Free Press Journal

The historical linkage behind Sehban Azim’s name


Sehban Azim’s, who will soon be lead in ‘Bepanah’, unique name has always been matter of great interest and discussion between his fans. When asked to shed light on the origin of his name, Sehban said, “The name Sehban is an unusual name and it has a long story behind it. The name comes from my maternal grandfather, Syed Sarvat Hussain, who was a poet and got the title of Sehban-ul-hind from the government for his excellence in Urdu poetry. He chose this name for the second born of his daughter, that is me. The name comes from the famous Arabic cleric and orator ’Sehban wael’, who was known for his eloquence in speech. The literal meaning of the name is someone who’s ultimate, and as strong and powerful as a deluge,” he says.

However, having a different name can be quite a challenge. “Initially, as a kid, I had so many issues with my name. Being a shy guy, I had to tell my name several times to people so that they understand it. It annoyed me so much that once I convinced my parents to change my name and they agreed and asked me to find a better name. For a few months, I kept looking for a better name than this, but this name had so much uniqueness, that I finally gave up looking,” he says.

He has often been called by the wrong name. “I have few funny experiences with this name and since the name is unusual, people find it different and difficult to remember. I’ve been called Shabana Azmi a few times and have been asked if I’m related to her just because the names sound similar to Sehban Azim. In fact, one of my friends Pratik Chavan’s mother was trying to recollect my name once and said, ‘Who’s that friends of yours shaitan shaitan…something like that?’ This has become a common joke among us friends. I’ve been asked if I’m related to Azim Premji too,” he says.

While he is ok being called by simpler names, after a while, his mother insisted that everyone called Sehban by his real name. “I have a lot of pet names…as a kid, I was called Tata and have numerous funny stories. But later, while I was growing up, my mother decided that everyone should call me by my real name. During school, my name became ‘Seb’, ‘sebu’, ‘sabby’, as it was easier to say. I’m fine with these names but only from those who have been calling me by them since my school days. Otherwise, I would prefer my real name as I love it for its uniqueness and history,” he says.