biography of urdu poet javed-akhtar

Javed Akhtar, the famous lyricist and songwriter was born on January 17th 1945 in Gwalior. He is the son of famous Urdu poet ‘Jaan Nisar Akhtar’ and writer and teacher ‘Safia Akhtar’. His original name was ‘Jaadu’, taken from a line in a poem written by his father: "Lamha, Lamha Kisi Jaadu Ka Fasana Hoga". Javed’s father Jaan Nisar Akhtar was a poet and winner of ‘Sahitya Academi Award’ for his poetry. He was a popular Bollywood song writer and producer of film ‘Bahu Begum’. ‘Javed’ and his younger brother ‘Salman’ were born in 1945 and 1946 respectively. Post-independence riots in Gwalior, Jaan Nisar was forced to shift to Bhopal. In 1949 Jaan Nisar went to Bombay.

Javed Akhtar’s past generation has a lineage of prominent poets and writers. His Great Grandfather was ‘Maulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi’, the philosopher, poet, religious scholar who was one of the main figures of the First Independence Movement of 1857, and who edited the first works of ‘Ghalib’. His grandfather ‘Haafiz Ahmad Hasan Ruswa’ was also a poet. His grandmother “Sayyed-un-Nisa Hirmaan Khairabadi”, the daughter of ‘Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi’ was an enlightened poetess herself. His grandfather ‘Muztar Khairabadi’ was a judge and a great Urdu poet. During his lifetime he had received numerous distinguishing titles, including ‘Khan Bahadur’, ‘Eitbar-ul-Mulk’, and ‘Iftikhar-ush-Shuara’. His maternal uncles were ‘Majaz’, a legendry Urdu Poet and ‘Ansar Harwani’ a freedom fighter Journalist and Member of Parliament.

Javed lost his mother at a young age so Javed and his brother Salman were moved to Lucknow to live with their maternal grandfather. His father had to move back and forth between Lucknow and Bombay, so he and his brother spent most of their time with grandparents. He was admitted in class six in ‘Colvin Taluqedar College’ a well-known school of Lucknow. Javed shifted to Aligarh at the age of 9 to live with his aunt and admitted to ‘Minto Circle School’. After matriculation he was sent to Bhopal and joined ‘Saifiya College’, Bhopal. He graduated from there in 1964.

Javed Akhtar arrived in Mumbai on 4 October 1964. In his early years in Mumbai, he had to struggle hard. He did not live with his father but preferred to live with friends searching for job in film industry. For several years he had to manage ghostwriting the dialogue for films. Occasionally, he worked as an assistant to Kamal Amrohi. He got a job as a scriptwriter in ‘Yaqeen’ which flopped.

He got his first major break in the year 1969 in the movie "Seeta Aur Geeta". It was on this set that he met ‘Honey Irani’ and later married her. They had two children, Farhan and Zoya. Farhan Akhtar is a leading producer in the Indian film industry today. Javed divorced Honey Irani and married ‘Shabana Azmi’, a film actress, social worker and the daughter of another famous poet, ‘Kaifi Azmi’.

Javed Akhtar shot to fame when he collaborated with the famous scriptwriter Salim Khan (Father of actor Salman Khan) and they both penned down some unforgettable hits as the duo of ‘Salim-Javed’. Both of them delivered some beautiful hits like ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’, etc. They worked with G. P. Sippy as resident screenwriters and produced the screenplays for successful films like ‘Andaz’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Sholay’ and ‘Shan’. His association with Salim Khan lasted until 1980. After this, Akhtar wrote some scripts alone. He has also written successful films like 'Sagar', 'Mr. India', 'Betaab', 'Arjun', 'Lakshya'.

Javed was born a Muslim, but later became an Atheist. Javed Akhtar was married to Honey Irani, a script-writer for Hindi films, with whom he had two children Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar, both film directors. His son Farhan is married to a Hindu girl called Adhuna.The father and son duo have worked together in films such as ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Lakshya’, ‘Rock On’ and ‘Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara’ along with Zoya.


