Lucknow is the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous district and division. It is the twelfth most populous urban agglomeration of India. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub, the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries, it continues to be an important centre of governance, education, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, design, tourism and poetry. The city stands at an elevation of 123 metres above sea level. Lucknow district covers an area of 2,528 square kilometres. Bounded on the east by Barabanki, on the west by Unnao, on the south by Raebareli and in the north by Sitapur, Lucknow sits on the northwestern shore of the Gomti River. Lucknow was the capital of the Awadh region, controlled by the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, it was transferred to the Nawabs of Awadh. In 1856, the British East India Company abolished local rule and took complete control of the city along with the rest of Awadh and, in 1857, transferred it to the British Raj.
Along with the rest of India, Lucknow became independent from Britain on 15 August 1947. It has been listed as the 17th fastest growing city in 74th in the world. Lucknow, along with Agra and Varanasi, is in the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc, a chain of survey triangulations created by the Government of Uttar Pradesh to boost tourism in the state. "Lucknow" is the anglicised spelling of the local pronunciation "Lakhnau". According to one legend, the city is named after Lakshmana, a hero of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana; the legend states that Lakshmana had a palace or an estate in the area, called Lakshmanapuri. However, the Dalit movement believes that Lakhan Pasi, a dalit ruler, was the settler of the city and is named after him; the settlement came to be known as Lakhanpur by the 11th century, Lucknow. A similar theory states; the name changed to Lakhanavati Lakhnauti and Lakhnau. Yet another theory states that the city's name is connected with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Over time, the name changed to Laksmanauti, Lakhsnaut and Lakhnau.
From 1350 onwards and parts of the Awadh region were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi Sultanate, Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Awadh, the British East India Company and the British Raj. For about eighty-four years, Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur. Emperor Humayun made it a part of the Mughal Empire around 1555. Emperor Jahangir granted an estate in Awadh to a favoured nobleman, Sheikh Abdul Rahim, who built Machchi Bhawan on this estate, it became the seat of power from where his descendants, the Sheikhzadas, controlled the region. The Nawabs of Lucknow, in reality, the Nawabs of Awadh, acquired the name after the reign of the third Nawab when Lucknow became their capital; the city became North India's cultural capital, its nawabs, best remembered for their refined and extravagant lifestyles, were patrons of the arts. Under their dominion and dance flourished, construction of numerous monuments took place. Of the monuments standing today, the Bara Imambara, the Chota Imambara, the Rumi Darwaza are notable examples.
One of the Nawab's enduring legacies is the region's syncretic Hindu–Muslim culture that has come to be known as the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. Until 1719, the subah of Awadh was a province of the Mughal Empire administered by a Governor appointed by the Emperor. Persian adventurer Saadat Khan known as Burhan-ul-Mulk, was appointed Nizam of Awadh in 1722 and established his court in Faizabad, near Lucknow. Many independent kingdoms, such as Awadh, were established as the Mughal Empire disintegrated; the third Nawab, Shuja-ud-Daula, fell out with the British after aiding the fugitive Nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim. Roundly defeated at the Battle of Buxar by the East India Company, he was forced to pay heavy penalties and surrender parts of his territory. Awadh's capital, Lucknow rose to prominence when Asaf-ud-Daula, the fourth Nawab, shifted his court to the city from Faizabad in 1775; the British East India Company appointed a resident in 1773 and by early 19th century gained control of more territory and authority in the state.
They were, disinclined to capture Awadh outright and come face to face with the Maratha Empire and the remnants of the Mughal Empire. In 1798, the fifth Nawab Wazir Ali Khan alienated both his people and the British and was forced to abdicate; the British helped Saadat Ali Khan take the throne. He became a puppet king, in a treaty of 1801, yielded large part of Awadh to the East India Company while agreeing to disband his own troops in favour of a hugely expensive, British-controlled army; this treaty made the state of Awadh a vassal of the East India Company, although it continued to be part of the Mughal Empire in name until 1819. The treaty of 1801 proved a beneficial arrangement for the East India Company as they gained access to Awadh's vast treasuries digging into them for loans at reduced rates. In addition, the revenues from running Awadh's armed forces brought them useful returns while the territory acted as a buffer state; the Nawabs were ceremonial kings, busy with show. By the mid-nineteenth century, the British had grown impatient with the arrangement and demanded direct control over Awadh.
