Sanjeev Kumar on his original name: Not suitable for an aspiring actor; Biography Revealed

sanjeev kumar screen name. (Photo Credits: Facebook/@sanjeevkumaradmirers)

sanjeev kumar screen name. (Photo Credits: Facebook/@sanjeevkumaradmirers)

Do you know why actor Sanjeev Kumar adopted his screen name? While he himself thought that his real name Harihar Jethalal Jariwala was not suitable for an aspiring actor, renowned director Kamal Amrohi suggested that he should have a unique and influential screen identity.

Actor-playwright Hanif Zaveri and bankruptcy lawyer Sumant Batra have come out with an authoritative biography of the two-time National Award winning actor, titled “An Actor’s Actor” in which they provide many such interesting anecdotes about him.

During his early days, Jariwala often said that his name was “not suitable for an aspiring actor” and discussed with his friends the various possible names he could adopt.

“He decided that it should start with the letter ‘S’, as his mother’s name begins with ‘S’ (Shantaben), and end with ‘Kumar’ as most actors’ names with ‘Kumar’ ends.

After a fierce debate and discussion, the name ‘Sanjay Kumar’ got unanimous approval, and Hari was credited with this name in both Ramat Ramde Ram and Aao Pyaar Karen,” says the book published by Penguin Random House.

While Jariwala was shooting for “Nishan”, he met the versatile writer-producer-director Amrohi, who asked him to come to Filmistan Studio Goregaon the next day to discuss two new films – Aakhri Din Pehre Raat and Shankar. Hussain (1977). Jariwala’s next project was to be Shankar Hussain.

“When Hari went to meet Amrohi he was asked to do a screen test with some difficult dialogues in Urdu. The always hardworking Hari delivered the dialogues in four different ways. Completely impressed by Hari’s confidence, Amrohi said suggested that Hari work with his assistant. Bakar asked to fix his Urdu,” says the author.

The hiccup of Jariwala’s name again came with Amrohi.

The book states that the director told her that her name was not impressive enough for an actor and she changed the screen name of Jariwala to Gautam Rajvansh and Vidya Manjrekar (who initially played the protagonist’s sister and later played the lead role). ) to Al-Saheba.

Both actors accepted Amrohi’s suggestion, and Jariwala refrained from telling him that he had already decided on Sanjay Kumar as his screen name, it says.

“Unfortunately, a day before the shooting began, the lead actress withdrew from the shoot. With Pakeezah (1972) extremely caught up in which his wife Meena Kumari was playing a pivotal role, Amrohi replaced Shankar Hussain after a few shots. She gave shelter. Vidya as the new lead.”

Both Badal and Nishan were on the floors when Sanjay Khan’s superhit film Dosti (1964) released and he instantly became a household name. Jariwala was once again in a dilemma as two Sanjays could not rule the screen together.

“Aspi Irani advised him to change his name once again. Hari was reluctant as two of his films had already been released as Sanjay Kumar. However, Aao Pyaar Karen focused on Joy Mukherjee, and Ramat Ramde. Ram was a regional film. They decided to take their chances, and Sanjeev Kumar was born,” writes the author.

Now that his name was fixed, the only other thing that needed to be fixed was his appearance. Jariwala dropped his trademark kurta pajama and bought a red T-shirt and a pair of white trousers to interview directors and producers.

The author also mentions how Jariwala knew that his destiny was inextricably linked to Indian cinema, but many obstacles stood between him and his goal. “Most of them required divine intervention to be overcome, but some, like his voice, believed he could work.”

According to his guide CH Intwala, Jariwala was worried about his ‘weak voice’.

Jariwala worked hard on his dialogue delivery, rehearsing the same lines in different pitches and tones and revamping them with different shades of emotional intensity. Intwala supervised his dialogue-reading session every evening.

“At the time, Hari had no idea that the voice he was trying to transform would one day help him carve a niche for himself in the world of cinema, and later, for mimicry artists. will become a staple, however they will find it. It is nearly impossible to reproduce the various nuances that affect their tone,” the book says.

It also describes Kumar’s first role in Hum Hindustani (1960) starring Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh.

“When contacted, Hari immediately accepted the offer to play the role of a police inspector for Rs 12 per shift. There was no dialogue in Hari’s role, but he gave it his hundred percent, the first time he had We’re facing the camera.” The book says.

“Rs 12 for every shift was a good amount for Hari. He was proud of his earnings and was proud to hand over his hard earned money to his mother. Her approval mattered the most to him. Pleased, Shantaben said Took Hari to the temple of Mumba Devi in ​​Zaveri Bazar and donated a part of his earnings to the temple treasury.”

The foreword to this book is by actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha.

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