Javed Akhtar opens up about sharing close bond with Sahir Ludhianvi

MUMBAI: Renowned lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar said that he is the only person who can write the biopic of late iconic poet Abdul Hayee, who is popularly known by his pen name Sahir Ludhianvi.

“He was a friend of my father and my mamu’s (maternal uncle) friend. He used to meet with a lot of love and affection. I shared a great bond with him,” Akhtar quoted by Mumbai Mirror.

“If anyone can make a film on him or his life, it is only me because no one knew him that well as I know him. Those who did know him are not alive,” Akhtar told reporters when the subject of the biopic was raised.

He replied to a question regarding the actor who would be right fit in the character, saying “Any good actor would be the right fit.”

According to the report, the filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been planning to make a film on the life of Sahir Ludhianvi for some time. Names of several actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra had cropped up for the project but nothing is finalised.

Recently, there were reports about Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu starring in the project.

Akhtar was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a new chat show.

“We have an interesting relationship with nostalgia and it is not just the film industry but the entire country. We often praise the olden days as if everything was just amazing then. But at the same time we do not respect the old times.”

However, he said the quality of filmmaking has improved a lot over the time.

“Even in the ’50s, ’60s and even in ’70s bad films were made the fact is that by and large the standard has improved today,” he added.

Shabana Azmi, who was accompanying Akhtar, said the industry has started giving importance to casting directors.

“I believe a lot of changes have happened in Indian cinema and people have realised content is king and a lot of importance is given to writing. I am happy that today even the (art of) acting has changed.

“Also, today casting directors play a crucial role in getting the right cast. Earlier we had stock actors who were meant to do only certain kind of roles,” she said.

Film personalities like Jeetendra, Bindu, Moushmi Chaterjee, Jaya Pradha, Poonam Dhillon, Ameen Sayani, Kamini Kaushal and Satish Kaushik were also among the attendees.

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