In 1856 the East India Compa
Honey Irani is an Indian film actress and screenwriter, who works in Hindi cinema. She started her career as a child actor with roles in films such as Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan and Bombay Ka Chor. Irani met poet Javed Akhtar on the sets of Seeta Aur Geeta, they were married on 21 March 1972 and she was only 17 years old at that time. Her career as a child star had ended and his career as a script-writer had not yet properly begun, they had no place to live, were given a room in the house of Irani's older married sister Menaka. Their daughter Zoya Akhtar was born in 1972 and their son Farhan Akhtar in 1974. Irani became a devoted home-maker, but the marriage ended in divorce after her husband became involved with the actress Shabana Azmi in the mid-1970s; the couple separated in 1978 and divorced in 1985. While Akhtar married Shabana Azmi in 1984, Irani devoted herself to the care of her two young children, who were six years and four years old in 1978, she started doing embroidery on sarees as a way of earning money to support her children.
She managed to make a second career for herself as a writer of film scripts. Both of Irani's children grew up to be successful filmmakers in the Hindi film industry. Irani is the youngest of the other two being Menaka Khan and Daisy Irani. Irani's oldest sister, Menaka, is married to the stunt film-maker Kamran Khan, is the mother of film-makers Sajid Khan and Farah Khan, her other sister Daisy, a famous child-star like herself, was married to screenwriter K. K. Shukla, is the mother of three children. Honey Irani began her Bollywood career as a child actress with roles in films such as Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan and Bombay Ka Chor, she has acted in over 72 films. After her divorce, she started doing embroidery on sarees to support her family. Though she had been writing short stories all this while, she never shared them, she narrated the story idea of Aaina to Pam Chopra, wife of Yash Chopra for a TV series, but he developed it into a film. Yash Chopra had previously asked her to develop a story idea, which went on to become her debut as a screenwriter, starring Sridevi.
The film saw mediocre success, but she won the Filmfare Award for Best Story for the film and it paved her way for a successful career as screenwriter. She won the award again for Kya Kehna in 2002, besides winning Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay with Ravi Kapoor for the blockbuster Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai in 2001. Krrish 3 Har Pal Krrish, screenplay Koi... Mil Gaya, screenplay Armaan and story Albela Kya Kehna Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, screenplay Laawaris and story Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai and story Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, story Suhaag, screenplay Darr and story Aaina and story Parampara and story Lamhe and story Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge Seeta Aur Geeta, as Sheila Amar Prem Kati Patang as Manorama Chandi Ki Deewar Soorat Aur Seerat Amar Rahe Yeh Pyar Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan Qaidi No. 911 Pyar ki Pyas as Geeta. Zameen Ke Taare. Masoom. Armaan Honey Irani on IMDb
Do Bigha Zamin
Do Bigha Zamin is a 1953 Hindi film,directed by Bengali film director Bimal Roy, The Film is based on Rabindranath Tagore's BENGALI POEM "Dui Bigha Jomi",starring Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy in lead roles. Do Bigha Zamin,known for its socialist theme, is an important film in the early parallel cinema of India and is considered a trend setter. Inspired by Italian neo-realistic cinema, Bimal Roy made Do Bigha Zameen after watching Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves. Like most of Bimal Roy's movies and commercial cinema merge to create a movie, still viewed as a benchmark, it has paved the way for future cinema makers in the Indian neo-realist movement and the Indian New Wave, which began in the 1950s. A moderate commercial success, it was awarded the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film, it became the first film to win the Filmfare Best Movie Award and the first Indian film to win the International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, after Neecha Nagar, which won the Palme d'Or.
It was winner of the Social Progress Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films; the film was released in China. The film marks Meena Kumari's maiden guest appearance in her 33 years long career; the lullaby, Aa Jaa Ri Aa is picturised on her. The story revolves around a farmer, Shambu Mahato, who lives with his wife Parvati "Paro" and son Kanhaiya in a small village, hit badly by a famine. After years of drought, the region gets rain, leading the farmers to rejoice. Shambu owns two bighas of land, the only means of livelihood for the whole family; the local zamindar Thakur Harnam Singh partners with some city businessmen to construct a mill on his large parcel of land, which in return would bring them profit and bring prosperity to the village. The only problem is that in the middle of Harnam Singh's land lie Shambu's meager two bighas of land. Harnam Singh is confident that he can buy Shambu's land.
