Written by Arunkumar Deshmukh
I have been seeing a variety of movies since 65 years or so. Among the ones I saw, I developed a liking for Mythological or Devotional (Dharmik) films, for a while. It was not due to my religious nature, but for the trick scenes (with special effects) in these films, which fascinated me immensely. I liked a scene where a God or a Rakshas multiplied into 10 images to confuse the opponent. Just imagine, 10 Ramas or 10 Ravanas on the screen at a time ! All with same name and appearance!! Not only their opponents,but even the audience in the theatres got confused who the real one was !!!
In real or the reel life, It is not so simple as 10 Ramas or 10 Ravanas. Here the 10 Rama names will be same but each Rama may look different. I remember,during my school days,in my class, there used to be at least 10 boys with the surname Deshpande, 15 Joshis, 12 Kulkarnis and 5 Deshmukhs.
Each boy was called by his initials,like A.B, C.D. or K.P.etc. Sometimes, even the initials used to be the same. In that case, another trick used was to call those boys based on their personality, like Lambu DK or Gidda DK etc.
In film Industry, same name artistes are identified by their vocation, like Lyricist Madan Mohan or Music Director Madan Mohan. But when there are Directors with the same names or singers with the same names, or actors or actresses, then what happens?
In an Industry where ,in the early era(as if there was a shortage of names all over India), there were 5 Nalinis or 6 Gauhars,or 4 Rajkumaris,5 Rajkumars,2 Jagmohans or 2 Trilok Kapoors what do you do ? There is bound to be solid confusion and wrong credits of films,songs etc takes place. The Internet Film sites are notoriously famous for spreading faithfully wrong, non corroborated or verified information blindly by 'Copy and Paste'! Any new student of Hindi films will easily get confused.
I will give an ideal example to prove this point. There is a site called Gomolo.in. If you look for information on the 1939 film ' Brandi ki Botal ',you will find the Heroine's name as Meenakshi Seshadri (instead of Meenakshi Shirodkar). What do you do with such information? I am sure even mother of Meenakshi Seshadri must not have been born in 1939!! Similarly when Shamshad begum (called chhamiya)-old time Gazal singer mother of Naseem Bano or the grand Mother of Saira bano died in 1998, many sites mourned and declared that the popular singer Shamshad Begum had died ! In fact, one site is still having this incorrect information!!! Another famous and otherwise very useful site/blog mentioned the name of Neelam Kothari in a film made in 1943, whereas Neelam Kothari was born in 1964 only ! The name Neelam was misleading in this case.