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Love – across the border

When Pakistani cricketers found interests beyond the 22-yards in India.

The general opinion at the time was that Imran and Zeenat made a perfect match

While India and Pakistan have, over the years, been difficult neighbours, the idea of cross-border love has enamoured generations of movie-makers, authors and poets. And as examples of reality drawing inspiration from fiction, time and again, our very own Bollywood divas have lost their hearts to the handsome, aggressive Pakistani cricketers. 

When eyes talk and hearts make silent promises, nationality is perhaps the last question in the minds of two individuals. As the history of mankind has shown us, love is universal and has the strength to transcend borders and cultures.eyes talk and hearts make silent promises, nationality is perhaps the last question in the minds of two individuals. 

Imran Khan and Zeenat Aman: The happy ending that never was

With his drop-dead gorgeous looks, Oxford education and magnetic personality, Imran Khan has made generations of women go weak in their knees. Known to have dated some of the most gorgeous women of the world, and left a trail of broken hearts wherever he went, Imran met Zeenat Aman in the late 70’s – early 80’s.has made generations of women go weak in their knees. Known to have dated some of the most gorgeous women of the world, and left a trail of broken hearts wherever he went, Imran met Zeenat Aman in the late 70’s – early 80’s.

Zeenat, daughter of a Muslim father and an Anglo-Indian mother, won the coveted Miss Asia-Pacific title and set the silver screen ablaze in India with her bold and sexy avatar in a series of blockbusters. Zeenat was truly the first sex symbol of the country. She was an intelligent and progressive woman with a liberal outlook, and there was as much curiosity about her personal life as was the unbridled attraction of her screen persona. 

When the news of their relationship surfaced and the two started getting seen together in social do's, the general opinion was that they made a perfect match, one between two devastatingly attractive sex symbols of the subcontinent.

When Imran had the occasional bad day on the field during Pakistan’s tour of India, the joke in the dressing room was about the dashing all-rounder’s date the last evening. However, much to the dismay of their fans, the relationship between Imran and Zeenat did not culminate into marriage. Zeenat went on to marry actor Mazhar Khan, while Imran married the British socialite Jemima, younger to him by more than two decades. None of the marriages, however, lasted long.

Mohsin Khan and Reena Roy: The fairytale wedding that went sour

Reena quit films and married Mohsin Khan at the peak of her career

Mohsin Khan was a dashing Pakistani opening batsman who came closer than probably any of his contemporary Pakistani batsmen to mastering the art of handling the extra bounce of the pitches in Australia. In successive test matches against Australia in 1983-84, Mohsin scored 149 at Adelaide and 153 at Melbourne, an achievement that was lauded by cricket pundits all over the world. 

Before this in 1982, he had also made his name as the first ever Pakistani batsman to score a double century in a Test match at Lord’s. Mohsin was at the top of his game when he met Reena Roy.

By the early 80’s, Reena had established herself as one of the most highly rated actresses in Bollywood, winning audience adulation as well as awards and critical acclaim for her versatile performances and her mastery over a variety of dance forms. Her personal life had been a constant source of fodder for gossip magazines.

In 1983, at the peak of her career, Reena quit films and married Mohsin Khan. She wanted to focus more on her family. Mohsin, on the other hand, decided to try his luck in films. He moved to Bombay in what was clearly a big loss for Pakistani cricket, and his own promising career as a batsman. Mohsin started his acting career with J. P. Dutta’s Batwara in 1989 and went on to act in 13 Hindi movies.

On the personal front, however, the fairy tale marriage between the two glamorous and highly talented individuals, both of whom had sacrificed their careers for love, began to turn sour. Their marriage was tense and turbulent. This was further aggravated by the fact that, Reena was not received too warmly by Mohsin’s family and social circle in Pakistan.

Finally, they filed for divorce. Reena now stays in India with a daughter and Mohsin has since re-married and stays in Pakistan.

Wasim Akram and Sushmita Sen: Was there anything to this rumour?

Rumours emerged after the two appeared on a reality show

The story goes back to the time when Wasim Akram was spending more time in India than in Pakistan, thanks to his TV commentary stints, association with the Kolkata Knight Riders team for IPL, and his brand endorsements in India. 

Wasim had married the gorgeous Huma in 1995. In a tragic turn of events, Huma, a hypnotherapist by profession, died of multiple organ failure at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital in October 2009. She suffered a heart attack when the air ambulance on which she was being flown to Singapore landed at Chennai airport for a scheduled refuelling.

The dashing pacer’s name was linked with former Miss Universe and actor Sushmita Sen after they met in a reality show named Ek Khiladi, Ek Haseena in 2008. However, Sushmita rubbished these rumours by saying that Akram was only a friend. And Wasim, 47, went on to marry Shaniera Thompson, younger to him by 17 years, in 2013.

Also read: When Azhar took on the world for his love

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