Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar worked together as screenwriters for some of the most iconic Bollywood movies like Sholay, Don, Deewaar and Zanjeer, among many others. In a new interview, Javed talked about their collaboration and how Salim had encouraged him to become a screenwriter in the first place. The lyricist also talked about how they parted ways after working together for over a decade. Read also: Javed Akhtar joins wife Shabana Azmi, ex-wife Honey Irani for the perfect family photo with their kids. Look here
In the recent interview, Javed also revealed that before becoming a writer and lyricist, he wanted to become a film director. Javed said he was working as an assistant director and dialogue writer in the 1966 film Sarhadi Lutera when he befriended Salim, who is an actor. Salman Khan‘s father. Salim played a small role in the film.
In an interview with BBC News Hindi, Javed Aktar said of his friendship with Salim Khan, “Salim saab unn chand logo mein se the jo mujhe boht encourage karte de… Agar shayad main kahin aur reh raha hota toh itni mulaqat na hoti unse lekin ab pas mein mujhe mil gaya kamra toh main aksar chala jata tha (Salim was one of the few who encouraged me. If I had lived elsewhere, we might not have met often, but since I got a room close to his house, I often visited him). ‘
Speaking further of his association with Salim Khan, Javed remembered why they drifted apart and stopped working together. He said that once they were successful, their individual lives became bigger than their band. “Shuru mein jab hum nakaam log the, fight kar rahe the, toh bilkul ek the. Koi humare aur dost nahi the, hum hi baith ke subah se shaam tak kaam karte the. Shaam ko bhi saath the, raat ko khana bhi saath hota tha. 24 mein se 15-16 hours toh saath hi hote the… Jab kamyabi ayi, toh naye no log zindagi mein ana shuru ho gaye aur voh circle dheere dheere alag ho gaye. Toh voh mental report tha humara, voh toot gaya. Toh fir woh kaam nahi ho sakta tha (In our hard days we were one tea. We had no other friends, we worked together from morning till night. We even ate together. Out of 24 hours we would spend 15- 16 hours together. But when we became successful, new people came into our lives and the circle of our friends became separated. The mental rapport we had was broken. We could no longer work as a team.”
Arguably one of the most influential and powerful writers in the history of Hindi film, Salim-Javed (as they later came to be known) was responsible for creating the “angry young man” persona seen in many films. Amitabh Bachchan films of the 1970s and 1980s, an image that was defined by his 1973 film Zanjeer. Salim-Javed’s 1975 film Sholay remains one of India’s most iconic films to date.