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Everything about the film business that’s more superstitious than filmy. Says Khalid Mohammad, renowned critic, author cum journalist, “On a personal note, the film I wrote based on the life story of my mother, Zubeida, was altered to Zubeidaa – Jyothi Venkatesh

A numerologist had instructed the producer that a title with eight letters would be more felicitous than just seven. Fair enough, why quibble?

For starters, the censor board and protesting fringe groups would not tolerate Padmavati as the title for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus. When it was changed to Padmavat, a numerologist predicted disaster ahead.

Ergo an extra ‘a’ was added and the beleaguered film was released as Padmaavat but then. Contrary to what the numerologist had predicted, the film ran to packed houses.

No contracts, deals or projects are finalised during the season of Navratri, which lasts nine nights and ten days. Once the Ganpati puja and the holy immersion are done with, the auspicious time to get on with business. Let’s just say, show business is especially vulnerable to insecurities, responsible for that antique adage,

“Fortunes are made and unmade every Friday.” Think twice before premiering a film on Friday 13, or during the fortnight-long Shradh period in September, when prayers are offered for deceased ancestors or during the month-long fasting during Ramzan. During these spans, ticket sales dip as they do during the eagerly-anticipated lot of the IPL cricket matches.

Release dates are a tough call to take and hope against hope that the moon doesn’t wax or wane over the opening weekend collections at the multiplexes.

A steep valley in Goregaon’s Film City is considered to be jinxed ever since several scenes were shot there in 1993 for the big daddy of all flops Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja.

An ancient gnarled tree in Ooty guarantees success ever since Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit danced around it for the film Dil (1990). Snag is the convention of dancing around trees that has almost gone extinct from the movies.

Most films advertised on a hoarding site, especially Dev Anand’s films offering a wide angle view of Juhu beach have tanked over the decades. The site is now used essentially for consumer products.

And finally, going by the law of averages, Salman Khan has shown up at the myriad court cases in Mumbai and Jodhpur, more often than not, wearing blue jeans and either a white or black shirt. And like his father, Salim Khan, dons a blue stone bracelet. Fingers crossed”, Khalid Mohammad concludes.

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