His first collection of Urdu poems was compiled in ‘Tarkash’, which was released in the year 1995. It was also rendered into audio in his voice. 'Tarkash' is in its eleventh edition in Hindi, and seventh edition in Urdu. It has received rave reviews both as a book and as India's first audio book. Singers such as ‘Jagjit Singh’ and the late ‘Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’ have sung some of his non-movie poetry.  The famous artist ‘M.F. Hussain’ is said to have painted around 16 canvases inspired from the poems of Javed Akhtar.

His books 'Talking Films' & 'Talking Songs' published by Oxford University Press have been hailed by film critics as the most definitive works on Indian Cinema.

He is a multi-talented personality who continues to get rave reviews and awards for his works. On the initiative of President Abdul Kalam, Javed Akhtar has written five poems on the Indian flag. These have been interpreted musically by ‘Pandit Jasraj’, ‘Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma’, ‘Ustad Zakir Hussain’, ‘L. Subramaniam’ and ‘E. Srinivas’.


Javed Akhtar has been honored with “Padma Shree” and “Padma Bhushan” from the Govt. of India.

Javed Akhtar has won Filmfare Award fourteen times, seven times for Best Script, and seven times for Best Lyrics for ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha' in '1942-A Love Story', 'Ghar Se Nikalte Hi' for 'Papa Kahte Hain', 'Sandese Aate Hain' for 'Border', Panchhi Nadiyan Pawan Ke Jhonke' for 'Refugee', 'Radha Kaise Na Jale' for 'Lagaan', 'Kal Ho Na Ho' for 'Kal Ho Na Ho' and 'Tere Liye' for 'Veer-Zaara'.

Javed has won the National Award five times. A hat trick of National Awards- In 1996, for Best Lyricist for the film 'Saaz', in 1997, award for 'Border' and again National Award in 1998 for "Godmother". In the year 2000 he again won the National Award for the song 'Panchhi Nadiyan Pawan Ke Jhonke' from the film 'Refugee' and in 2001 for 'Radha Kaise Na Jale' from 'Lagaan'.

He has won the 1995 & 1997, Screen Videocon Awards,. He also won first 'Zee Award' for Best Lyricist for 'Sandese Aate Hain' from the film 'Border'. He was awarded ‘Videocon Screen Award’ as well as ‘Zee Lux Cine Award’ for 'Panchhi Nadiyan Pawan Ke Jhonke' for 'Refugee'.

In the year 2001 Javed recieved 'National Integration Award' from 'All India Anti-Terrorist Association' and 'Avadh Ratan'. He also won 'Hakim Khan Sur Sammaan Award 2003' from Maharana Mewar Foundation, Udaipur.


Dialogue Writer-

Luck By Chance , 2009

Lakshya, 2004

Armaan, 2003

Kabhi Na Kabhi, 1998

Prem, 1995

Khel, 1992

Saagar, 1985

Arjun, 1985

Mashaal, 1984

Don, 1978

Trishul, 1978)

Imaan Dharam, 1977

Deewar, 1975

Majboor, 1974

Zanjeer, 1973

Seeta Aur Geeta, 1972


Ek Deewana Tha, 2012) (Under Production)

Don 2, 2011) (Under Production)

Miley Naa Miley Hum , 2011

Love Breakups Zindagi, 2011

Force, 2011

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, 2011

Shaitan, 2011

Zokkomon, 2011

Game, 2011

Life Goes On, 2011

Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, 2011

Bo Mamo, 2011 (Under Production)

The White Land, 2011 (Under Production)

Chamki Chameli, 2011 (Under Production)

Shortcut, 2011 (Under Production)

Mirch, 2010

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, 2010

Aisha, 2010)

Red Alert - The War Within, 2010

Hum Tum Aur Ghost, 2010

Prem Kaa Game , 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik, 2010

Har Pall, 2010

Wake Up Sid, 2009

What'S Your Raashee,  2009

Life Partner, 2009

Short Kut - The Con Is On, 2009

Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye, 2009

Luck By Chance, 2009

Rock On!!, 2008)

Love Story 2050, 2008

Khushboo, 2008

Bhoothnath, 2008

Krazzy 4, 2008

Shaurya, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar, 2008

Strangers, 2007

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, 2007

Om Shanti Om, 2007

Marigold: An Adventure In India, 2007

Saadgi, 2007

Ta Ra Rum Pum, 2007

Namastey London, 2007

Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd., 2007

Umrao Jaan, 2006

Don - The Chase Begins Again, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, 2006

