Javed Akhtar turns 65 today | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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Javed Akhtar turns 65 today

Legendary poet, lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar celebrates his birthday today. Here's a glimpse into this genius' triumphs and tribulations - both personal and professional.

entertainment Updated: Jan 16, 2010 18:09 IST

Javed AkhtarLegendary poet, lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar turns 64. He was born in 1945 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Jan Nisar Akhtar, a Bollywood film songwriter and Urdu poet and Safia Akhtar, a teacher and writer. His lineage can be traced back to seven generations of writers.

The highly respected Urdu poet Majaz was his maternal uncle and the works of his grandfather, Muzter Khairabadi, are looked upon as a milestone in Urdu poetry. His parents were professors at the Hamidia College in Bhopal. As a young man and an artist he was a rebel, a fact that estranged him from his father. After spending a few difficult years in Bhopal, and with little more than a BA Degree in his hand, he arrived in Bombay, the city of dreams.

He got his first break in 1969. It was during this time that he met Honey Irani, on the sets of Seeta Aur Geeta and the two got married soon after. With Honey, he had two children Farhan Akhtar, a film producer-director turned actor and singer, and Zoya Akhtar, also a film director. After their divorce, Javed got married to actress Shabana Azmi, daughter of another famous Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi.

Javed's body of work can be placed under three distinct categories, that of a scriptwriter, a lyricist, and a poet.

With his former partner Salim Khan, he scripted hits like Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay, Haathi Mere Saathi, Seetha Aur Geeta, Don and Trishul. Salim-Javed, as a writer-duo, gave Amitabh Bachchan and Indian Cinema the memorable persona of the 'Angry Young Man'. Salim-Javed parted ways in 1981 and since then, Javed has written the scripts of successful movies like Sagar, Betaab and Arjun.

After scripting a few unsuccessful films like Prem and Khel, he took a break from scriptwriting and concentrated on his role as a lyricist. Some of his best works as songwriter include Saaz, for which he won the 1996 National Award for Best Lyricist, an award he bagged for three consecutive years- 1996 for Saaz, 1997 for Border and 1998 for Godmother.

Javed has won the prestigious Filmfare Award ten times, seven times for Best Script, and thrice for Best Lyrics. His first collection of Urdu poetry, Tarkash was released in 1995. He has collaborated with Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on Sangam, with Jagjit Singh on Silsilay and with Shankar Mahadevan on his album Breathless. His music album Tum Yaad Aaye was the highest selling non-film album of the year 1997.

He was also seen on Television as a judge on singer hunt show Indian Idol.

Javed Akhtar was honoured with 'Padma Shri' in 1999 and 'Padma Bhushan' in 2007 for his literary contribution. Besides, he was also conferred with Indira Gandhi award and also the 'Avadh Samman' in Lucknow for his valuable contribution to Hindi cinema.

- With inputs from News Tomorrow