Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan were considered the greatest writing duo of their time. They have delivered multiple hit scripts in the past, some of which hold a huge significance in the history of Bollywood. When the two artists decided to split and go forth individually, there were numerous speculations in tabloids and magazines about what could have gone wrong between them. Some of the reports even suggest that Amitabh Bachchan and the blockbuster film Mr India were a part of Salim-Javed’s story.
For the unversed, Salim and Javed split up in June 1981 after working on numerous Bollywood films together including the screenplay of hit movies like Sholay, Trishul, and Yaadon Ki Baaraat, amongst others. They also went on to win several prestigious awards for their work before Salim shifted to London for a while and Javed started working as a solo artist.
In the year 2015, Scroll.in had published an excerpt from the book, Written By Salim-Javed: The Story of Hindi Cinema’s Greatest Screenwriters, by Diptakirti Chaudhri. The book narrated the sequence of events from Salim Khan’s perspective, with the help of an interview done by Anita Padhye for the book Yahi Rang.
The extract mentions how Salim-Javed approached Amitabh Bachchan with the script of Mr India but were turned down because Big B did not like the idea of his character being invisible in most parts of the film. The duo felt Bachchan’s voice would do wonders for the character but the actor did not feel the same as he believed that his fans walked into the theatre to watch him perform and not just for his voice.
Upon being rejected, the book mentions that Javed Akhtar was the one to decide that the duo will not work with Amitabh Bachchan after the alleged insult and rejection. Salim Khan was reportedly uncertain about the idea but the entire tale was later twisted by Javed himself. The book suggests that Javed attended Big B’s Holi party and told him that Salim was the one who did not wish to work with him any further. Many believe this whole episode played a huge role in their separation.
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