“... There are moments in our lives when we nurture thoughts that lead us to believe that a certain act or conduct fructified itself into a being reality because of a superstition belief”.
- Bachchan Bol (DAY 1985)
Such moments have been more visible amongst our moviemakers when finalizing the title of their films. In the early era, even the iconic director, Mehboob Khan, succumbed to such superstition when he was obsessed with alphabet 'A' as the first letter in his title – Aurat, Anmol Ghadi, Anokhi Ada, Andaz, Amar, Ailan, till he hit the jackpot with his mega hit Mother India, the title of which ended with 'A' instead of beginning with it.
In recent times K-obsession has been more prominent amongst producers. The man who initiated such a superstition is none other than the successful filmmaker Rakesh Roshan – Khudgarz, Koyla, Khoon Bhari Maang, Kahi Na Pyar Hai, Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish and the eagerly awaited Krrish-3.
Karan Johar followed suite and stuck to alphabet 'K' after the success of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and then came: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum, Kal Ho Na Ho, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. The obsession ended with Dostana that turned out to be a super hit even without the lucky letter 'K'. And came My Name Is Khan, another hit without 'K'. Interestingly, Karan Johar had even named his TV talk show as Koffee With Karan – Coffee with 'K' instead of “C'!
TV queen Ekta Kapoor too was down with K-syndrome while naming her TV serials: Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kasauti Zindagi Ki, Kahin Kisi Roz. K-obsession eventually ended with Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, her current TV hit. However, it came back when she entered the Bollywood arena with films titled Kyonki Main Jhoot Nahin Bolta, Kuch To Hai, Kya Kool Hain Hum, Kya Super Kool Hain Hum. But mediocre success of the movies at the box-office brought her out of the K-syndrome and came her super hit productions – The Dirty Picture and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.
There are so many more such and other obsessions amongst moviemakers that if I was to go into each one of them then I would be taking too much of space of this precious platform which would not be advisable. Still, I cannot resist mentioning Subhash Ghai's a strange obsession with letter 'M' that got him to hire or rename her heroins starting with alphabet 'M'. Be it renaming Mahima and his latest discovery Mishti from Ritu and Indrani respectively or hiring heroins like Madhuri Dixit, Meenakshi Seshadri and Manisha Koirala. Isn't it interesting? He also believes in one more thing – the date October 24. It's not only his wife's birthday but also the day he got married. And ever since, he has made it a point to announce his new venture on this date.
Before concluding, here are beliefs of some of our super stars: Salman Khan has been hooked on a release of all his films around the festival of Eid after the success of 'Wanted' and 'Dabangg', released during Eid. Similarly, after success of Tare Zameen Par, Amir Khan has come to believe that Christamas is a lucky time for him and scheduled the release of Ghajini and 3Idiots during the December festival. Shah Rukh Khan did not believe in superstitions till his team Kolkata Knight Riders failed to win the first couple of matches earlier this IPL season. A 'Taviz' he started wearing seems to have worked to bring his Knights back in the limelight. Huge success of Chinnai Express must have further strengthened his belief in the 'Taviz' as he continues to wear it. Katrina Kaif too has imbibed the superstitious ways of her co-stars. Even though her skirt raised a controversy during the filming of Namaste London at the Ajmer Sharif Durgah, she makes it a point to visit the shrine before her every release.
Last but not the least, Amitabh Bachchan, whose quote in the beginning initiated this blog, believes in a particular chair he prefers to sit on during an important meeting with a moviemaker. This is how he explains it: “...So when you sit on a particular chair during a discussion and there emanates an idea or suggestion which completely bowls over your guest or prospective maker, it registers in the mind somewhat unconsciously that each time an idea needs discussion, it would and it should be that very chair, if we want acceptable suggestions to come about. Strange, funny, silly though it may sound, it does bear up in the mind”.
To end on a personal note: In the beginning of my career in a big company, I got a surprise opportunity to represent the company at an important meeting with a very important client, when my senior who was scheduled to attend it suddenly reported sick. Thankfully, I passed the tough test with flying colors and there was no looking back for me. But it made me superstitious of the timing of the successful meeting. It was Tuesday and I started believing that Tuesday was lucky for me. Thereafter, I tried my best to schedule all important meetings and presentations on Tuesdays only and most of the time it paid of. Since Tuesday is also considered as Hanumanji's day, I started feeling that my success on the day was due to blessing of Hanumanji and as many of my religion observe fast on the day, I too started doing so to thank Hanumanji, which I continue till date. I must admit, however, my Tuesday fast is more a result of superstition rather than religious belief.