Dilip Kumar and Madhubala would have been together had her father not tried to make a business venture out of their proposed marriage which did not go down well with the actor, who did not want someone else to dictate his career choices.
In his just-released autobiography "Dilip Kumar: The Substance And The Shadow", Kumar, 91, reveals details about his relationship with Madhubala that continues to intrigue cinema fans even today.
The screen icon fondly remembers Madhubala as a great artiste and "vivacious and spirited person" with whom he attained an ease while working in 1951 film "Tarana".
"I must admit that I was attracted to her (Madhubala) both as a fine co-star and as a person who had some of the attributes I hoped to find in a woman at that age and time... She, as I said earlier, was very sprightly and vivacious and, as such, she could draw me out of my shyness and reticence effortlessly," Kumar says in the book, published by Hay House.
Their pairing in K Asif's "Mughal-E-Azam" made headlines because of rumours about their emotional involvement, which made the director very happy. Madhubala confided to Asif about her feelings for Kumar and the director encouraged her.
But unfortunately things soured badly during the long production of the classic.
"I sensed, Asif was seriously trying to mend the situation for her when matters began to sour between us, thanks to her father's attempt to make the proposed marriage a business venture," Kumar recalls.
Their relationship worsened during the shooting of the film. Kumar reveals that the feather scene, described as one of the most sensuous moments in Hindi cinema, was shot when they had stopped speaking to each other.
"The outcome was that halfway through the production of 'Mughal-e-Azam' we were not even talking to each other. The classic scene with the feather coming between our lips, which set a million imaginations on fire, was shot when we had completely stopped even greeting each other," Kumar writes.
The actor says the tribute for that scene should go to "the artistry of two professionally committed actors" for keeping aside their personal differences to carry out the vision of the director.
Madhubala's father Ataullah Khan had his own production company and he was only to glad to have two stars under the same roof.
Madhubala thought things would get sorted once they were married but Kumar was not ready to surrender his career to someone else's "dictates