When Waheeda Rehman refused to change her name to something 'sexy and juicy' upon entering Bollywood

Waheeda Rehman began her acting career in Bollywood with Guru Dutt's film 'CID' opposite Dev Anand in 1956.

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Waheeda Rehman

It was customary in Bollywood in yesteryear to change one's name after being a part of the Hindi film industry. A lot of times actors and actresses changed their screen names to cater to pan-India audiences.

Many actors such as Akshay Kumar, Dilip Kumar, and others have changed their name, however, Waheeda Rehman refused to change her name as she was just too fond of it to let go. In an old video interview, that recently went viral on Instagram, Waheeda could be seen speaking about changing her name during her early days in the film industry.

Waheeda said, "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'."

Watch the video here. 


A post shared by Sudarshan (@notwhyral)

She further 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 the Hindi field? It should be Bala or Bali'... I said no, I don't like either. I just like my own."

For the uninformed, Waheeda began her acting career in Bollywood with Guru Dutt's film 'CID' opposite Dev Anand in 1956. She went on to star in films such as 'Guide', 'Kaagaz Ke Phool', 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam', 'Rang De Basanti', and 'Delhi-6'. 

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