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01 December 2023

ABC of Bollywood’s superstitions

By Manash Karnad/Sanskriti Media

Bollywood has its own set of superstitions. While actors change their alphabets in their names, change their names as well and there are ones who wear different types of anklets, amulets and lucky charms hoping that they have a better career.

And then there are filmmakers who only want a certain alphabet to start their film’s name.

‘Heyy Babyy’, ‘Housefull’, ‘Housefull 2’ and now ‘Himmatwala’ – We are now talking about Sajid Khan. Sajid debuted with the film ‘Heyy Babyy’.

The film was successful and Sajid felt that it was only because of the letter H. The director perhaps does not have as much self-belief in his directorial abilities than in the power of the letter ‘H’.

And Sajid feels that his forthcoming film ‘Himmatwala’ – a remake of the old hit from the eighties will be successful and in fact will be one of the biggest hits of his career.

“It will be my biggest hit and it will be amongst top 3 hits of 2013 and it’s an open challenge from me to anybody,” says the director with a dash of over confidence and oodles of arrogance.

The arrogance stems from having given three hits earlier.

Even Karan Johar earlier had stuck to the alphabet K.

Karan made his directorial debut with the film ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. And then came his next film called ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum’ and was followed by ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’. Al these films were runaway hits.

Karan was so much stuck to the alphabet that he named his TV show as Koffee with Karan – yet again with the K.

But then he changed the trend with ‘My Name Is Khan’ and went on to direct ‘Student Of The Year’ and that film did not even have a K in the film’s title.

While Karan managed to get rid of his obsession, his friend Ekta Kapoor also managed to lose it a while back.

Ekta Kapoor made films like ‘Kyonki Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta’, ‘Kuch Toh Hai’, ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum’ and ‘Kya Super Kool Hain Hum’.  Ekta’s TV serials also used the same alphabet. Milestone serials like ‘Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’, ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’, ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’, ‘Kahin Kisi Roz’ and others were all a product of the ‘K’ obsession.

‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai’ were two of her films that went without the K alphabet and became successful as well.

The man who initially had the K obsession was Rakesh Roshan whose obsession with the alphabet had him make films like ‘Khudgarz’, ‘Koyla’, ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’, ‘Koi Mil Gaya’, ‘Krrish’ and ‘Krrish 3’. There are other films as well in this list making Rakesh’s obsession endless. Rakesh’s father in law J Om Prakash made films with the alphabet A. Ditto with Mohan Kumar who opted for the alphabet A.

Subhash Ghai’s obsession with the letter M got him to rename or hire heroines with the alphabet M. Be it renaming Mahima and latest discovery Mishti from Ritu and Indrani respectively or hiring heroines like Madhuri Dixit, Meenakshi Seshadri and Manisha Koirala.

We, as an audience, only hope that they make good movies.