“I Had Discovered Javed Akhtar & I, Not We, Had Created Angry Young Man”: Salim Khan
“When Javed had come from Bhopal, he hadn’t come to be a writer. He had come to Mumbai to be a director. I discovered the talent in him,” said Salim Khan, while talking to ETC Bollywood Business host and Editor of Koimoi.com, Komal Nahta.
For the first time in 29 years, Salim Khan spoke on what caused the famous duo to part ways, “We were near Javed’s house one evening when Javed told me he wanted to split….that he’d been thinking about it for some time now. I got up, shook hands with him and started walking towards my car. He also started to walk with me, but I held him, turned him towards his house and said, ‘I can look after myself.’ I came back home and didn’t tell anyone about it. The next evening calls started coming in asking about the split. It was only after a few days that I announced the split.”
But what was the reason behind ending such a wonderful and successful association? “Javed wanted to use this partnership to start writing lyrics too. I hadn’t consented to the use of my name for something that I had no interest in and knew nothing about. I told him to constrict the partnership to script-writing, while he could write lyrics on his own.” explained Salim Khan.
Javed Akhtar was working as an assistant director in a S.M. Sagar production of which Salim Khan was the script writer. “From there we got to know each other. He started coming to my home and that’s how we started growing close. One day Sagar sa’ab came home with a story that he wanted me to script. Javed was there with me at that time and requested that he work on it (the script) with me. We got Rs. 10,000 which we split in half. That was how the partnership started!” reminisced Salim Khan.
Just when it looked that Salim Khan was done, he came up with another startling declaration. The Angry Young Man image that has defined Amitabh Bachchan’s persona is solely his creation. “The Angry Young Man image was conceptualized by me for the film Zanjeer. Javed wasn’t even my partner when I wrote the film. It was only after I had sold it, that Javed became my partner,” clarified Salim Khan, and added almost as an afterthought, “And I believe even Javed Sa’ab would confirm that it was solely my creation.”
The ace script writer feels that the Big B doesn’t quite acknowledge his role in shaping up the superstar’s career. “If Amitabh doesn’t remember, I’d like to remind him that his two successful associations, with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, were because of me. I’d called Amitabh to Juhu Hotel and introduced him to Manmohan Desai, while we were there to discuss the script of Chacha Bhatija. Prakash Mehra was shooting at Rajkamal for Pyar Ki Kahani. I’d called Amitabh to the sets and introduced him to Prakash Mehra,” stated Salim Khan, quite matter-of-factly.
And then, chuckling, added, “I’m mentioning the locations so that he doesn’t forget them too!”
Watch the whole interview on October 7, 2010 on ETC. Also catch the whole interview on Koimoi.com