SIXTY LIVE CONCERTS LATER, FARHAN AKHTAR IS A ROCK STAR WHO HAS A LONG WAY TO GO
When I first met him at the Otter’s Club in Bandra just a few days before the release of “Dil Chahta Hai” his first film as a director (he was accompanied by his friend, Ritesh Sidhwani who was making his debut as a co-producer with Farhan), I was impressed by his confidence and it was one of those times when there is something within that makes you expect someone to excel in whatever he tries to do, it had happened with me quite a few times and I had rarely gone wrong. I knew Farhan had all the makings of a director of the new generation.
I had to wait for only a few days when “Dil Chahta Hai” was screened for a select group of people at the Chitra Talkies in Dadar which had been renovated after more than fifty years. The hall was packed with people who were all in their early twenties or thirties. The way they reacted to every scene, every song and every dialogue and to the performances of Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni and Dimple Kapadia was enough proof to make me feel happy for Farhan and for my faith in him.
Soon there were similar reactions to Farhan’s film in every theatre and multiplex it was released in and it was one of the few very genuine hits with people of all generations taking an amazing liking for the film which naturally made it one of those very few films of modern times which could be seen more than once, and this writer was so carried away that he saw the film thrice in five days. Farhan Akhtar, the director had arrived when he was only twenty-seven years old.
He lived up to the reputation he had created for himself with films like “Don 2”, “Lakshya” and “Don” and produced films with Ritesh Sidhwani under their banner Excel Entertainment like “Don”, “Don 2”, “Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd”, “Rock On”, “Luck By Chance”, “Karthik Calling Karthik”, “Game”, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, “Talaash- The Answer Lies Within”, “Fukrey”, “Dil Dhadakne Do” and “Bangistan” with “Rock On 2” and “Raees” awaiting release.
Farhan is forty-two now, but what he has achieved and continues to achieve at his age is a feat that deserves all the applause (more than the awards, which mean very little especially to those who know what they are) and the encouragement to not only rock on, but stay on strong as long as he can on the foundation he has built for himself all on his own.
The son of Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani (she separated from Javed a long time ago) has turned out to be a multi-talented man, what with his being a producer, director, writer, lyricist and now even a rock star who has completed performing at sixty major live concerts in a very short time.
Farhan has been the star attraction at all his concerts even if he has other stars performing with him at the same concerts. What is special about his concerts is that he belts out only the songs from the twenty-one films he has been associated with in different capacities. The films whose songs he is forced or inspired to sing at most places are “Dil Chahta Hai”, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”, “Dil Dhadakne Do” and “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”.
He recently had a grand show in Abu Dhabi where besides some of his co-performers, he had also brought together his parents, Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani after several years.
Talking about his concert in Abu Dhabi, he said, “Bringing my concert for the first time to Abu Dhabi, a new city, is always something to look forward to. I’ve heard it’s crazy hot, but that’s something we’re used to because we perform outdoors in India all the time”.
Best-known for his role as a musician in his first film as a hero “Rock On”!!,and his directorial debut “Dil Chahta Hai” in 2001, Farhan performed at one of two Bollywood in the Capital concerts at du Forum on Yas Island, as part of the Abu Dhabi Summer Season 2016 festival.
“I’m planning to create a bouquet of memories,” he says. “From Dil Chahta Hai to Dil Dhadakne Do, I’ll try to incorporate all the popular songs from films I’ve worked on, and take listeners on a nostalgic trip down musical memory lane”, he said and lived up to his own promises and expectations.
After having super performers like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and all the professional singers, it is time to give a standing ovation to this new rock star, especially because he is so good at everything that he does and he has many other plans up his sleeves.