Dil Jo Bhi Kahey, 2005

Mangal Pandey - The Rising, 2005

Bose: The Forgotten Hero, 2005

Tango Charlie, 2005

Kisna, 2005

Swades, 2004

Veer Zaara, 2004

Balle Balle! From Amritsar To L.A, 2004

Dobara, 2004

Kyun! Ho Gaya Na, 2004

Lakshya, 2004

Charas, 2004

Main Hoon Na, 2004

Loc - Kargil, 2003

Tehzeeb, 2003

Kal Ho Naa Ho, 2003

Calcutta Mail, 2003

Kuch Naa Kaho, 2003

Supari, 2003

Chalte Chalte June 13, 2003

Armaan, 2003

The Hero, 2003

Love At Times Square, 2003

Satta, 2003

Badhaai Ho Badhaai, 2002

Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, 2002

Moksha: Salvation, 2001

Abhay, 2001

Dil Chahta Hai, 2001

Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India, 2001

Zubeidaa, 2001

Gaja Gamini, 2000

Karobaar, 2000

Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai, 2000

Refugee, 2000

Pukar, 2000

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, 2000

Champion, 2000

Gang, 2000

Dillagi, 1999

1947 (Earth), 1999

Godmother, 1999

Baadshah, 1999

Arjun Pandit, 1999

Laawaris, 1999

Angaarey, 1998

Jaan-E-Jigar, 1998

Duplicate, 1998)

Kabhi Na Kabhi, 1998

Saaz, 1998

Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe 1998

Bada Din 1998

Ishq, 1997

Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, 1997

Yes Boss, 1997

Mirtyudand, 1997

Border, 1997

Virasat, 1997)

Darmiyaan 1997

Ek Tha Dil Ek Thi Dhadkan 1997

Sardari Begum 1997

Dastak, 1996

Diljale, 1996

Saza E Kala Pani, 1996

Papa Kahte Hain, 1996

Gardish, 1993

Bhookamp, 1993

Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, 1993

King Uncle, 1993

Yugandhar 1993

Drohi, 1992

Khel, 1992)

Jhoothi Shaan 1992

Hafta Bandh, 1991

Narsimha, 1991

Jamai Raja, 1990

Sailaab, 1990

Jeevan Ek Sanghursh, 1990

Tezaab, 1988

Mr India, 1987

Saagar, 1985

Arjun, 1985

Duniya, 1984

Mashaal, 1984

Saath Saath 1982

Silsila, 1981

Shabnam 1964

Screenplay –

Mahayoddha Rama 2011 (Under Production)

Don - The Chase Begins Again, 2006

Lakshya, 2004

Armaan, 2003

Kabhi Na Kabhi, 1998

Prem, 1995

Khel, 1992

Joshilay, 1989

Saagar, 1985

Arjun, 1985

Mashaal, 1984

Kranti, 1981

Don, 1978

Trishul, 1978

Imaan Dharam, 1977

Deewar, 1975

Majboor, 1974

Zanjeer, 1973

Seeta Aur Geeta 1972

Story Writer –

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, 2010

Dus Kahaniyaan, 2007

Don - The Chase Begins Again, 2006

Lakshya, 2004

Kabhi Na Kabhi, 1998

Prem, 1995

Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, 1993

Khel , 1992

Jhoothi Shaan 1992

Main Azad Hoon, 1989

Mr India, 1987

Dacait, 1987

Saagar, 1985

Zamana 1985

Duniya, 1984

Mashaal 1984

Betaab, 1983

Shakti, 1982

Kranti, 1981

Shaan, 1980

Dostana, 1980

Kala Patthar, 1979

Don, 1978

Trishul, 1978

Imaan Dharam, 1977

Chacha Bhatija 1977

Sholay, 1975

Deewar, 1975

Aakhri Dao 1975

Majboor, 1974

Haath Ki Safai, 1974

Yaadon Ki Baarat, 1973

Zanjeer, 1973

Seeta Aur Geeta 1972

Andaaz, 1971

Haathi Mere Saathi 1971


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