Bollywood: Name change or game change?

Rashi Aditi Ghosh and Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group/ Delhi

Deols’ are at it again, garnering success with their typical presentation YPD2, a sequel to their earlier hit ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’. YPD2 has already netted Rs 20 crore plus during the weekend.

YPD2 manifests loudly the common theme that binds Deols’ in their presentation: masculinity in defence of damsel in distress and a few conventional dance steps that make up their unique style.

But is their success just because of their style or there is more to it than meet the eye? Yes, it is all about a name change that Deols’ have in common. All of them-Dharamendra, Sunny, and Bobby-have had a name change for screen popularity.

Do the Deols’ represent the enduring fetish for name change across generations in Bollywood? Indeed, name change is the order of the day and the trend is getting louder by the day! All name changes though do not bring runaway luck!

Nafisa Khan turned Jiah Khan turned Nafisa Khan’s luck obviously ran out as she encountered rejection in personal and professional life resulting in a tragic suicide.

Prior to changing their names Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby were known as ‘Dharam Singh Deol’, ‘Ajay Singh Deol’ and ‘Vijay Singh Deol’ respectively.

Changing names is not a new phenomenon in Bollywood as many of the celebrities have time and again experimented with their fate by changing the original names.

A profile study of actors who changed their birth names shows that not all of them were successful in earning stardom in the tinsel town. It has been a mixed bag altogether.

Dilip Kumar, the tragedy king of ‘Bollywood’ was originally called as ‘Muhammad Yousuf Khan’; he was given the screen name ‘Dilip Kumar’ before he made his film debut.

The jumping jack of Bollywood who mesmerized many with his groovy moves, ‘Jeetendra’ was asked to change his name from ‘Ravi Kapoor’ before entering the industry. After having a successful career in Bollywood, Jeetendra and his family are now into producing movies and television shows.

Even, the Khiladi Kumar’s birth name was ‘Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia’ but he stepped into the movie world as ‘Akshay Kumar’. He has so far starred in about 120 films and apparently is among the most successful stars in recent times.Does success depend on astrological and numerological predictions? Bejan Daruwalla, renowed astrologer, said, “Yes I do believe that the change in the name brings luck in the life of the person. Result varies from person to person. Celebrities also do change their name to bring some kind of positiveness in their routine life.”

Chikni Chameli of Bollywood ‘Katrina Kaif ’ was ‘Katrina Turquotte’ before making her debut in the film industry. She changed her name because she didn’t want people to face any difficulty in addressing her. She is now a big hit!

Bhanurekha Ganesan, the sultry, seductive and mysterious beauty of Indian cinema has done many movies and won several hearts. Got confused! Bhanu for her parents is Rekha of Bollywood.

However, luck did not favor all those who changed their names in the reel life; in fact it was guided by a series of misfortune in their respective lives. ‘Ritu Chaudhury’, who was given the screen name ‘Mahima’ by Subhash Ghai who launched her in the movie ‘Pardes’, did not too well beyond her debut innings.

Nisha Kotahari was born as ‘Priyanka Kotahari’; she debuted in 2006 in ‘James’ and ‘Sarkar’ but she could never make it big in the showbiz industry.

Twinkle Bajpai appeared in singing reality shows; she was named as ‘Tia Bajpai’ by Vikram Bhatt when she made her debut in the movie ‘Haunted’, but the movie was a flop. She did another movie ‘1920: Evil Returns’ which also failed to create any ripples at the box –office.

Many stars have also changed the spelling of their names to bring some good luck and prosperity in their lives. For instance, Ajay Devgan changed his surname, which is now pronounced as ‘Devgn’. This spell change worked magic for him as he delivered several hits like ‘Golmaal3’ and ‘Singhaam’.

‘Ritesh Deshmukh’ also changed his name to ‘Ritiesh Deshmukh’ after ‘Masti’ and since then he has never looked back. Following the trend, Ekta and Tushar Kapoor changed their names to Ektaa and Tusshar Kapoor.

Punkajj. C. Dhar, celebrity astrologer said, “Even a slight change in your name spelling if done correctly could help you to tune to more helpful vibrations. This is achieved by the numerologist by building more harmony within yourself and your destiny (Luck).”