Should Abhishek drop the Bachchan and Kareena change her spelling to Karrinaa? Astrologers reveal starry superstitions
THERE is trouble in her ‘Universe’. The actress with a fading career, the ambassador of beauty, peace, love and optimism, doesn’t know where her love life is heading. There is ‘shaadi ka yog’ in 2011, “but where are the guys? There is no ‘sahi banda’ (right guy) around,” she laments to her trusted astrologer.
Worry also stems from the prediction of separation. “There are signs of divorce in her kundli. She has decided to either wait, or remain single forever,” says Bhavikk Sangghvi, her astro numerologist. The actress has also ‘surrendered’ to her astrologer as far as her career goes. She has shelved her first production on a female warrior when told that it had no scope. Adds Sangghvi, oozing confidence, “The title of the film adds up to her unlucky number, which is 1.” Incidentally, the number was prominently present in her biggest hit till date — David Dhawan’s Biwi Number 1, with Salman Khan about a decade ago.
Apparently, on well known numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani’s advice, AB Corp runs under Abhishek Bachchan’s name and n o t Amitabh’s. “Abhishek will prove lucky for their company,” says Jumaani. And as far as Abhishek’s film career is concerned, Jumaani has been advising junior Bachchan to drop his famous surname. “He wonders what he would be without the ‘Bachchan’,” says Jumaani. He has now suggested that he writes Abhishek A Bachchan.
With a lot of money (fame and image as well) at stake, superstitions in various forms rule the roost in Bollywood. Many folks add or subtract letters from their names or titles of their productions, have their lucky months or dates, locations, combination and pairing of actors, etc. Says tarot card reader Sunita Menon, “Even top-notch producers can’t escape superstitions in this unpredictable and fickle industry.”
Says Jumaani, “While the old-timers don’t mind wearing rings (Amitabh Bachchan is seen wearing rings on almost all his fingers) most youngsters prefer wearing pendants which they can hide.”
Numerologists believe that adding an extra ‘i’ to his name has brought Riteish Deshmukh good fortune. Vivek Oberoi too tried to change his fortune by adding the letter ‘i’ and ‘Anand’ to his name but reverted to the original. Recently, as per his family’s wish, Ajay Devgan dropped the letter ‘a’ from his surname and now writes Devgn. Prakash Jha has added an extra ‘a’ to his most anticipated Raajneeti.
When Rakesh Roshan was planning to launch son Rithik, he was advised by the family astrologer to add an ‘h’ to his name, and thus it became Hrithik, as per industry sources. Similarly, ‘e’ was added to Vinod Khanna’s son Akshay’s name when he was being launched. And Sunil Shetty, after getting acclaim in Border and Refugee, changed his spelling to Suniel for better prospects. Kareena became Karriena for Asoka, which flopped at the boxoffice. Subsequently, Mancchanda advised her to change it to Karrinaa, which she didn’t. Tusshar Kapoor too added an ‘s’ before his debut.
With Bollywood’s huge presence in cricket these days, looks like superstition is spilling over to sports, too. Apparently, Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Rider’s (KKR) black jersey was changed to purple this season, as ‘black depicts Saturn’, according to Jumaani, who has also suggested a change in their burning skull logo through team captain Saurav Ganguly. “Don’t you think it looks like a skeleton?” he queries. However, KKR has failed to make it to the semi-finals for the third time.
However, not everybody gives in to superstition. Boney Kapoor did not change the titles of two of his huge hits — No Entry (the biggest grosser of 2006) and Wanted. “These are glaring examples…” he laughs. “And look, Love Sex and Dhokha
didn’t have any ‘K’ in it,” he chuckles, while pointing out Rakesh Roshan and Karan Johar’s fixation for the letter ‘K’. Admits Roshan, “Yes, the letter ‘K’ has been very lucky for me. And till I keep getting good titles beginning with the alphabet, I will stick to it.” He has b l o c k b u s t e r Kites coming up for release next month. Vidya Balan agreed to change her name to Vidya Iyer down South about seven years ago, but the film got shelved. “It is the biggest proof that changing names doesn’t help,” says Vidya.
Anurag Kashyap didn’t consider astrology even in the worst phase of his life. “I believe only in hard work,” says Kashyap, whose critically-acclaimed Dev D won many awards last year. Says Adhyayan Suman, “These superstitions can drive you crazy. If it was that simple, then by adding an extra ‘p’ or ‘n’ so many would have become stars.”
Mancchanda attributes Heyy Baby and Krrish’s success to that extra ‘y’ and ‘r’ he added in the titles. But neither of the producers — Sajid Nadiadwala or Rakesh Roshan — consulted Mancchanda for their forthcoming releases — Housefull and Kites. “Let’s see how these fare, it’s their destiny,” he says with a tinge of sarcasm. Asserts Heyy Baby director Sajid Khan, “It became a hit because it was a good, entertaining film. No title can make a bad film work.” In the last few years, there have been numerous stories around Govinda and his superstitions. And now it is his daughter’s turn. Mancchanda is currently working on Govinda’s daughter Narmmadaa’s career. Besides changing the spelling of her name, Mancchanda says, he is working on her subconscious mind and chakras, “so that she signs only a film that brings her huge success and fame”. He says, “She has been offered about 15 films with offers of even Rs 75 lakh, but she will say yes only to the right film.”
Last year’s biggest grosser 3 Idiots, considered by many as one of the biggest hits of B o l ly – wo o d ever, did not have a title or for that matter a star who changed his or her name according to the whims of the numerologists, while some of the biggest disasters tried to conform to every superstitious belief, but since when has that made any difference to Bollywood?