The Best Romances of 2021
As the year comes to an end, we take a moment to appreciate all the love stories that left a special place in our hearts this year. We recognize that never every love story is the stuff of fairy tales. There are romances that are dark, twisted, exceedingly complicated, and filled with angst. Moreover, some characters had a tragic past, while others locked a shocking secret within themselves. Additionally, at times we saw characters scarred by horrific experiences, psychological trauma, and sadistic tendencies. Here we highlight the tumultuous tales that won our hearts, made us cry happy tears, and tackled some serious subject matters with grace and nuance. Like our previous Top Men and Women Lists of 2021, we like to remind everyone that these rankings are arbitrary as we love all of these couplings and so many others that we could not mention equally. All in all, here is Urban Asian’s Top ITV Jodis of 2021.
The first on the list of top ITV Jodis of 2021 is the iconic pairing of Karanvir Sharma and Debattama Saha as #ShaKhi in “Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani”. This passionate love story between clashing ideologies about a chauvinist man and a headstrong girl shows the brilliance of how characters can change each other for the better. Not to mention, one of the most unique and lavish wedding sequences we’ve seen onscreen.
Next, we have the tumultuous love story of Rudraksh Khurana and Preesha Srinivasan aka #RuSha. A rockstar and gynecologist fall in love while raising their siblings’ son and face a zillion obstacles on the journey. Thank god for those titillating romantic dance sequences that just made our hearts melt.
The number of times we’ve screamed, “how is this show on ITV” is evidence enough that the next pair is pure fire. Sai Ketan Rao and Shivangi Khedkar play Raghav and Pallavi (aka #RaghVi) in the age-old enemies to lovers trope on “Mehndi Hai Rachne Waali”. However, one of the best parts about this couple is their comedic timing and funny cross-language banter.
Nothing screams like the best of the 90s romance like Rupali Ganguly’s and Gaurav Khanna’s Anupamaa and Anuj. #MaAn became an overnight sensation with Anuj’s selfless unrequited love for Anupamaa for the past 26 years. This mature love story always finds a way to say “I love you more than anything” without actually saying it, but showing it by actions that are equal parts adorable and respectful. Also, kudos to the perfectly placed 90s romantic hits.
Easy to say that the next pairing is iconic because Mohsin Khan and Shivangi Joshi have lit up our screens for the past 6 years as “KaiRa” and later as “KaiRat”. This “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai” jodi has some of the finest chemistry in the business. We still bawl thinking of the scenes between Kartik and his dead Naira, especially when she asks him to move on and their final dance sequence to “Lag Jaa Gale”.
2021 had a string of love stories where two opposite personalities with conflicting views on love and life, meet and start to fall in love. However, “Ishk Par Zor Nahi” stood out because of the intense chemistry between Param Singh and Akshita Mudgal as “Ishqaan”. Their love story definitely was not perfect, but these two never gave up on each other. What an endearing and uber adorable pair to watch!
For our next jodi, it seems we’re currently in a full-on angst phase as Abhimanyu (Harshad Chopda) and Akshara (Pranali Rathod) aka #AbhiRa try to move on from each other, but clearly can’t. What started off as a sweet, innocent love story is a full-fledge torrid affair as they try to find their way to each other in “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai”.
Some love stories are straight-up complicated, like our next jodi, Fateh (Ankit Gupta), and Tejo (Priyanka Chahar Choudhary) aka #FaTejo. Despite the current separation track and super complex double love triangle situation, we’re holding onto a FaTejo reunion and hopeful endgame deal.
Every story has its own set of hurdles and how a jodi overcomes that hurdle sets it apart from others. Shiva and Raavi aka #ShiVi of “Pandya Store” become unlikely lovers after being forced into a marriage. The ups and downs in their relationship have the fans glued to their screens and this slow-burn love story is truly blossoming into something beautiful.
Next on the list of ITV’s top jodis of 2021 is #PreeRan (Preeta played by Shraddha Arya and Karan played by Dheeraj Dhoopar); a jodi that started with a fight, become friends through a comedy of errors and ended up as one of the cutest onscreen husband and wife couples till date.
When we think of legendary ITV jodies, Dev Dixit (Shaheer Sheik) and Sonakshi Bose (Erica Fernandes) aka #Devakshi come into mind. Each era of “Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi” brought a different shade of their romance: the cute fights, an unspoken understanding between the two, and oodles of angst and passion.
“Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin” is one of the very popular shows on television along with Virat and Sai’s chemistry. Their love-hate relationship and the gentle development of their love story are widely loved by the audiences.
Sumbul Touqeer and Gashmeer Mahajani play Imlie and Aditya, respectively on the hugely popular show “Imlie”. Their complicated relationship falls prey to tumultuous obstacles with Aditya being the guiding light for Imlie and her being the moral compass. Here’s hoping he changes his mind on marrying Malini and makes the #Adilie fans happy with a reunion with Imlie.
The next top ITV Jodis of 2021is #Arylie with the entrance of Aryan Singh Rathod on the show “Imlie”. Imlie and Aryan are adorable, funny frenemies that fans hope will turn into end game. They give us some serious ASR-Khushi feels with their banter, witty one-liners, and intense confrontations that prove they are each other’s equals.
