proved that. However,  when Ranbir Kapoor, son of actor Rishi Kapoor and grandson of the actor-director Raj Kapoor, moved in with actress Katrina Kaif, many thought their relationship is for keeps.

Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif were in a relationship for six years. The couple broke up in January.

Even rumors of wedding plans started doing the rounds because they were together for six years — by Bollywood standards, this is a pretty long time.

Suddenly things started going awry, and the couple broke up in January. Ranbir moved out of their rented flat, while Katrina stayed on for four months and, recently, she moved to another house.

Grapevine has it that Katrina stayed on in their love nest, hoping Ranbir would return. However, cynics say she stayed because the rent had been paid for six months and the money would have gone waste had she too moved out.

Ranbir and Katrina never made their relationship public. Neither did they deny it. People started believing that something serious was brewing when the paparazzi found a bikini-clad Katrina holidaying with Ranbir. The photographs were published by a magazine and later on were splashed over all media channels. Since then, nuggets of information about their love life became a topic of interest to fans and the media.

How the romance took off

When Katrina (who is British and changed her surname from Torquette to Kaif) landed in Bollywood from London, she was with the much older Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was Katrina Kaif’s ex-boyfriend.

While Katrina was busy learning Hindi and dance, Salman apparently took care of her work permit in India, her new home and guided her when she was climbing up the tough ladders of the film industry.

Being Salman’s girlfriend helped Katrina immensely in the big bad world of Bollywood, about which she had no clue initially.

Although the duo made public appearances, they didn’t talk about each other to the media. Katrina was part of the Khan household and she was treated like the future daughter-in-law. Everyone thought Salman would finally settle down.

Then rumors of Katrina dating Ranbir Kapoor started doing the rounds. Apparently, sparks flew on the sets of ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ (2009) and transformed into something much more serious as they kept working in films like ‘Raajneeti’ and ‘Bombay Talkies.’ Many thought it was only natural because Ranbir was not only charming but he and Katrina were of the same age.

Going by Salman’s past behavior pattern when he broke the door of Aishwarya Rai’s apartment when she broke up with him, and called her then boyfriend Vivek Oberoi 40 times with threats, people actually feared for Ranbir. They expected either he would be bashed up or Salman would make Katrina’s life miserable in Bollywood. Some even feared he would finish off her career like he did to Vivek.

But nothing like that happened. In fact, they continued to show respect and admiration for each other—hinting that they were still friends.

Hitting troubled waters

When Ranbir moved out of his family mansion, it is said that his mother Neetu Kapoor, who has been a Bollywood star herself, was upset. She was also disapproving of his earlier relationship with actress Deepika Padukone.

Ranbir Kapoor with Deepika Padukone.
Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone dated for a while.

In fact, grapevine has it that it was his relationship with his ex-girlfriend Deepika and Katrina’s connection with Salman that was the primary reason for the constant tension between the two.

In an interview to ‘GQ’ in December, Katrina had said: “My greatest fear is that if and when I get married and I am standing at the altar or the mandap, he (Ranbir) may not love me completely. That he may not know his mind well enough to be making those commitments. The anticipation of heartbreak is my only fear.”

Sadly, the heartbreak did happen, and people close to the couple say while Katrina was keen to settle down, he wasn’t at all.

On the other hand, Salman, while hosting Katrina on ‘Bigg Boss 9’ where she came to promote her latest film ‘Fitoor,’ said: “Entire India is crazy about you, including me.”  Katrina blushed and laughed, spearheading the rumor that the two might be back together soon.

Some even say Ranbir’s best pal Ayan Mukherji, who launched him in the film, ‘Wake Up Sid,’ has apparently advised him against a patch-up with Katrina, even though the latter is friends with her. He felt that their being together was detrimental to their careers because the tension in their relationship was not doing any good for either of the stars.

Recently, Ranbir threw a house party at his new home. Katrina was not invited and they avoided each other at a recently held police event.

Taking it too far

Ranbir and Katrina are shooting for the film ‘Jagga Jasoos,’ directed by Anurag Basu. Apparently, their split is reflecting on the scenes and the shooting schedule.

According to sources, Ranbir avoided taking the same flight to Morocco with Katrina, but ensured he arrived a couple of days earlier. Then, the internet is abuzz with stories of Ranbir, who is co-producing the film, asking Basu to chop off a kissing scene from the script because he is not comfortable kissing Katrina on the screen.

Interestingly, both Ranbir and Katrina have filmed with their exes and have done emotional scenes with them. Ranbir and Deepika did two films together after their split and those were ‘Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani’ (2013) and ‘Tamasha’ (2015). The Katrina-Salman starrer ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ (2012), which became a box-office record, was shot after they broke up. During the making of these films, never did we hear stories of ego hassle or script chop-offs just because the exes were working together.

Whether it’s just another bizarre PR stunt to keep the interest alive in the film or there is an iota of truth in it we really don’t know.

But what we know is Ranbir has probably moved on. According to sources, Ranbir is seeing someone in Delhi, and this mystery girl is far removed from the film industry.

Amrita Mukherjee is a freelance journalist who writes on social issues in India with focus on women. She divides her time between Dubai and India and blogs at www.amritaspeaks.com

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