Javed Akhtar

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Biography of

Javed Akhtar

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    Dipen Guha
    Dipen Guhawrote on 17 Oct 2009

    John Keats writes in one of his poems "Poetry of the earth does never die". With the gradual ceasations of brilliant poets and lyricists like Shailendra, Shaki Badauni, Majruh Sultanpuri, Neeraj, Kaifi Azmi, Anand Bakhshi and the host of others, it could have been a foregone conclusion that there would come about an irreparable vacuum in the world of lyrics. But the void could not be felt, as we have Javed Akhtar and Gulzar sparkling in the firmament of poetics.
    On Jan 17, 1945, the famous poet and lyricist Jan-Nishar Akhtar and his wife Safia Akhtar were blessed with a son. He was fondly called Jadoo, the nomenclature, derived from the line of a verse. The little Jadoo was christened Javed Akhtar. The seeds of poetry had been inherrent, as Javed retains the legacy from his ancestors like Maulana Fazle-e-Khirabadi, the editor of " Ghalib". At his tender age Javed lost his mother. He had to move from Gawalior, his birth-place and came to settle in Luckhnow. Soon the family shifted to Aligarh, where Javed initiated his schooling at Colvin Talugdar's College, and subsequently, had his Matriculation at Minto Circle. Javed had his B.A from Saifiya College, Bhopal. As for profession, Javed took after his father. He came to Mumbai in 1964. The life had not been a smooth-sail. To prove his worth in the teeth of the existant Mighty Pens was an uphill task. He had to remain content as assistant for meagre remuneration. Meanwhile he married to Honey Irani, an established script-writer of Hindi films. By her Javed had two issues, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar. After a prolonged conjugal life with Honey, they were divorced. Javed Akhtar re-married to Shabana Azmi. Javed developed warm rapport with another struggling aspirant Salim Khan. They came up in a body and created history as story-writers. The duo gained so paramountsy that in ads their names would outdid or over-shadowed the names of directors. "Yaadon Ki Barat","Haat ki Safai", "Hathi Mere Sathi", "Zanjeer","Trishul","Kala Pathar","Shun","Sholay"," Shakti" and a lot are the grand sweep of Indian film history. Eventually, they parted in order to have their worths identified. Javed Akhtar took to lyrics. His potentials came to light by and by. Ek Ladki ko dekha to aisa laga","Ghar se nikal te hi", "Sandshe aate hain", "Radha kaise na jale", "Kaal ho na ho", "Tere Liye" and innumerous numbers. Javed Akhtar was honoured with Padmasree in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2007. He is per haps the only lyricist to have bagged the prestegeous Filmfare Award for 14 times. He is still going strong and his nib is sharpening day by day.

    Brototi Das Gupta
    Brototi Das Guptawrote on 23 Sep 2008

    One hears pensive words written in chaste Urdu, one listens to heart-rending lyrics of a song and one remembers Javed Akhtar, a person who perhaps has only Gulzar for a living competitor.» read more