When Akhtar wanted to escape to a small city
The constant pressure of delivering lyrics and scripts within the deadline and at a time when he was stuck with a ‘writer’s block’ made the veteran wordsmith feel like escaping to Sangli district in Maharashtra, a place he never visited.
“It has so often happened with me that whenever I would write a script, a producer would come and give me a heavy signing amount. And then when I sat to write I felt I could not even write a single page,” Akhtar said.
The <g data-gr-id="18">filmwriter</g> and poet <g data-gr-id="19">was</g> here recently to release the book ‘In Other Words’, a translation of his own poetic works in English by Ali Hussain Mir.
“During that time there was no television, so nobody recognised me by face and all they identified with was my name. I used to fantasize when I was unable to write, that there was only one way out and that is to run away to some small town and start living there under some other name and start doing something else,” he said.
“... And I don’t know why every time I used to think of escaping, I thought of going to Sangli, a city that I have never been to. And maybe another reason was that I never came across anybody from Sangli so I thought I can hide there, it will be a safe place,” quipped Akhtar.