Star Of The Week - Javed Akhtar

DOB: January 17, 1945
Star: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior, Central Indian Agency, British India
Occupation: Poet, lyricist and screenwriter

• Javed Akhtar is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu (2013), India's second highest literary honour, for his poetry collection Lava, as well as five National Film Awards and six Filmfare awards.

• Akhtar is a mainstream writer and some of his most successful work was carried out with Salim Khan as half of the script-writing duo credited as Salim-Javed between 1971 and 1982. The duo is often described as "the most successful scriptwriters of all-time", and also noted to be the first scriptwriters in Indian cinema to achieve star status.

Interesting facts:

• Javed Akhtar’s father Jan Nisar Akhtar was a Bollywood film songwriter and Urdu poet, and his mother Safia Akhtar was a singer, teacher and writer. His grandfather, Muztar Khairabadi was a poet as was his grandfather's elder brother, Bismil Khairabadi, while his great great grandfather, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi was a scholar of Islamic studies and theology and played an important role in the First Independence Movement of India in 1857. 

• Akhtar's original name was Jadoo, taken from a line in a poem written by his father: "Lamha, lamha kisi jadoo ka fasana hoga". He was given the name of Javed since it was the closest to the word jadoo. 

• He spent most of his childhood in Lucknow where he received schooling and graduated from Saifiya College in Bhopal.

• Initially in the 1970s, there was no concept of having the same writer for the screenplay, story and dialogue nor were the writers given any credits in the title. Rajesh Khanna is credited with giving Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first chance to become screenplay writers by offering them work in Haathi Mere Saathi. 

• Their first big success was the script for Andaz, followed by Adhikar (1971), Haathi Mere Saathi and Seeta Aur Geeta (1972). They also gave hits like Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Zanjeer (1973), Haath Ki Safai (1974), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Don (1978), Trishul (1978), Dostana (1980), Kranti (1981), Zamana (1985) and Mr. India (1987). Salim-Javed have worked together in 24 films, including two Kannada films.

• Of the 24 movies they wrote 20 were hits. Though they split in 1982 due to ego issues, some of the scripts they wrote were made into hit films later like Zamana and Mr. India.