Here's why Jiah Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif changed their names
June 5, 2013, 4:32 pm
What's in a name? Just about everything! That's precisely why celebrities don't mind changing their birth names. From not finding the name unique enough, to making an attempt to draw good fortune and avoiding sharing it with other popular names, the list of reasons is unending, it seems. From Jiah Khan, Katrina Kaif, Rekha to Akshay Kumar and John Abraham, all these celebrities have re-invented themselves by changing their names.
Nafisa Khan, who committed suicide recently, changed her name to Jiah. The new name was inspired by Angelina Jolie-starrer 'Gia'. When asked what promoted her to take the decision, the actress had said in an interview that she didn't want to change as a person. But by being in the limelight, she couldn't have averted the inevitable. So the new name was just an attempt to preserve her real self.
Back in 2008, Shilpa Shetty's highly-guarded secret was revealed. Wondering what it was? Well, it was her real name - Ashwini Shetty! The actor changed her name, when she was a teenager, because of numerological reasons.
Akshay Kumar's real name is Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia. He was also referred to as Raju by his close friends. Akshay, who'd done several odd jobs, before joining the showbiz industry, also took up modelling assignments.
What made Katrina Turquotte turn Katrina Kiaf? Well, as the actress says, she changed it because she didn't want people to face any difficulty in addressing her. Ayesha Shroff, Jackie Shroff's wife, had mentored the star during her early days in Bollywood. Katrina Kazi was also an option which was considered.
Farhan is Bollywood actor John's real Parsi name. However, he got the name John from his father. John kick started his career with Time & Space Media Entertainment Promotions Ltd., a media firm, which had to be shut down due to financial crisis.
Did you know Rekha's original name is Bhanurekha Ganesan? The actor faced difficulty in winning fans' support, but gradually, she managed to carve a niche for herself. The new name Rekha proved lucky for her.
Which name is better Vishal Veeru Devgan or Ajay Devgn? The latter, many would say, right? But there is no denying the fact that the actor adopted Ajay as his new name. In 2009 he got rid of 'a' from his last name. His official name is Ajay Devgn.
Mallika Sherawat was born as Reema Lamba. It was a conscious decision to change her name to Mallika Sherawat. While Mallika means "queen", Sherawat has been derived from her mother's maiden name. The change was an effort to avoid being confused with other actresses with the same name.
Can you imagine Govinda being called Govind Arun Ahuja? No, could be an instant reply. The star adopted the name Govinda on a numerologist's suggestion. Interestingly, the change proved lucky for him. Chi Chi is also his nickname.
Even Rajinikanth, the megastar, resorted to the strategy of changing name. His original name is Shivaji Rao Gaikwad. However, director K Balachander gave him Rajinikanth, his stage name.