Javed Akhtar in retrospect of Bollywood’s ‘Classic Legends

Mumbai : From Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Kishore Kumar to Majrooh Sultanpuri, Bimal Roy and Vijay Anand — script writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar is set to tell all about 13 luminaries of Bollywood’s golden era, in a new TV show called “Classic Legends”.

A guided biography of legends who gave the Hindi film industry some of its most iconic movies and music, the show will see Akhtar taking viewers on a journey through the success stories of these stars.

The veteran writer is upbeat about his new role on Zee Classic.

“These are the people whom I admired when I was in school and college. And when you idolise someone, you want to find out more about those people. So I used to do just that as a young fan,” Akhtar said at a press conference here Friday night.

“As it is, I like talking to people about people, and here, for this show, I was being paid to do that. What better opportunity could I get?” he quipped.

Other icons whose life story will be told through “Classic Legends” include R.D. Burman, Ashok Kumar, Sahir Ludhiyanvi, Mehboob Khan, Madhubala, Guru Dutt and Shammi Kapoor.

The 66-year-old writer, who has been in the industry for around four decades, hopes that looking back at the life story of legendary people gives optimism to general public, especially the youth who are hardly interested in old movies.

“Indian cinema has a wonderful heritage. It would be really sad if people forget it. And these are stories of 13 people who started from almost nothing and gained so much success through the years,” Akhtar said.

“So when you go deep into their lives, they give so much hope and optimism in life and convey that anything can be achieved in life…you can reach from zero to 100 provided you have the will and persistence,” he added.

Akhtar, father of new age filmmakers Farhan and Zoya, feels people must not forget that they will be remembered for their success only till their success lasts — what will keep them alive is their work like the 13 legends whose lives he would document.

“The people we will talk about on the show were successful, no doubt. But they are still remembered because they brought something new and trendsetting in the industry. Success was a by-product, a perk of the work they did, which is what has kept them alive in people’s hearts even today,” he said.

Akhtar will also weave in his personal experiences with most of these icons to make the narrative more interesting and engaging.

The show will go on air Dec 11.

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