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Stars and their faith accompli

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Nayanthara

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

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
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

Dharmendra and Hema Malini

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Dharmendra and Hema Malini
These smashing good-lookers, Sholay's Veeru-Basanti, apparently decided to make it official on the movie's sets.

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).

Also read: 'I would love to pass 'Dream Girl' title to Aishwariya'

Mahesh Bhatt

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Mahesh Bhatt

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

Divya Bharti

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Divya Bharti

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.

Khushboo

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Khushboo

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.

Sharmila Tagore

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Sharmila Tagore
The world knows her as Sharmila Tagore, but the star of memorable films like Anupama, Amar Prem and Aradhana swapped it for Begum Ayesha Sultana, after her nikaah with the Nawab of Pataudi, the dashing Indian cricket legend, Mansur Ali Khan, 'Tiger' Pataudi.

Manyata Dutt

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 13:30 IST
Manyata Dutt

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.