Call it the coming of age of Bollywood. But in 2013, more mainstream actors did lip-locks than in any recent year.
Here's saluting the 10 best kisses of the year:
1. Imran Khan-Anushka Sharma in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola: This may have been the year of disasters for Imran Khan. But there was silver lining. It was also the year when Imran got to kiss the feisty Anushka Sharma... with wife Avantika's kind permission. And it was a pretty torrid kiss. Curiously Imran has an unwritten no-kiss clause in his contract, which he broke for a film that was a box office dud. Moral of the story - exercise your smooching options more intelligently.
2. Arjun Rampal-Chitrangda Singh in Inkaar: Chitrangada's doddering marriage must have suffered another minor dent when she went dental with Arjun Rampal in Sudhir Mishra's film on sexual harassment. For a woman, who accused the guy of acting fresh, Chitrangda sure seemed to savour the smooch with Rampal. Full marks for professionalism.
3. Ayushmann Khurrana-Pooja Salvi in Nautanki Saala: This kiss created the biggest stir, and we aren't talking box office. Ayushmann's wife objected violently to his nine-second smooch in this dud of a film. Ayushmann maintained it was all a part of a daze, sorry day's, work. Chal hatt, natkhat. Nautanki saala!
4. John Abraham-Kangana Ranaut in Shootout At Wadala: John played a gangster. Kangana played his girl. They obviously didn't meet to discuss the weather. John and Kangana scorched up the screen with a kiss that made the censor board blush. This couple definitely knows how to kiss.
5. Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: It was a very soft kiss, done at a crucial juncture in the plot. But no passion. Just a shy brush of the lips suggesting less passion more affection. This is how friends greet each other when they stop being lovers. Awwww!
6. Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela: Deepika's kissed with far more passion with Ranveer. This was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's first tryst with the liplock. And what a smooch-o-thon this lead pair whipped up.
7. Sushant Singh Rajput-Parineeti Chopra in Shuddh Desi Romance: These two played horny live-in lovers. Nothing 'shuddh' (pure), nothing 'desi', and no romance... just plain horniness expressed in feverish fits of lip-to-lip interaction. How Sushant's possessive girlfriend responded to this 'ardour'-worldly connect is not known.
8. Emraan Hashmi-Vidya Balan in Ghanchakkar: With so many new smooching couples on the screen this year, serial kisser Emraan was almost left behind. He made up for 'lust' time with Vidya Balan, who wanted to prove she was not inhibited by marriage. Unimpressive, clumsy and embarrassing kissing on evidence here. Let it be.
9. Aamir Khan-Katrina Kaif in Dhoom 3: This is her annual Yash Raj (Yash Raj Films) liplock. Last year she seduced the 'no-kiss-clause' Shah Rukh Khan to break his vow for a bit of wow in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Now Aamir, who has kissed many a heroine in the past, manages to plant a furtive kiss on Katrina's trembling lips in Dhoom 3. If only Salman would make an exception and kiss his former ladylove, Katrina would have the slurpy distinction of smooching all the three Khan superstars.
10. Randeep Hooda-Saqib Saleem in Bombay Talkies: Mainstream Hindi cinema's first gay kiss was understandably brutal and brief. Ouch. Hats off to the two actors for flirting with the forbidden.