Stars and their faith accompli
Would he have made it so huge had his name been Jitendra Kumar Tuli?
Shah Rukh Khan, we mean.
Encountering parental opposition to his plans to marry his beloved Gauri, the then small-time Delhi actor, Anupama Chopra's book King of Bollywood reveals, offered to convert to Hinduism, to soothe his Hindu in-laws's feelings, and change his name to J K Tuli.
J K Tuli? JKT!!!. Shudder. Instead of those now iconic initials, SRK.
Neither Gauri nor Shah Rukh changed their faith when they wed, and their children Aryan and Suhana are being brought up to appreciate and respect both their parents's religions.
Tinseltown though has many instances of film folk who changed their religion, a faith accompli, so to speak.
Last week, South Indian star Nayanthara decided to become a Hindu, which provoked us to take a look at all those stars who altered their religious allegiance.
Born a Christian, the former Diana Kurian and the present Nayanthara reportedly walked into a Chennai temple, chanted a few prayers and became a Hindu.
This spiritual transformation apparently has its genesis in romance -- Nayanthara, so the gossip mills claim, is in love with Prabhudeva, the nimble dancer-turned-actor-turned-filmmaker, who is a Hindu.
The couple may tie the knot shortly, and possibly, the reason for Nayanthara to forsake her Christian avatar.
Take a look at some well-known star converts in the following slides.
A R Rahman
The Oscar-winning composer wasn't born Allah Rakha Rahman.
Troubled by his father's sudden death, pacified by a spiritual healer, the then Dileep Kumar turned to Islam along with his mother and sisters.
Also read: The Man. The Maestro. The Music
Image: A R Rahman
Dharmendra and Hema Malini
The only hitch was that the dashing Dharam was already married to Prakash Kaur, that happened when he was barely 19.
Turning to Islam, the Jat and his very Iyengar girlfriend became man and wife (as Aisha Bi R Chakravarty and Dilawar Khan Kewal Krishn).
Image: Dharmendra and Hema Malini
Ditto for Arth director Mahesh Bhatt, who was already married to Kiran, when he got into a relationship with actress Soni Razdan.
In an interview the path-breaking filmmaker says how 'friends suggested that since my mother was a Muslim (Shirin Mohammed Ali), I could convert and marry Soni as well. I did just that.'
Also Read: Arth: An ode to relationships
Image: Mahesh Bhatt
Remember the ebullient young star of films like Deewana and Shola Aur Shabnam?
Divya Bharti died in mysterious and tragic circumstances when she fell off the balcony of her Mumbai apartment.
It was later revealed how the Hindu actress became a Muslim so that she could marry her producer beau Sajid Nadiadwala.
Reverse is the story of 1990s actress Sonam.
The sexy Oye Oye girl was born Bakhtawar Murad Khan, but adopted her screen name Sonam and converted to Hinduism to marry her Tridev director Rajiv Rai.
Image: Divya Bharti
On the other hand, former Southern sensation Khushboo was born into a devout Muslim family in Mumbai, as Nakhat Khan.
Khushboo, who started her career as a child actor in Hindi films like Laawaris, rechristened herself after she entered show business, became a big star in Chennai, but it was her decision to tie the knot with Southside filmmaker Sundar C that influenced her religion switch.
Image: Sharmila Tagore
Much newsprint was wasted on Sanjay Dutt's nuptials to Gangajal item girl Manyata, when reports of her still-married status came into play.
Originally a Muslim, Dilnawaz Sheikh took up Manyata as her screen avatar following a suggestion by director Prakash Jha.
Manyata reportedly took the Arya Samaj route after her marital vows to Dutt came under scrutiny.
Incidentally, her mom-in-law, the legendary actress Nargis changed her religion when she became Mrs Nirmala Sunil Dutt.
Image: Manyata Dutt