Every so often, when a film sweeps the box office, it is the actors who walk away with the accolades. The people behind the scenes simply don’t get enough credit, like scriptwriters Farhad-Sajid, who have delivered five blockbusters to date. This week, Box Office India shines the spotlight on this talented duo, their yesterdays, today and tomorrows.
Sajid – We come from a middle-class family and have no relatives in the film industry. But we had the filmy keeda in us as we have watched every single film since childhood.
Farhad – And to watch those films, we even stole money from home.
First Step Towards Their Dream
Sajid – We were born in Mumbai but had to shift to Bangalore for a few years. That’s where I opened my own restaurant. Then Farhad started writing songs which everyone loved. Then we started writing songs for occasions like someone’s birthday or a family function. Then we decided we would return to Mumbai, where we began struggling to land projects. It was not easy and it took a long time to get a break.
Those Were The Days
Farhad – It took years to establish ourselves. But today, when we look back at those struggling days and what we went through with directors and composers, I feel it made us strong. If we hadn’t struggled, we wouldn’t have enjoyed our work so much.
Sajid – We used to keep visiting directors and composers. There was this actor who was very famous at the time, and who told us that he would give us work and to write some lyrics. One fine day, he said to us, “Why are you guys here? Go away” We were shocked. There was a famous composer who we had shown our lyrics. He told us, “What kind of lyrics are you writing? Get trained and come back after five years.” All these insults made us stronger.
Farhad – We had heard that Salman Khan was called ‘bhai’ and that he helps everyone. We were no one to him but, still, it was because of Salman Khan that we got our first break based purely on our talent. Khan gave us our first break by simply listening to our songs.
Sajid – The shooting of Hadh Kar Di Aapne was going on in Kamlistan Studio and we had to bribe the watchman to let us enter the studio. When we entered, the shoot for Piya Oh Piya Piya was underway and we gaped at the set with awe. Then we spotted Salman Khan getting out of his car. We walked up and asked his driver Ashok ji if he could introduce us to the actor. We said we wanted to play just one song. After a few hours, he told Salman bhai what we wanted and Salman summoned us. He said he had a few minutes to listen to our song. If he liked it, it was fine and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to help us. We went to his vanity van, and we took out our drum and started playing songs. We were there for more than 2 hours. The shoot was cancelled. He was enjoying our music and we kept playing. We showed him more than 18 songs. Finally, Salman bhai said he would put our song in David Dhawan’s next film, which was Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahi. Our song was Munna Mobile Pappu Pager. That was our first break. After that, there was no looking back.
Struggle Never Ends
Farhad – No, we were still struggling but we had got some recognition, so meeting people was easy. The door to the industry had opened. Then Chor Machaye Shor happened, for which we wrote Kaan Ke Niche Baja Daalunga. But the turning point came when we wrote the lyrics for Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Munnabhai MBBS – M Bole Toh… and it became so popular that the industry recognized us. The song got us a call from Ram Gopal Varma, who asked us to write a film called Shiva. Then Sunday happened with Rohit Shetty. Both films were flops. But Rohit told us he was very satisfied with the film even though the audience didn’t like it.
Sajid – As scriptwriters, it was Golmaal Returns that made us famous overnight. We were getting calls from everyone in the industry, everyone was all praise for our one-liners, especially for Ajay’s character which looked serious with a comic touch. So although Golmaal Returns brought about a massive change in our careers, we wouldn’t have made it without Salman. I remember how he would call and ask if we need a car, money or a house. We were shocked by his humanity.
Farhad – After that, then there was no looking back. Rohit Shetty showed so much faith in us that we never stopped working together. All The Best happened and then we got an offer from Sajid Khan for Housefull 2. All these films were commercial entertainers, where our one-liners and tapori lines made the dialogue memorable. Singham was a totally different type of script to write. But it was an entertaining film. More recently, there was Bol Bachchan in which Ajay Devgn’s character became so popular.
Farhad – As viewers, we loved watching entertaining films where we applauded every dialogue and laughed. So we wanted to make our audience also watch such films. That’s why we work on entertaining films. It’s easy to make people cry but to make them laugh is the toughest job. We draw our characters from everyday life. We watch people very closely and draw our characters from them.
Sajid – After delivering five films which crossed the 100-crore mark, there is a lot of pressure to raise the bar. It is an indescribable feeling when our punch lines get applause and our one-liners draw whistles from the audience. We are delighted we have reached where we have. We hope to receive the love and affection that writers Salim-Javed got in their day.
Sajid - There are many films we are working on. The most promising film is Chennai Express with Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty. It is very different from what King Khan has done to date. Then there’s Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala, where you will see Sajid Khan and Ajay Devgn together for the first time. Then there’s Boss with Akshay Kumar, who is not romancing anyone in the film and he is a solo hero. Then there’s a film with Sanjay Dutt, Saami. This film is similar to Singham but Sanju baba will be in a new avatar. After all this, we will start writing Singham 2.