“Young Directors Today are embarrassed to Include Songs in the Narrative”, says Veteran Lyricist Javed Akhtar


Video: Javed Akhtar talking about modern Hindi songs

Lyricist Javed Akhtar was present to release a book titled Gaata Rahe Mera Dil at the recently held Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2016. The veteran lyricist also engaged in an interesting conversation titled “Songs for all seasons” with Shovon Chowdhury, Balaji Vittal and Anirudha Bhattacharjee. The book reviews the history of the Hindi film music.


The conversation began with a song being played and the speakers discussing various aspects about the song. “Hindi film music is very close to the hearts of most Indians. This will be a fascinating conversation with Javed sahab amongst us” said Shovon Chowdhury.

“I have shot a program for Zee TV consisting of twenty six episodes. It also delves with Hindi film music. I have discussed each year in every episode. This is indeed eerie coming to this literary meet and actually releasing a book which also does the same thing” said Javed Akhtar.


Writers, according to Javed Akhtar are not getting the credit they deserve. Much credit is given on the face value of the songs and less on the lyrics written by the lyricists. Writers are usually kept low profile and only some can break this barrier.

Javed Akhtar also pointed out “We are now living in such times that showcasing of human emotions like love, romance is not a good thing. One has to hide them. But my question remains as to why do we need to hide them? Are they such bad emotions? By this we are denying a part of our personality.”


The lyricist also spoke at length about the embarrassment that the young generation directors feel about including songs in their films. “They feel embarrassed about the songs and hence it is either played in the backdrop or used as an item number. But I will like to point out that item songs hardly have anything to do with the carrying forward of the narrative. They are just there. They have no purpose. Alam Ara had fifty songs. Maybe the duration was of a minute or two but it had so many songs. The fact is, this is our tradition and one should not feel embarrassed about it” said the lyricist.

The conversation kept the audience engaged and often let them burst out in laughter at the jokes cracked by the speakers.

Priyanka Dutta

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