Javed Akhthar started writing lyrics for films beginning with Silsila in 1981. After the split with Salim he wrote some scripts on his own. Akhtar was nominated to the Parliament upper house Rajya Sabha on 16 November 2009.
Akhtar's original name was Jadoo, taken from a line in a poem written by his father: "Lamha, lamha kisi jadoo ka fasana hoga". He was given the official name of Javed since it was the closest to the word jadoo.
He studied in Colvin Taluqdars' College in Lucknow and the Minto Circle where he completed his matriculation from Aligarh Muslim University.
Akhtar arrived in Mumbai on 4 October 1964. Occasionally he worked as an assistant. He struggled to get work in film industry between 1964–1970 but was not successful in any of his ventures till 1970.
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