Sep 24, 2009

Julia Roberts renames her children after Hindu Gods and Goddess

Julia’s son Phinnaeus
is now Ganesh

Gurgaon, 23 Sep, 2009:

Call it the western fascination for Oriental myt
hology or a genuine gesture to appreciate Indian spirituality, Hollywood actress Julia Roberts—in Haryana for a film shoot—has renamed all her three children after Hindu gods and a goddess.

Swami Dharam Dev, president of the Ashram in Pataudi where film—Eat, Pray, Love’—is being shot, on Tuesday told TOI: “Julia came for my blessings this morning along with her children. She told me that she has named her five-year-old twins—Hazel and Phinnaeus—as Mahalaxmi and Ganesh. Her two-year-old son Henry will now be known as Krishna Balram.’’ But the swami has no clue whether the name-change has been for good or not.

When TOI visited the ashram on Tuesday, it saw the crew working on the ‘pray’ part of the film. “A langar was organized on Sunday, for the script required Julia to be present in the langar with devotees of the ashram. She seems to have metamorphosed herself into a sadhvi for the role. I asked Julia to step into the sadhvi’s role in her real life whenever she is in self doubt,’’ the swamiji said.

Julia on Tuesday shot a cooking scene in the mess of the ashram on Tuesday. “She was seen cooking food along with other woman sadhvis for the film. In another shot, she performed kirtan in the Mandir hall of the ashram,’’ said an inmate. The 25-acre ashram, otherwise a quite place hosting a Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya with 500 students, hostels for boys and girls, a hospital and a 100-bed old-age home, is suddenly bustling with activities and will be in the thick of action for at least 20 days.

But Swami Dharam Dev is not complaining. He was all praise for the cast and crew of the film. “They have not disturbed the sanctit
y of the ashram even as they complete everything as per schedule,’’ he said. The Laxmi Narayan Mandir on the campus is the main shooting area. “A wooden extension has been erected at the Krishna Niwas on the first floor. A small, white marble mandir has been erected at the Atithi Niwas where some of the scenes will be shot,’’ said an inmate.

The shooting has brought relief to the inmates of the ashram. “The ashram has turned into an air-conditioned fortress as th
e crew can’t tolerate the searing heat. Thanks to them, we now have uninterrupted power supply. Normally, there is no power back-up and electricity keeps playing hide and seek,’’ said one of the inmates.

NAMESAKE: Julia Roberts with Swami Dharmdev at Hari Mandir ashram in Pataudi. She has named her five-year-old twins, Hazel and Phinnaeus, as Mahalaxmi and Ganesh and her two-year-old son Henry as Krishna Balram

“America’s leading Hindus have applauded Julia Roberts for showing them respect during a recent trip to the sacred Taj Mahal temple in Agra, India. The Pretty Woman star and her husband Danny Moder were spotted visiting the tourist attraction last week - and Roberts was photographed sporting a bindi mark on her forehead – which has delighted the Hindu nation.

Nevada-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed tells WENN, “Julia Roberts honoured the traditions of India by sporting a bindi on her forehead during her recent trip to India, and we are very happy she did. It was a mark of respect that has not gone unnoticed.”