When Javed Akhtar was mistaken as Gulzar at airport but did not correct it: ‘Shabana was sitting right next to me’

Bollywood Entertainment

Javed Akhtar recently shared a hilarious anecdote when a man mistakenly thought he was legendary writer Gulzar at an airport. During the launch of Javed’s book Jadunama, the veteran screenwriter was joined by Gulzar on stage. While talking to Gulzar, Javed recalled how one man greeted him at an airport thinking he was Gulzar and he played along further. All these things happened while Shabana Azmi was sitting next to him. Also read: Javed Akhtar’s snarky comment on Pathaan row

Javed Akhtar said the confusion was such that he pretended to be Gulzar and said he was there to pick up Javed Akhtar. He said, “Shabana (Azmi) and I were at the airport, when the airline staff asked us to sit and said they will get our luggage. Shabana was sitting right next to me when a gentleman approached me and said, ‘Adaab Gulzar saab!’ I responded with an adaab too. He then wondered, ‘How come Gulzar saab is at the airport?’ I told him that Javed Akhtar saab is coming, so I am there to receive him.”

“He got confused that such a big man has come to receive Javed Akhtar! He asked me, with disappointment in his voice, ‘You are here to receive Javed Akhtar?’, I replied, ‘I always come. Wherever Javed Akhtar is coming from, I always receive him at the airport’. The disappointment in his face, that he is a fan of Gulzar, and Gulzar has come to receive Javed Akhtar! He said, with a confused, disappointed tone, ‘Achcha… Chalta hu Gulzar saab,’” Javed added. The incident left Gulzar in splits.

Javed also said that even though the two aren’t ‘lookalikes’, people with ‘average intelligence’ tend to use their brains like ‘kabad khana (storeroom).’ In his words, he added that when it comes to poets, people just put their hands inside the storeroom and pull out whatever name they get to address them.

Besides this, at the book launch, Gulzar read out a poem, written by him for Javed. The two have often been considered to be each other’s rivals throughout their career with fierce competition over their songs.

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