An era of love at first sight and love marriages, #Ramya (Ram and Priya played by Nakuul Mehta and Disha Parmar) stands out for its amazing chemistry. It is a different story of two mature people discovering love after marriage and placing the needs of their family over their own desires. Here’s rooting for more happy surprises for #RamYa in the upcoming tracks.
What we love most about Amrita (Esha Kansara) and Pritam (Hasan Zaidi) uff #AmriTam is the bond shared between two individuals enduring the anguish of loss and sorrow. The pure, unspoken understanding between the two and their constant “nok-jhoks” makes them equals. 100% holding onto the hope that there’s a happy ending for #AmriTam considering the show is wrapping up this week.
Abhi and Pragya’s love story (essayed by Shabir Ahluwalia and Sriti Jha respectively) has been a real journey of love; however, it’s been everything but a rosy ride. #AbhiGya has been filled with different emotions of love, care, anger, revenge, and so much more. From fighting to becoming friends to finally falling in love, Abhi and Pragya have faced it all.
The next top ITV Jodis of 2021 is #AniDita portrayed by Pravisht Mishra (as Anirudh Roy Choudhary) and Anchal Sahu ( as the elder Bondita Anirudh Roy Choudhary). This is a cute tale of a man that fights the oppressive and patriarchal society to educate his wife. We can’t think of a more principled man and an adorable pair.
This current pairing is putting us through a lot of agonies as Special Agent Karan Shergill’s (Shaalen Malhotra) strict discipline leaves no room for love or emotions. Whereas, Cadet Monami (Kaveri Priyam) has confessed her love and realizes there’s no future after this week’s #MoRan heart-to-heart. As this “will they, won’t they” tension continues, fans are left on the edge of their seats hoping for a sizzling confession between the two.
Aanchal Goswami and Krushal Ahuja play Diya and Arjun aka #ArYa or #ArJya on “Rishton Ka Manjha” as two people connected by their shared passion towards badminton. Their slow-burn journey towards love is filled with respect & reverence for each other. Like all slow-burn romances, this one also follows the characters as they fall in love gradually. Which gives us a realistic and genuine romantic experience.
The heartwarming and heartbreaking love story between Darsh (Vijayendra Kumeria) and Nandini (Richa Rathore) in “Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha” aka #DarshNi goes to show that true love goes beyond the five senses. They are bonded by more than past scars, betrayals, and insecurities. Both Vijayendra-Richa’s portrayals and chemistry were off the charts.
The newest Jodi of this year that made our top ITV Jodis of 2021 is Ranveer (Vivian Dsena) and Suhaani (Eisha Singh) best known as #RuHaani. Theirs is a love story revolving around obsession and the limits of madness. Similar to “Kabir Singh”, “Sirf Tum” dives into a story about two protagonists poles apart from each other and the male lead consumed by his one-sided love for the innocent, simple female lead. We know it’s going to be a rocky ride, but definitely, a thrill to watch!
The next pair from “Kyun Utthe Dil Chhod Aaye”, Ambar (Gracy Goswami), and Randheer (Zaan Khan) showcase onscreen chemistry equal parts pure and old-school. This pre-partition love story and coupling conveys a lot of emotions purely through their eyes and reminds us of the innocence of the yesteryears.
The next pairing on our top ITV Jodis of 2021 list is #ThaRab from “Thapki Pyar Ki 2” played by Jigyasa Singh ( Vaani “Thapki”) and Aakash Ahuja (Purab). This adorable husband and wife pair love to irritate each other in the cutest ways. More importantly, they always have each other’s back. This jodi definitely deserves so much more hype!
This “Thoda Sa Baadal Thoda Sa Paani” couple best known as #AnJol gives us another jodi that is pure and non-toxic. Dr. Anurag Basu’s (Karan Suchak) selfless and unconditional love and support towards Kajol (Ishita Dutta) is simply heavenly to watch and root for.
Next, we have a love story that defies age barriers and class stereotypes, this “Molkki” pair played by Priyal Mahajan (Purvi) and Amar Upadhyay (Virendra Pratap Singh) give us sweet, tender moments although this couple has been through so many ups and downs. But we’re entirely smitten by this age-gap romance.
This next one deserves some extra love because #SuMod aka Susheela (essayed by Jiya Shankar) and Pramod (Paras Arora) of “Kaatelal & Sons” could not have a complete journey or closure leaving fans heartbroken. However, whatever they did have will forever be cherished–reminding us that some people just don’t have a “happily ever after” but still leave a mark on our hearts indefinitely.
Moving forward, Shivangi Joshi and Randeep Rai are making noise as the newest Anandi and Anand on “Balika Vadhu 2” with fans in awe of their onscreen friendship. As this roller coaster ride of ups and downs has just begun, it’s going to be interesting to see their individual character trajectory and inevitable pull towards one another.
Last but not the least, the final pairing on our top ITV Jodis of 2021 list is Chahat (essayed by Pratibha Ranta) and Neelkanth (played by Karan Jotwani/Rajveer Singh) as #NeeHat on the show “Qurbaan Hua”. After enduring a vociferous relationship filled with rage and revenge, #NeeHat gave us so many shades of love such as friendly banter, passionate proclamations of their desires, and undying support for one another.