Javed Akhtar

The name does things to you! ‘Did you say Javed Akhtar?’ we flutter our eyelids at the editor… A nod in return silences us for the day… ‘Why us?’ we keep muttering to ourselves… ‘Are we the only ones for the Spanish bull fight?’

But we find ourselves wheeling to Sagar Samra at sea-side Juhu in suburban Mumbai the next day, where the Samrat of style, the Wizard with Words resides… Using a sixth standard phrase, it’s raining cats & dogs and we are stuck in a nasty jam… With blood pressure bouncing, we mumble to no one in particular, ‘You can’t be late for a Javed Akhtar appointment’!

Finally, our finger presses the door-bell, just five minutes later than the stipulated time… ‘Appointment hai?’ shoots the houseboy and at our nod, ushers us into that arena of a hall…The huge glass window to our left affords a stunning view of the swinging sea, while we politely turn down the offer of a cuppa !

‘Not that late!’ we heave a deep sigh and look towards the inner door… That’s when our l o n g stint of twiddling the thumbs starts… Minutes keep passing us by and slowly even the majesty of the Arabian Sea stops holding our attention!

And then, after what seems eons by now, that familiar frame in signature Kurta-Pyjama surfaces from the inner door… We almost stutter an ‘Aadaab!’ and pleasantries exchanged, he sits beside us, breaking into that honeyed smile of his that instantly soothes the trauma of the l o n g wait… the warmth gets us and yet, we cannot help noticing that there is something mysteriously aloof about the man… however, this is no time to solve that enigma and we plunge headlong into our tete-a- tete…

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