'I can share unpublished things about Bollywood legends': Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar is reminiscing the Goldern Era of Bollywood in his new show Classic Legends that premiered Dec 11, 2011 on Zee Classic. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the writer-poet-lyricist on his return to small screen and why it is important for today's generation to know about legends like Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Bimal Roy and Vijay AnandIs Classic Legends kind of documentary on film personalities from 50s and 60s?
Dekhiye, when we make a documentary on a person or some people, we tend to tell their story in a nutshell...in a very representative way. In Classic Legends also we can't put up the entire life span and achievements of all luminaries from 50s and 60s we are talking about, but we are presenting a broader image of them.
Who are the legends you are talking about on the show?
It will showcase the works of thirteen of the most admired and respected legends - Raj Kapoor, R D Burman, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kishore Kumar, Nargis, Bimal Roy, Vijay Anand, Ashok Kumar, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Mehboob Khan, Madhubala, Guru Dutt and Shammi Kapoor.
Kishore Kumar is the only singer who is featuring in your show. Why is that?
Kishore Kumar was extremely talented as an actor also, though we all remember him principally as a singer. Yet there are other singers like Rafisaab and Mukeshji who can also be covered...and they should be...may be in future episodes.
What made you agree to host the show?
Given the decades that I have spent in this erstwhile film industry and the talented creative minds that I have had the good fortune of meeting and learning from, it is only fitting that I pay a tribute to the personalities with whom I have come to greatly admire over the years. While there are many movie channels on air, it is only through Zee Classic that today's generation will ever be acquainted with the glorious classics of decades gone by. Hence, it gives me great pleasure to host Classic Legends.
Are there any differences of views between you and the channel?
Mera nazaariya thoda alaag hai aur channel ka kuch aur. For the channel, this is a challenge to evoke the respect and admiration in the minds youths about these luminaries. And I want to share my personal views on these luminaries with the people.
What's new about the show given that there are so many books and shows on these legends already?
I don't think so. I am sure no person has been able to read everything about the people I will talk about. Duniya mein kitaboon mein toh bahut saari baatein likkha hota hai. There is also a lot on Google...but not everything. And it doesn't mean everyone will know everything. Also, since I belong to the film industry, either I personally knew them or know the people who personally knew them. So obviously I can share certain things which have not been published anywhere so far.
Tell us something about your style of presenting the show.
I am speaking about their works, their working styles that have been appreciated by people...that separate them from others. Also there are flashbacks on how they reached the peak, their struggles. So on one hand the stories will speak about their art, life and at the same time will give hope and encourage people that it is possible to fulfill your dreams if you try. Besides, we wish to inspire people ke jiss tarah se inn logon nein aapne kaam ko behtaar banaya, waisa aap bhi karein.
Will you continue to work on small screen?
That you have to ask the televisionwalon..taali toh do haath se hi bajti hain. Let's see...if I get to do a programme of my standard, like Classic Legends, then I will definitely take it up. If it's a sub-standard work, then I won't do.