Friday marks the 75th birthday of legendary lyricist, poet and writer Javed Akhtar. Born as Jaan Nisar Akhtar in 1945 in Gwalior, he hails from a family of poets and songwriters, and was named Jadu initially.
He began his career when he wrote the screenplay for Rajesh Khanna’s Haathi Mere Saathi (1971). This was also the film that marked the beginning of his 16-year-long association with screenwriter Salim Khan. The duo, famously known as Salim-Javed, wrote 21 Bollywood films together, including cult classics like Andaz (1971), Zanjeer (1973), Sholay (1975), and Deewar (1975). Apart from films, Javed has also given hit songs such Main Aur Meri Tanhai (Silsila, 1981), Panchi Nadiya (Refugee, 2000), Dard-E-Disco (Om Shanti Om, 2007), Jashn-E-Bahara (Jodhaa Akbar, 2008) among others, during his career spanning over four decades.
Javed has been honoured with Padma Shri (1999) and Padma Bhushan (2007). He also has National Film Awards and Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu (2013) to his credit.
Javed’s son Farhan Akhtar and wife Shabana Azmi inaugurated a photo exhibition showcasing his life.“A lot of people have achieved so much more than me. I feel I have earned love of friends. I feel that I still have to do a lot of work. I can do a lot of things. I can write much more poetry, lyrics and scripts. I can associate myself with causes in which I believe in. I can speak my mind at different panel discussions, so that I can bring in change in people’s mindset,” said Javed, at the photo exhibition organised on Wednesday, before his 75th birthday, in Mumbai.
On his 75th birthday, here’s a playlist of some of the best of his songs from Bollywood:
Neela Aasman So Gaya
Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal
Pyar Mujhse Jo Kiya Tumne
Yun Hi Chala Chal
Pichle Saat Din
Ik Ladki Ko Dekha To
Doori poem gully boy