How Mammootty became Sajin, Lal Jose recalls

How Mammootty the name came to spell success
Filmmaker Lal Jose admitted that his name stood out from ordinary ones and people instantly recognised it.

“What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare in his famous play 'Romeo and Juliet'. However name plays a significant role in a person’s life. Writers often are known by their pseudonyms. Artists too choose a screen or stage name which would perfectly suit their personality. Meanwhile in the movies, some names are considered inauspicious. Noted filmmaker Lal Jose recently revealed an interesting story of a ‘name change’ in the Malayalam cinema, in one of the episodes of the superhit reality show ‘Nayika Nayakan’ which is aired on Mazhavil Manorama.

“When Mammookka was a new comer, (filmmaker) Viswambaran sir had changed his name to Sajin saying that Mammootty did not suit an actor. So in the (1981) movie 'Sphodanam', Mammootty’s name was given in the title cards as Sajin, with Mammootty written in the bracket. But the audience continued to call him Mammootty itself. Now Mammootty has become such an amazing name,” revealed Lal Jose.

The filmmaker believes that certain names bear good luck. He conceded that the name ‘Lal Jose’ has in fact benefited him, as many people don’t have this name. He said, “People immediately recognises when they hear my name. When I was an assistant director, everyone knew Kamal’s assistant Lal Jose. Had my name been a common one like ‘Shaji’, then there would have been hundreds of other people of the same name on the sets.” Lal Jose said that the names of the female artists are usually changed when they make it to the movies.

Ann Salim, one of the contestants, too revealed the ‘secret’ behind her unique name. Ann, who was born in a Muslim family, was originally named Anusree. She said that in her family of four girl children, only the youngest sister possessed a Muslim name. She confessed that she had great difficulty to say her name at school or in front of her friends. It was her father who asked her to change her name as Ann as she was bothered with her given name. After considering many names, she called herself Ann Salim by retaining a part of Anusree.

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