In Imtiaz Ali’s new film Highway, Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are called Veera and Mahabir. And there’s a bit of history and geography – and even mythology – to the names.
Supposedly the name Veera first came to Imtiaz’s mind from the fact that he used to live on Veera Desai Road in Mumbai.
“Also, in Punjab, girls, especially sisters, are referred to as ‘veera’,” the director says. “It’s a very cinematic name. There’s drama to it.”
But for Mahabir, he went back to Ramayana because Randeep’s character is similar to Hanuman, where the story is never about him. Hanuman comes and does all these superhuman things and sacrifices his life but still it’s never about him. Only after naming the two of them separately, Imtiaz realised that there’s this connection — Veera and Mahabir.
“The commonality in the two names has just been a personal smile to myself,” he smiles.
Highway releases on 21st February, be sure to catch it at a theater near you!