Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar has been honoured with the Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award.
Mr. Akhtar received the honour in Mumbai on Thursday night at an event marking the 28th anniversary of Hridayesh Arts and the 80th birthday of veteran music composer Hridaynath Mangeshkar.
Mr. Akhtar said that receiving the award was one of his highest honours as it came from the Mangeshkar family.
“I had taken my first award for Zanjeer in this very hall. But all those awards are on one side — and I’ve received many— but this one is the most special. To get an award from the Mangeshkar family is unbelievable, you can’t think of India’s music without them,” he said.
Akhtar, 72, recalled how Lata Mangeshkar played a pivotal role in his journey as a lyricist.
“Yash Chopra sahab came to my house and said he was making Silsila and I should write the songs… I refused, saying I write poetry only for myself and script writing is enough. But he insisted and made me write the lyrics.
Mr. Akhtar said he got to know that it was Lata Mangeshkar, who had suggested his name to Chopra as lyricist for Silsila as his frequent collaborator Sahir Ludhianvi had passed away.
“She [Lata] said ‘My friend has heard ghazals of Javed, so since you have good relations with him, make him write’. So the reason why I started writing songs, was Lata didi and my first song was sung by her and Kishore da,” he said.
Hridayesh Arts, in association with Jay Satya Charitable Trust, organised a music programme titled Amrut Hriday Swar Lata, presented by Annu Kapoor Films Pvt. Ltd. to salute and celebrate 75 years of Lata Mangeshkar.
Ms. Lata said she was fortunate to sing songs written by people like Akhtar and her favourite song of his is Ye Kaha Aagaye Hum from Silsila.
“Whenever I meet him, we laugh a lot. I felt very happy giving him the award… I’ve completed 75 years in the industry, but it’s not a big deal. I sang for the first time when I was nine with my father. Then I started singing in films and the journey has been wonderful,” she said.