When Waheeda Rehman spoke about why she refused to take on a 'sexy and juicy' name upon entering Bollywood

Updated on Feb 18, 2021 10:51 AM IST

Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman is one of the few actors who refused to change their names upon entering the Hindi film industry. In an old interview, the gorgeous actor spoke about why she stuck to her original name.

Waheeda Rehman has been a part of various hit Hindi films.
Waheeda Rehman has been a part of various hit Hindi films.

In olden times, it was almost customary to change one's name upon becoming a part of the Hindi film industry. Sometime, it was done to cater to the audiences of more pan-India temperament, other times, it was done simply for aesthetic purposes.

While stars such as Dilip Kumar, Akshay Kumar, and many others have changed their names, veteran actor Waheeda Rehman was just too fond of her name to let it go. In an old video interview that was shared recently on Instagram, Waheeda is seen speaking all about what she was told about changing her name during her early days in the film industry.

"They said, 'Because we don't like your name'. I asked them why not? They said, 'Firstly because it is too long, Waheeda-Rehman. It should be more modern. Something sexy and juicy.' I said bhaiyya what is a sexy and juicy name? 'No, it's customary here, like Madhubala, Nimmi, Nargis, Meena Kumari. We don't like it. How do we call you Waheeda Rehman?' I said, 'Didi, why do you need to call me Waheeda Rehman? Simply call me Waheeda'."

She added, "I said, 'I am sorry if you do not like my name, because I like it a lot, one that was given to me by my parents. I will not change it. My Telugu, Tamil films have been hits and I used Waheeda Rehman there as well. They never objected to it.' They said that's a different matter. 'Who knows you in Hindi field? It should be Bala or Bali'... I said no, I don't like either. I just like my own."

Waheeda's fans were in awe of her confidence and love for her identity. "I just love this woman," wrote one. "I wish for such attitude.20th century needs such attitude," wrote another.

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Waheeda began her acting career in Bollywood with Guru Dutt's CID opposite Dev Anand in 1956. She went on to star in films such as Guide, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and many others.

In the second innings of her career, she was seen in Rang De Basanti and Delhi-6. The actor is currently finding new hobbies such as wildlife photography and scuba diving.

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