When a rose turns a lily
‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ said Shakespeare. But our actors and actresses think otherwise, writes SRIKANTH SRINIVASA.
What’s in a name? Well, ask any filmstar, and they would say everything is in a name. Most of the tinsel town residents are now after numerological calculations and astrology in a big way than ever before to give a boost to their careers. They are also either adding or appending ‘a’s, ‘h’s, ‘i’s or ‘k’s and so on to their existing names or changing their original names completely.
Naveen Krishna, talented son of character artiste Srinivasa Murthy has rechristened himself as Akshay Krishna based on numerological calculations. Navya, the starlet from Jyotinivas College, who gave a memorable performance in Namma Preethiya Ramu as the dumb girl opposite Darshan, has also changed her name. She now calls herself Nayana Harshita. Co-incidentally, Master Lohith, the third son of Rajkumar bagged the national award as the best child artiste for his role in Bettada Hoovu after becoming Master Puneeth. Ravichandran changed his brother’s name to Eshwar and reverted to Balaji after the change proved to be unsuccessful.
Here is a brief rundown on the Southern actors and actresses who have made it big because of their name change, sometimes resulting in some confusion as well: Muthuraj became the legendary thespian Rajkumar, Sampath Kumar became superstar Vishnuvardhan, Narayanaswamy became ‘Pranaya Raja’ of Kannada cinema Srinath, Theatre actor Subbaiah Naidu’s son Lokanath Naidu gained recognition as Lokesh, Amarnath became famous as Ambarish, Eshwar as Jaggesh, Anuradha gained prominence as Tara, Jayashri gained popularity as Sudha Rani, Girija as Shruthi, Sridurga became Malashri and Bharathi became Bhavya. While Ravindra came to be called Avinash, his wife Ragini became more famous as Malavika.
Coffee planter from Somwarpet Jagadish gained recognition in cinema as Jaijagadish. While Lokesh’s daughter Shilpa became famous as Pooja Lokesh, Mamata Rao’s daughter Shweta came to be known as Rakshita even as Parvathamma Rajkumar changed Spandana’s name to Ramya. Sada of Jayam and Monalisa fame was earlier called Sadaf and Bangalore girl Kavitha came to be called Kaushalya and Nandini (in Malayalam). Sangeetha, who is acting opposite Sudeep in Nalla became Deepti (in Telugu) and Rasika (in Malayalam) while Vijayalakshmi became popular as Rambha. Bangalore-born Soundarya who died in an air crash recently was earlier called Soumya. The BTS bus conductor Shivaji Rao Gaekwad made it big in South Indian cinema after he was rechristened Rajnikanth. Varaprasad, a police constable’s son in Andhra Pradesh, became the superstar of Telugu cinema as Chiranjeevi. The shy college-going girl Asha Kheluni was recognised and placed before the camera as Revathi.
In Malayalam cinema, the ever-talkative and effervescent Kavitha Nair became Urvashi while Chippy became famous as Shilpa in Kannada cinema. Natasha became Anita, Nagma became the dancing beauty Mumtaz. Daisy Bopanna who made her debut in Kavitha Lankesh’s film Bimba has changed her name to Anjali to suit her foray into commercial cinema. Kodlu Ramakrishna changed Nandini Ramanna’s name to Bhavana, while Shilpa (of Ok Saar Ok fame) became Rashmi to avoid confusion. The upcoming actress Priyanka Pandit insists that she be called Sanjana. While Harish Raju of Thayi Saheba fame changed his name to Hareesh Raj, Srujan Lokesh is toying with the idea of going in for a change of name.