RTIwala Trending: Not everyone is gifted enough to turn words into beautiful melodies. At 73, Javed Akhtar is a highly revered lyricist and screenwriter of the Indian cinema. Let us take a closer look at his journey and learn things that we never did before.
Akhtar’s record of successful works was contained with the teaming of Salim Khan, as his half-partner as a script-writing duo. Javed in the whole career not only earned Padma Shri but also bagged Padma Bhushan as well. Always considered as broad-minded personality Akhtar always believed in that one has its own identity.
Although the brilliant veteran writer has turned 73, his writings will always remain forever young and nostalgic. Here are a few things that you would love to know about the multifaceted writer.
1. Birth, nickname and his childhood
Javed was born in Gwalior in 1945 to Jan Nisan Akhtar, an Urdu poet and Hindi film songwriter and Safia Akhtar, a singer, teacher, and writer. His name is ‘Jadu’ taken from a line in a poem penned by his father, “Lamha lamha kisi jadu ka fasana hoga”.
2. When he first met Honey
His first wife was Honey Irani, also an actress and director. He met her on the sets of ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’ and with whom he also shares the same birthday.
3. He is an atheist
Born a Muslim, he later on turned an atheist. He also brought up his children as Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar (with Honey Irani) as atheists too. In one of his interviews, he said,
“I am an atheist, I have no religious beliefs. And obviously, I don’t believe in the spirituality of some kind.”
4. He worked for Kaifi Azmi as an assistant
Javed Akhtar used to assist Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi. He subsequently married Kaifi’s daughter, Shabana Azmi, after his marriage to Honey Irani ended in a divorce.
5. Javed’s early days of hardships not known to many
When Javed Akhtar arrived in Mumbai in 1964, he was homeless, without any food or shelter. He faced many burdens to set his achievements and struggled hard to find work. He used to sleep under trees, or in corridors, until he took shelter in Kamal Amrohi Studio in Jogeshwari.
6. Javed and Salim as a Combo for a Hit in 70’s
He started his job as a clapper-boy in ‘Sarhadi Lootera’ in which Salim was an actor. He later on turned as a dialogue-writer for the same film as the director didn’t find a suitable writer for the film at that time.
7. Salim Javed split
In those times credit wasn’t shared by the writers on the film posters so, both of them decided to paint their names on the posters of the films they have worked on. The duo has ruled the Bollywood with so many successful movies during 70’s and 80’s.They did 24 films altogether, of which 20 were great hits. Their combination got split due to ego issues over name, fame and experience hierarchy factor.
Also Read: Remembering Asia’s Rhythm King, OP Nayyar
8. Javed Akhtar has won the Filmfare Award 14 times
A great score set by him winning the Filmfare Award 14 times. He won Filmfare Award 7 times for best Script and 7 times for best lyrics. He has won the National Award five times. In 2013, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu.
9. His list of Favorite Actors include veteran heroes of his era only
The veteran writer-lyricist feels that the acting standards of this generation have largely improved from earlier eras but still there is no one of the calibers of Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan or Balraj Sahni.
10. Other Awards & Recognitions
In 2001 Akhtar received the “National Integration Award” from the All India Anti-Terrorist Association and the Avadh Ratan from the U.P. Government. He also won the 2003 Hakim Khan Sur Sammaan Award from the Maharana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur.