Proud that my children are not echoes of their parents: Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar
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By Uma Ramasubramanian

Mumbai– Acclaimed writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar says he is proud of the fact that his children — Zoya and Farhan — are doing something completely different from what his portfolio in the Indian film industry.

Farhan has proved his versatility as a writer, director, producer, actor and singer, while Zoya is a successful director whose cinema reflects a new age vibe.

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

In an interview to IANS ahead of his participation at literary festival Sahitya Aaj Tak, Javed said: “I am proud that my children are not the echoes of their parents. When your children becomes filmmakers and when their father is a writer, they tend to make the same genre films. And here, both Farhan and Zoya have been totally different from the work that I have done. There was no shadow at all and that’s wonderful.”

Both of them are Javed’s children from his first marriage to screenwriter Honey Irani.

Javed feels daughter Zoya, known for movies like “Luck By Chance”, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” and “Dil Dhadakne Do”, is a very serious writer.

“Her writing has always been impressive. I am not saying this because she is my daughter. There is a subject, there is a character, and that really appeals to me in her writing,” said the 71-year-old, who will be in the capital to attend the first edition of the literary gala November 12-13.

Javed believes that while there’s no dearth of talent in our country, “one thing that’s lacking is the preparation”.

“We used to do preparation before staring our work. People have become so fast and are in such a hurry these days. So I don’t see the kind of preparation that is required.

“You have to learn the basics. If you have read a lot of literature and if you are familiar with poetry, then you can write well because then you will have the vocabulary and metaphor. I do feel the preparation is missing,” added the celebrated writer, known for penning films like “Seeta Aur Geeta”, “Haathi Mere Saathi”, “Zanjeer”, “Sholay”, “Trishul” and “Dostana” among others.

He is looking forward to his experience at Sahitya Aaj Tak, which promises to be a confluence of Indian literati, and says it’s always an enriching experience to attend such festivals.

“As a matter of fact, these festivals are aiming to be proactive because you get to reciprocate and many different people are participating in it. Every question asked here makes you understand many things, and going through this is a process of learning,” Akhtar said.

“Even the one who answers, learns something. So, it’s always an enriching experience to be part of such festivals,” he added.

The festival — to be held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi — will not just feature cultural shows and theatre, but also promises to give budding writers a vibrant audience to narrate their scripts.

Javed also likes such events for the debates.

“When we attend such festivals, we have various debates about social issues and other stuff which also allows you to exchange your thoughts. When you have such festivals, you are celebrating the mind. There’s always something to take back with you.” (IANS)


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