Noted lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar has completed 50 years in the film industry.
Recalling his long association with Bollywood, he said: “It was on October 4, 1964, that I stepped down at the railway station in Mumbai. Over the years I’ve realised that all that has happened to me is not because I’m good, but because people have been good to me.
“If I had to describe my journey in Bollywood in five words, I would say Yeh doston ki meherbani hai (It’s all due to my friends’ kindness).”
Akhtar was recently in the Capital for the launch of an ondemand interactive service on Tata Sky, where he will talk about dohas and shayari related to a range of themes.
The ‘Active Javed Akhtar’ on-demand service will also feature performances by leading singers based on the same material.
“People are usually scared of reading Urdu poetry and fear the patronising attitude of intellectuals. Nevertheless, I’m happy that Tata Sky saw the potential of such a programme. The service will revolve around the golden shayaris and dohas of Ghalib, Mir, Kabeer, Rahim and many more, which will continue to appeal to the people regardless of the constant changes that take place in today’s world,” he said.
At the event, which also featured shayari-based musical performances by Harshdeep Kaur and Amey Date, the Bollywood legend spoke about his own writing process, how writing simplistic poetry is more difficult than the complicated ones, and why Urdu poetry is not as popular as it should be in India.
“Although the language I write in is simple, it is not an easy process. My father had once told me, ‘Mushkil zabaan mein likhna bohot aasan hai, aasan zabaan mein likhna bohot mushkil’ (It’s easy to write in a complicated manner and very difficult to write it quite simply),” he said.