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Birthday special: How Salim Khan fared after splitting with Javed Akhtar

The screenwriter celebrates his 80th birthday today (24 November). Cinestaan.com takes a look at the latter stage of his career.

Keyur Seta

Salim Khan is best known as one half of the celebrated screenwriter duo Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar; popularly known as Salim-Javed. The duo churned out some of the most memorable lines and a host of successful films, including classics like Sholay (1975) and Deewaar (1975). The team of two wrote 26 films.

However, the duo decided to split in 1982 owing to some disagreements. The most successful writing duo came to a sad end. Following this, both Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar wrote individually; the latter going on to become one of Hindi cinema’s great lyricists. 

Salim Khan wrote a handful of films after that, the most successful being Naam (1986). Directed by Mahesh Bhatt, the film became an instant success. Not only that, it continues to move lovers of sensible cinema. The Pankaj Udhas song, ‘Chhitthi Aai Hai’, became a classic. The film also brought Sanjay Dutt, its lead actor, a much-needed hit. Before this film, he had tasted success only with Rocky (1981), his debut film, and Vidhaata (1982). 

But the success of the film mattered to Salim Khan the most because this was his first project after his split with Akhtar. It proved his potential even as a solo writer. So, naturally, his projects after this one were keenly awaited. Unfortunately, they failed to live up to the anticipation. The celebrated writer did not taste success on this scale again. His other solo films were Kabzaa (1988), Toofan (1989), Jurm (1990), Akayla (1991), Patthar Ke Phool (1991), Mast Kalandar (1991), Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994), Yeh Majhdhaar (1996), Smuggler (1996) and Dil Tera Diwana (1996). 

Patthar Ke Phool starred his son Salman Khan, who wasn’t a star then. Eventually, Salim Khan called it a day after Dil Tera Diwana.