Javed Akhtar : The Heart of Magical Lyrics

Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar

Panchi nadiyaa pawan ke jhoke
Koi sarhad na inhe roke
Sarhad insaano ke liye hai
Socho tumne aur maine
Kya paaya insaan hoke…

These simple yet elegant words depict the asperity and torments that life imposes on us. Javed Akhtar, transcends anyone and everyone while portraying human emotions through words.

One of the best lyricists, Javed Akhtar, was born on 17th January 1945 in Khairabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Jan Nisar Akhtar, was a poet and his mother Sufia Akhtar, was also a writer, poet and teacher.

Akhtar hails from a very notable family of freedom fighters. His great grandfather, Allama Faizel-E-Haq Khairabadi, was a freedom fighter in the 1857 rebellion and was hanged till death by the British forces in 1861.

Javed Akhtar with Honey Irani, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar

Javed Akhtar with Honey Irani, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar

Initially, he was named as ‘Jadoo’, a name that was inspired from his father’s poem which had a line, ‘Lamba Lamba Kisi Jadoo Ka Fasana Hoga’. Later his name was changed to ‘Javed’ as it was the closest word to ‘Jadoo’. Javed Akhtar was married to Honey Irani and they had two children together, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar. He divorced Irani later and married actress Shabana Azmi.

He arrived in Mumbai in 1964. His first major breakthrough opportunity came with Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore starring ‘Yakeen’. He wrote the script of the movie but ‘Yakeen’ failed to make a mark at the box office.

Salim-Javed

Salim-Javed

Later, Akhtar started working jointly with Salim for G.P Sippy’s production house, Sippy Films. Together they wrote some remarkable screenplays of all time classic movies like ‘Andaz’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Seeta aur Geeta’, ‘Don’. The duo Salim-Javed parted their ways after 1980. Although, Javed Akhtar started off his career as a dialogue and screenplay writer, he excelled as an excellent lyricist later.

O paalanhaare, nirgun aur nyaare
Tumre bin humra kauno naahi
Humri uljhan suljhaao bhagwan
Tumre bin humra kauno naahi
Tumhe humka ho sambhaale
Tumhe humre rakhwaale
Tumre bin humra kauno naahi

An atheist by nature, Javed Akhtar accepted the fact many times that he doesn’t believe in any form of spirituality. But his lyrics of ‘O Paalanhaare’ for the movie ‘Lagaan’ in 2011 had the aura of unparalleled spirituality that can touch the soul of any listener. It can be regarded as the most soulful song of that decade.

Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar

Apart from Hindi film lyrics, Javed Akhtar also wrote Urdu poems. Legendary singers like Jagjit Singh and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan also did lend their voices for his Urdu poems.

Javed Akhtar with Farhan Akhtar

Javed Akhtar with Farhan Akhtar

After taking a long break from script-writing, Akhtar finally returned back to it with his son, Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debutant venture ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Later, he penned scripts for ‘Lakshya’, ‘Rock On’ and also ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara’.

Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi
Chaao hai kahiin, kahiin hai dhoop zindagi
Har pal yahaan, jee bhar jeeyo
Jo hai samaa
Kal ho na ho

These words touched the chord of every heart. The title song from ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ was an instant hit among the masses with the lyrics still enduring in the minds of millions.

Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar

Some of his other memorable lyrics are, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’ (1942, A love Story), ‘Sandese Se Aate Hain’ (Border), ‘Tere Liye’ (Veer-Zaara), ‘Ghar Se Nikalte Hi’ (Papa Kehte Hain), ‘Radha Kaise Na Jale’ (Lagaan), ‘Ek Saathi Aur Bhi Tha’ (LOC Kargil), ‘Main Albeli’ (Zubeida) and many more.

Javed Akhtar bagged the National Award five times, Filmfare Award fourteen times both as a script and a lyrics writer. He also received the Padmashree and Padmabhushan in 1999 and 2007 respectively by the Government of India.

Javed Akhtar continues to write more and is still regarded as one of the most respectable writers in Bollywood.

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