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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Words Worth

Screenwriter and playwright Javed Siddiqi captures the beauty of yore through biographical sketches in his first book,Roshandaan.

Written by VIDYA PRABHU |
November 27, 2011 12:31:38 am

When screenwriter and playwright Javed Siddiqi moved to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur,he worked as a journalist. He even went on to head an Urdu newspaper,Urdu Reporter. “After that,I turned to Bollywood,which worked out very well for me. But I never really wrote any literary work and I resented that. Which is why my first book,Roshandaan,means a lot to me,” says Siddiqi. The book was released recently.

During his film career spanning more than three decades,he has penned storylines,screenplays and dialogues for nearly 100 Bollywood films,not to mention his association with India’s most prominent filmmakers—from Satyajit Ray and Shyam Benegal to Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai. A compilation of biographical sketches about people who have made an impression on him,Javed calls Roshandaan his first contribution to Urdu literature. Eight out of the 10 chapters in the book are articles that have been carried in various Urdu newspapers and magazines.

“I toyed with the idea of writing a non-fiction book,but I realised soon enough that it would be too demanding. The chapters in Roshandaan,which means a ventilator that emits light and represents freedom in a sense,talk about my first-hand experiences with certain people who have knowingly or unknowingly touched my life over the years,” he points out.

While some of these people are famous personalities (Abrar Alvi and Habib Tanveer among others),there are also common people who feature in the book. “There is a chapter called Bade Papa,where I have spoken about how I grew up in the neighbourhood of the Dewan of my state. I have tried to capture the beauty of those times that we lived in,” he says.

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While close friend Gulzar released the book,another friend,writer Javed Akhtar,was all praises for his work.

Encouraged by the response,Siddiqi is planning his next,which will be a mix of episodes related to luminaries such as Satyajit Ray and Kaifi Azmi juxtaposed with character sketches of a kebabwala in Rampur.

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