Superstition, thy name is Bollywood. The phrase comes alive when the stars of cinema have to buy new cars, start new films, or make any big decisions.
The trend came into light when Ekta Kapoor’s penchant for productions titled with ‘K’ became popular. She refused to budge from that sphere for the longest time! It has been rumoured that she checks the horoscopes of those who want to work with her to make sure they bring good luck! The ‘K’ bug has also bitten Karan Johar and Rakesh Roshan when it comes to cinema, and while Karan has deflected, Roshan Sr. still sticks to his mantra!
The number games of Bollywood are even more famous. Shah Rukh Khan refuses own a vehicle without the number ‘555’ in its registration plate, while Sanjay Dutt sticks to a mantra of ‘4545’, adding up to ‘9’. Subhash Ghai announces new films only on October 24- his wife’s birthday and their wedding anniversary.
Numbers aside, stars have also opted to play along with their names. Be it Ajay Devgn who was named Vishal at birth, and then changed for his debut to ‘Ajay’ and only recently dropped the ‘a’ from his last name, or Riteish Deshmukh, whose additional ‘i’ doesn’t really matter to him, actors have modified their names a lot to change their luck. Emraan Hashmi added the ‘a’ and Suniel Shetty added an ‘i’- but while the former seems to be climbing the ladder of success, Shetty’s still looking for his big blockbuster. Same goes for Viveik Oberoi, who had even turned to ‘Viveik Anand’, claiming that ‘Anand’ was his middle name.
On set, Bollywood has a more curious story to tell. R. Madhavan, post-3 Idiots, has added a strange clause to his contract- that of the inclusion of an airport scene. Tanu Weds Manu hence had one, and it was a success. Ektaa Kapoor- to add to her list of superstitions, scheduled the shoot of ‘Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum’ in Goa, because previous movies like Singham, All The Best and Golmaal 3 shot there did well at the BO.
Release-time gets different reactions from our stars. Akshay Kumar makes it a point to fly abroad when any of his films are releasing, for good luck. Makes us wonder why he didn’t do so when Joker was out! Salman Khan’s films are scheduled to release around major festivals like Diwali or Eid, and Aamir Khan swears by his Christmas-time releases like 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par. Katrina Kaif is known to visit the Ajmer Dargah before the release of any of her films, since the time of her controversial visit in a short skirt to the holy place, during the shoot of Namaste London!
These aren’t the only actors who have their quirks on sets. However, off sets and in their personal lives too, some actors have their own beliefs. Take for example Amitabh Bachchan himself. The Big B of Bollywood refuses to watch any Indian cricket team match live, because he fears that if he watches them bat, they lose a wicket. The result- wife Jaya Bachchan or bahu Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, have to relay the score to him!
Big B, as well as Shilpa Shetty wear 2 watches at once- for good luck. SRK, who kept away from superstition for the longest while, finally caved in when his IPL team seemed to be going through an extended rough patch. Bring on a taaveez, and the luck of his team started to take a turn for the better!
Bobby Deol wears yellow on Tuesdays- which is still not as severe as filmmaker duo Abbas-Mastan, who wear white all the time!
So even if Bollywood’s going miles in ideas and films, the stars here are still pretty stagnant on their dose of superstition!