Javed Akhtar turns 76 today and is receiving birthday wishes from fans and admirers all over the world. The much-acclaimed artist started in the industry in 1971 as a screenwriter and started writing songs from 1981. Son of the Indian Urdu Poet, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Javed Akhtar has established his name among the list of best poets and lyricists in all these years.
In his career so far as a lyricist, Javed Akhtar has written the songs of all genres i.e. romance, patriotic, party and even devotional. If he has written a soothing track like Main Yahaan Hoon from Veer Zaara, Om Shanti Om’s Dard-E-Disco has also been written by him. Who can forget his goosebumps-inducing lyrics for Sandese Aate Hain from Border?
As a big fan of Mr Javed Akhtar, I always feel amazed while listening to his songs and poetries of all kind. But he amazes me most with his devotional songs. Akhtar has often claimed that he is an atheist. He has always stood for equal opportunities for all religions and perhaps that’s why he has been equally criticised by both Hindus and Muslims. But I am always blown away with the beauty of his words especially in a devotional track like ‘O Paalanhaare’ from Lagaan.
The AR Rahman composed song in the film comes at a moment when everyone is in desperate need of divine support. This is when this Lata Mangeshkar song does the magic. Not just for the characters of Lagaan, the song acts as a voice of everyone who needs the support of Lord in real life. And who doesn’t need that? The way Javed Akhtar has written this song, it’s unbelievable when he calls himself an atheist. “Chanda Mein Tumhe To Bhare Ho Chandni, Sooraj Mein Ujaala Tumhi Se, Yeh Gagan Hai Magan, Tumhi To Diye Ho Isey Taare. Bhagwan, Yeh Jeevan Tumhe Na Sanwaaroge To Kya Koi Sanwaare.” Who else can write words like these other than the man who has so much faith on Lord?
On the birthday of Javed Akhtar, I am listening ‘O Paalanhaare’ on loop with moist eyes. Which song of his is in your playlist? Happy Birthday, Janaab! Have a great and healthy year ahead!