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Javed Akhtar Dynamic Artistry: Crafting an Iconic Jagjit Singh Ghazal in 9 Minutes, Drawing Inspiration from ‘Terror’ for ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar Dynamic Artistry

Javed Akhtar reminisced about the creation of the now-iconic song ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ from the film 1942: A Love Story. In a recent interview, the veteran songwriter, known for penning some of Hindi cinema’s most beloved songs, shared the unique inspiration behind the romantic track, revealing that it stemmed from a sense of ‘terror.’

Speaking with Red FM India, Javed Akhtar recounted suggesting to director Vidhu Vinod Chopra that a song would enhance a particular scene in the film. Despite initial reservations from Vinod, Javed insisted, leading the director to challenge him to present a song within four days. In a twist of events, Javed almost forgot about the commitment, feeling embarrassed and tense as the meeting approached.

However, he entered the meeting with confidence, presenting the line ‘Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga,’ which had occurred to him on the way. RD Burman approved the idea, prompting Javed Akhtar to write the initial lines on the spot. The song quickly took shape, with Kumar Sanu eventually lending his voice for the film.

In the same conversation, Javed shared that he wrote the famous ghazal ‘Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aaya’ by Jagjit Singh in just nine minutes. Recalling the incident, he mentioned that the director, pressed for time, kept a close eye on the clock as Javed Akhtar swiftly crafted the lyrics for the song in Raman Kumar’s 1982 film Saath Saath.

Javed Akhtar also mentioned his recent work, writing lyrics for a song in his daughter Zoya Akhtar’s Netflix film, The Archies.

Javed Akhtar continued to unravel fascinating stories from his illustrious career, shedding light on another remarkable creation. He recounted the swift composition of the famous Hindi film ghazal ‘Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aaya’ by Jagjit Singh for Raman Kumar’s 1982 film Saath Saath. In a moment of urgency, Javed shared that the director, who needed to catch the last train of the day, anxiously monitored the time as Javed crafted the lyrics. With impressive speed, the ghazal came to life in a mere nine minutes.

Reflecting on his varied experiences in the world of film and music, Javed Akhtar’s anecdotes provided a glimpse into the creative process that has made his work timeless. From capturing the essence of romance in ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ to the poetic beauty of ‘Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aaya,’ Javed’s ability to infuse depth and emotion into his lyrics stands as a testament to his unparalleled talent.

Zoya Akhtar, eagerly anticipating her upcoming directorial venture, “The Archies,” has established a collaborative and successful partnership with her father, veteran writer Javed Akhtar, across multiple films. At a recent event, Javed commended Zoya’s diverse body of work, praising the uniqueness of each of her films. He candidly shared his initial skepticism, specifically during the making of “Gully Boy,” where he questioned how she could capture the essence of a world so different from her affluent background.

In an interview with Aaj Tak, Javed revealed his internal thoughts, stating, “When she was making Gully Boy, I was thinking how is she going to make it? You live on Bandstand, you travel to the UK, US for vacation, what would you know about slums? This is what I thought in my heart. Of course, I couldn’t dare to say anything (laughs).” However, upon watching the film, Javed was astonished at the authenticity Zoya brought to the narrative. He marveled at her understanding of slum culture, detailing characters and their relationships with a profound insight that seemed to come from firsthand experience.

Zoya’s “Gully Boy,” released in 2019 and featuring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, marked a departure from her previous films like “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” and “Dil Dhadakne Do,” which were often associated with narratives centered around affluent individuals. Javed acknowledged that Zoya shattered preconceived notions with “Gully Boy,” receiving acclaim for her portrayal of the Mumbai slum culture. He further emphasized Zoya’s uniqueness in the film industry, praising her ability to create distinct narratives with each project, a departure from the tendency of many filmmakers to stick to a formula.

As he shared these stories, Javed Akhtar’s journey through the realms of cinema and music unfolded, revealing not just the craft behind the art but also the spontaneity and inspiration that have marked his contributions to the rich tapestry of Indian entertainment.

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