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Javed Akhtar, the creative genius

Friday, January 11, 2013
By Suneel V. Gaur & Rajesh V. Gaur

Javed Akhtar, born on January 17, is perhaps one of the most articulate and well-respected lyricists in the Hindi film industry today. Prior to becoming a lyricist,  however, he was known for having jointly written screenplays for major films such as Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Zanjeer (1973), Deewaar (1975) and Sholay (1975) with his colleague Salim Khan under the title Salim-Javed. This duo — Javed parted ways in 1981 and since then, Javed has written the scripts of successful movies like Sagar, Betaab and Arjun.

Javed Akhtar’s body of work can be placed under three distinct categories, that of a scriptwriter, a lyricist and a poet. Along with his erstwhile partner, Salim Khan, the writer-duo, gave Amitabh Bachchan and Indian cinema the memorable persona of the ‘angry young man’.

When asked why the songs and films of today lacked substance, Akhtar responded, “There is no dearth of creativity. And one cannot say we lack good content today. The only problem is that we are in a blind race to ape Western culture,” he added, “Our music should grow like a tree — it can have branches all over, but it should stay connected to its roots,” he pointed out.

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