Javed Akhtar’s original name is Jadoo. It is taken from a line in a poem written by his father: “Lamha, lamha kisi jadoo ka fasana hoga”. He is given the official name of Javed since it is closest to the word Jadoo.
Lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar was not very well-to-do when he first came to Mumbai in the 1960s. He once spoke about how he was ‘homeless’ at the time and would sleep ‘wherever (he) fancied’, including under trees.
Today on 17th January, it is the birthday of this well-known poet, he is remembering his past days of struggle and still, he was able to sustain and today he is in this position.
In an interview in 2006, Javed talked about living in different cities but said that he ‘really came alive in Mumbai’. “I slept wherever I fancied – sometimes in some verandah, sometimes in some corridor, sometimes under some tree where several homeless, jobless people like me also lived,” he said. “At last, in November 1969, I got some work which in film parlance is called a ‘break’,” he added.
In 2020, Javed recalls his journey and the day he first arrived in Mumbai. He tweeted, “It was 4th of October 1964 when I came to Bombay. This 56-year-long journey had many zig-zag roads, many roller coasters, ups, and downs, but the grand total is heavily in my favor. Thank you Mumbai, thank you film industry, thank you life. You all have been too kind.”