Writers around the globe are acknowledged to be the key for a movie’s success but it is pathetic that Bollywood has always given them a step motherly treatment. However the writers’ pair, who changed the trend and demanded remunerations at par with stars, are unarguably the only star writer duo Salim Javed, who penned hit movies like SHOLAY, DEEWAAR, ZANJEER, DON, TRISHUL, SHAKTI, MR. INDIA etc.
|SALIM KHAN AND JAVED AKHTAR|
Salim Khan in an interview said, “The reason why we demanded such high remunerations was because we were confident of our skills and wrote scripts that were hard-bound, a trend that was initiated by us.”
Recalls Salim Khan, “When I used to assist distinguished writer Abrar Alvi (He wrote hit films like PYAASA, KAAGAZ KE PHOOL, CHAUDVIN KA CHAND etc.) in the mid-50s, I always used to insist him to increase his remuneration standard reasoning writers are the backbone of the film and they deserve to be paid the best but he would laugh it off.”
He adds, “While Abrar Sahab never took me seriously, I would assure him that once I become a writer I will change the tradition and Abrar Sahab would look at me with amazement.”
Times changed and the day came when Salim Khan in association with Javed Akhtar formed the lethal combination of Salim-Javed. The duo wrote their first film independently for superstar Rajesh Khanna’s HAATHI MERE SAATHI and charged an exorbitant fee of Rs 50,000/- an amount 10 times more than what was given to writers in those days.
On his amazing achievement an elated Salim called his guru Abrar Alvi and informed how he has proved his word and also promised him that a day will come when their Jodi will charge at par with the superstars.
Ten years later the day came when Salim Khan fulfilled his second wish. The duo charged more than the superstars.
The movie was DOSTANA for which they charged a whooping Rs 7.5 lakh, while Amitabh Bachchan, the hero of the film was paid Rs 7 lakh!!!