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Javed Akhtar to narrate life stories of Bollywood greats


PRAKRITI RAJ | New Delhi, November 9, 2012 14:04
Tags : Javed Akhtar | Interview | Rajesh Khanna | classic legends season 2 |

Following an overwhelming response in the first season, renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar is all set to host the second season of 'Classic Legends' on Zee Classic. The second season of this show will commence from Sunday at 7.30 pm, November 18. TSI’s Prakririt Raj spoke to him about his show.

Classic Legends Season 1 was well received by the audience and now Season 2 is all set to begin. Who are the legends under the spotlight this season?
I was elated with the success of Season 1. Despite the presence of numerous cinema channels on television, Season 1 did well to be liked by the people. It came as a pleasant surprise to me. This season features two living legends as well: Dilip Kumar and Pran. Apart from them, this time we shall have the likes of Meena Kumari, Dev Anand, Chetan Anand, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Nasir Hussain, Sunil Dutt, Mohammad Rafi, Anand Bakshi and SD Burman.

Rajesh Khanna is known as the first Superstar of the Bollywood. Why has he not been picked up?
Our show is very well researched. The research work for this season was completed a long time ago. That was the reason we could not research well on Rajesh Khanna leading to his omission this time. We faced a similar problem with Nutan Ji also. We were unable to gather sufficient information about her. The next season will surely feature these two.

Can you please throw some light on your research process?
We always aspire to give complete information to our audience. We do not depend on Wikipedia. We focus on the complete background. There are many facets of these legends which are unknown to the audience. We tell those stories. People will switch channels if the content is not researched well.

What do you think about today’s songs?
Today's music is not on the right track. Western music is being blindly copied. Earlier, people would love humming songs anywhere and everywhere. But today's songs can not be heard for long.

But some argue that the younger generation prefers today's music.
I do not subscribe to this viewpoint. There are so many reality shows on television where we can see that youngsters prefer singing old songs. Then how can it be argued that they prefer today's songs? The problem today is that the marketing department has assumed a bigger role than the creative department.

What do you think about today’s cinema?
These films should not be made in the first place, but the mistake somewhere lies even with the audience. They do not want to watch good films. How many of them have watched films like Udaan and Chakravyuh? There are so many pitiable films which became successful because of the audience. If they go and watch good films, then only such films will be made.

When did you decided to become a lyricist?
I have been interested in films from the very start. When I was in Lucknow, there was a movie theatre named Basant. I was in my first standard then. I still remember watching the movie 'Aan' there. A small kid does not understand cinema. He considers the hero of the film as everything. I too wanted to become a hero in films. But as I grew up, I began to understand the different facets of cinema.

You wrote your first song for Yash Chopra. Tell us about it.
Yes, that is right. Yash Ji was working on 'Silsila' those days. He came to my house and told me that I was writing the songs for the film. I expressed my inability to write songs and I told him that I was a poet and a script writer. But he persuaded me to give it a try. I tried escaping this new responsibility, but had to do it at the end. That was how I ended up writing the song, 'Dekha Ek Khwaab Toh Yeh Silsile Hue'.

The first season of ‘Classic Legends’ had featured veterans like 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.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017