In his 30-year long career as a lyricist, Javed Akhtar has delivered several memorable songs. With each passing decade, he has played with the art form to come up with striking poetry, suited to the narrative of each film he worked on. As we celebrate the screenwriter, dialogue writer, lyricist, poet and activist’s birthday today, we shed light into some his soulful lyrics that will be forever be cherished.
In the early 1980s Javed Akhtar began to write lyrics for movies and since then has written lyrics for over 125 films, many of which have gone on to be massive hits and have received audience and critical acclaims. Hence, it is difficult to compile a list of five best songs of the icon in Bollywood industry. So, instead, we pick what we believe are 5 of his most memorable songs:
‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’ — Silsila (1981)
Silsila was Javed Akhtar’s first film as lyricist. And even though it was Akhtar’s first attempt at writing film songs, his command over poetry was evident, especially in the words articulated by Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum’, which are still recited by many at various occasions.
‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ — 1942: A Love Story (1994)
‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’ defined love for an entire generation. The very simple composition is, of course an incredible listening experience, but what makes the song iconic are the lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
‘Sandese Aate Hain’ — Border (1997)
The love for the nation among masses knows no bounds. Reflecting on this emotion, Sandese Aate Hain was sung by Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathod. The words are heavy with heartfelt sorrow and love and strikes a chord with the families whose loved ones go off to wars to protect the country.
Title song — Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Life is truly uncertain and Javed Akhtar’s poetry have encouraged many to live each day as if it’s their last. On a difficult day, just play this song and really listen to the words – each moment in life will start appearing more splendid than ever before.
‘Sapnon Se Bhare Naina’ — Luck By Chance (2009)
Directed by Javed Akhtar’s daughter Zoya and starring his son Farhan, Luck By Chance was a film about the struggles of artistes aspiring to make it big in the film industry. Penning that emotion, ‘Sapnon Se Bhare Naina’ made for an incredible listening experience as Akhtar elaborates on the vainness of success and how, once you experience it, your greed only grows.