It was a chance of a life time and still reeling under the shock like a fan boy, getting my moments of fame. Call it the stroke of luck or destiny. There are some souls that touches your life in such a short span of time and Javed Akhtar Saab is one of them. The very fact of sitting in the same frame as Javed Saab, asking him questions during the interview makes it a memory of a life time. I will never forget the moment I was speaking to Tanvi Azmi, when Javed Saab walked to me following the request made 10 minutes earlier.
The humility, smile and down-to-earth attitude despite being a gem held me in awe and didn’t want the moment to die. It was soulful and divine. The very fact of facing Javed Saab speaking made my heart beat thousand times and was just listening to him sparkling words of wisdom. It was a moment in my life like thunder. You just gotta sit and listen to him, feeling a chill down the spine.
As I share the moments with you people and insight into the interview I conducted with Javed Saab, just sit down and enjoy. As media people, we waited for Akhtar family to come, Javed Saab, Shabana Ma’am, Tanvi Azmi and Baba Azmi. My heart was beating furiously and was getting hyper. We were told that he is sitting in the lounge and requested Javed Saab, dressed in his trademark Kurta and this time in green for a picture together, along with Shabana Ma’am. The fan boy in me told him, “Javed Saab, aapko aksar dekhta hoon NDTV mein.” He was surprised and enthusiastically said,”Yahan bhi milta hai, Zee bhi milta hai.”
“Haan Sir,” I replied. He spoke with such warmth and from the heart, treated me with respect. We were back during the media conference and I constantly referred to by my diary, worried that with the horde of media people, I may just end up with one question. I introduced myself and threw my first question to Javed Saab.
The first question got to be on his children, Farhan and Zoya Akhtar considered to be powerhouse of energy and talent, the work done and what the discussion is all about at home. Javed Saab smiles and says: “I feel very happy that they are doing good work, different kind movies for a certain class and unique in a way. At a certain age, we discuss food with them when they come home.”
Post the media briefing, I requested Javed Saab, “Saab, aap ke saath ek chota sa interview karna chata hoon” and he agreed, “Mein abhi aata hoon.” It was the time for our conversation on movies, poetry, cinema and music. I started off with the role played by cinema in uniting people and the pearl of wisdom that Javed Saab is says, “Films or literature tells two things, how different and similar people are. Films like literature, create empathy in us for other people and a good movie make us understand that we are human beings.”
Javed Saab observes how cinema influence people and the latter influence city. A very sharp point was made, “Hindi cinema has changed in various decade as a result of change in society. I don’t believe cinema provides basic morality or code of conduct but articulates what’s tangible in society. Cinema gives a voice or face that turns into an icon, as we send back in society what we believe in. India is changing fast and one can see it through altering moral values in our youth expressed in Hindi cinema.”
Being one of the most respected poet whose striking words in ‘Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga’, the obvious question is the sharp drop in the level of lyrics in movies. For Javed Saab who agrees with it, he says, there has been a drop in the 80s as well. Wearing a serious look, the lyricist rues,”Wherever I go, people complain about it and there is massive disapproval at such large scale. I am confident we will come out of the pit with the revival of better lyrics and poetry.”