He is an accomplished writer, poet and lyricist, but Javed Akhtar says his childhood aspiration, just like every kid, was to become an actor.
"All children, when they watch a film, they end up thinking everything that a hero does - action, singing, etc. So all of them want to become actors. Similarly, even I wanted to be an actor when I was a child," Akhtar told reporters here Thursday.
"It is only once you grow up that you know that a movie has a director, a screenplay writer, a lyricist, a composer, and other technicians. But till a certain age, you believe the hero is everything," he added.
The veteran writer, 66, spoke on the sidelines of the launch of the second season of Zee Classic's Classic Legends.
On the show, he will throw light on the lives of Bollywood icons like Dilip Kumar, Pran, Meena Kumari, Dev Anand, Nasir Hussain, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Sunil Dutt, Mohammad Rafi and SD Burman.
Recounting one of his meetings with Dilip Kumar, Akhtar said, "Dilip saab was being given an award in Lucknow and I was called to say a few words. That day I felt my circle was complete.
"I was in school and I must have been six or seven years old when I had gone to watch Aan in a theatre in Hazratganj. It had Dilip saab. He was playing with a sword, riding a horse, singing songs... That was my introduction to cinema, my first understanding of a hero.
"Years later at the award function, I stood on a stage to give a speech on the same actor in a hotel near the same theatre. It was nostalgic," he said.
Akhtar will combine such anecdotes and more on Classic Legends, which will go on air Nov 18.