While it is believed that Akshay Kumar, who has completed 25 years in Bollywood, started his B-Town journey with Saugandh (1991), not many know that the actor’s first appearance on the silver screen was in film-maker Mahesh Bhatt’s 1987 film Aaj. He played a karate instructor in the movie and had a 10-second role. The film is also special for the actor because he got his screen name, Akshay Kumar (his real name is Rajiv Bhatia), from this movie, which starred Kumar Gaurav in the lead role.
A source close to Akshay (he will next be seen in his 125th film, Tinu Suresh Desai’s next), says, “His name, Akshay, has a direct connect with his first-ever film. Gaurav’s name in the movie was Akshay. He loved the name so much that he decided to adopt it as his official name.” Although the Bollywood star loves his birth name, Rajiv, he felt that Akshay would be a more suitable name for his hero avatar in Bollywood. “He loved the way the name sounded,” adds the source.
When contacted, Akshay, who is currently vacationing with his family in New York, USA, didn’t deny the news and sent a smiley through a text message.