Legendary lyricist, poet and writer Javed Akhtar was born on this day in 1945 in Gwalior. Born to a family of poets and songwriters, he was named Jadu, which was later changed to Javed. Akhtar’s career took off when he wrote the screenplay for Rajesh Khanna’s film Haathi Mere Saathi (1971). This was also the film that marked his 16-year-long association with screenwriter Salim Khan. The duo, famously known as Salim-Javed, wrote 21 Bollywood films together, including cult classics such as Sholay (1975), Zanjeer (1973), Andaz (1971) and Deewar (1975).
Akhtar’s penchant for Urdu helped bring the language closer to cinema-goers. With a career spanning over four decades, he has 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. He has many awards to his name, including the prestigious National Film Award, Padma Shri (1999) and Padma Bhushan (2007). He is also the recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu (2013).
On his 72nd birthday today, here is a compilation of some of his finest works in Urdu.