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I survived so long as I was open to adapt: Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar at a launch event

Javed Akhtar at a launch eventNew Delhi: Noted lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar just completed 50 years in the film industry and he attributes his success and longevity to his ability to adapt to the generational changes.

Akhtar, 69, began his cinematic journey in 1964 when he stepped foot in Mumbai from Gwalior to pursue his creative dreams.

Since then there has been no looking back as he went on to achieve success and popularity, first as a screenplay writer and then as one of the most successful songwriters Bollywood has ever produced.

“I must thank all those people who were around me and supported me at one stage or another. But in the course of my journey I have realised that it is important to have respect for the younger generation and honestly accept that people half your age know things which you don’t. If you try and listen to them and understand what she or he is saying then there will be no generation gap,” Akhtar told.

The lyricist, who has successfully collaborated with veterans like RD Burman, Shiv-Hari to much younger composers like AR Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy among others, said he has always been open to learning throughout his career.

“I have always welcomed the exchange of knowledge between young and old. But I never adopted it as a policy that I have to have an open mind. I genuinely worked towards bridging the generation gap. I think I survived so long as I never tried to impose my age on young people,” he said.

Akhtar has also worked with his children — actor-director Farhan and filmmaker Zoya — in many of their films and he said he has never faced any problem collaborating with them.

“When I am working I am not their father. They don’t feel awkward or pressurised. They freely express their views and that is how I like to work,” he said.


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