Shambu has not paid his debt. Harnam Singh proposes Shambu to sell his land to him in exchange for his debt. Shambu disagrees to sell his only means of livelihood. Angered by the refusal, Harnam Singh orders him to repay his debt by the next day or risk the auctioning of his land. Shambu returns home to discuss the issue with his father, with the help of his son, they figure out that the debt amounts to 65 rupees. Shambu wants to save his land by all means and sells all his household items including his wife's gold earrings; when Shambu meets Harnam Singh's accountant to pay back his debt of 65 rupees, he's shocked to know that he owes 235 rupees. The accountant had forged the accounts and now refuses to consider the labour provided by Shambu's father Gangu as a portion of the debt payoff; the case goes to court and Shambu, being illiterate, has a tough time explaining to the judge how the accountant forged the numbers and how he took to the accountant's word of mouth and did not demand any receipt.
Shambu loses the judge orders Shambu to pay 235 rupees to Harnam Singh in three months. If Shambu is not able to clear the debt his land would be auctioned off and the proceeds would go to pay off his debts. Shambu now struggles to get the money and he is unable to get a loan because he has no collateral. One of his friends gives him an idea to go to Calcutta and try to get a job to earn enough money to pay off his debt. Shambu likes this idea but faces resistance from his wife as she's pregnant and does not want to live away from him. Shambu persuades her that he'll be gone for three months only and it would benefit his family and the soon-to-be-born baby. Kanhaiya wants to join his father too. On the train to Calcutta, Shambu finds Kanhaiya hiding and hitchhiking with him and after a brief confrontation agrees to take Kanhaiya with him. In Calcutta and Kanhaiya face a harsh welcome. Nobody is willing to talk with them, let alone help them. Kanhaiya befriends a street-side shoe-shiner named Lalu "Ustad".
They lose their last possessions while they are asleep on the footpath. Kanhaiya falls ill, Shambu ends up renting a small room in the slums with the help of a tea vendor and the landlady's adopted grandchild, Rani. To pay the rent, Shambu works as a coolie. Shambu befriends an old rickshaw-puller. Kanhaiya tries to help his family by taking up shoe-shining with the help of the old rickshaw-puller and Lalu. Back in the village and Gangu survive on eating water chestnuts picked up from the local river, she seeks help from Bahu to stay in touch. Near the end of the third month, Shambu becomes aggressive about saving more money. One day, a man asks Shambu to chase another rickshaw, carrying his girlfriend. Shambu is asked to pull the rickshaw fast for more money; the rickshaw loses Shambu meets with an accident. Looking at the condition of his father, Kanhaiya joins a pickpocket to earn quick money. Shambu gets angry with learning beats Kanhaiya. Meanwhile, Parvati gets worried since she receives no letters or money from Shambu and the Zamindar's accountant accuses Shambu of forgetting his family.
She ends up working at a local construction site and is devastated when she receives the news of Shambu's accident. Parvati decides to visit Shambu in the city though Gangu is bedridden and has a high fever. Parvati arrives in Calcutta and is ta
National Film Award for Best Lyrics
The National Film Award for Best Lyrics is an honour presented annually at the National Film Awards by the Directorate of Film Festivals to a lyricist who has composed the best song for films produced within the Indian film industry. The award was first introduced at the 16th National Film Awards in 1969, it was intermittently awarded till the 22nd National Film Awards. From on, no award was presented until the 32nd National Film Awards. However, since 1985 every year the award has been presented with the exception of the 34th National Film Awards; as of the 62nd National Film Awards, the DFF has presented a total of 36 awards to 24 different lyricists. Although the Indian film industry produces films in around 20 languages and dialects, the recipients of the award include those who have worked in seven major languages: Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam & Kannada, Punjabi. Tamil poet Kannadasan was the first recipient of the award, he won the prize for his work in the 1967 Tamil film Kuzhanthaikkaga. Vairamuthu is the most frequent winner in this category.
Javed Akhtar is the second-most frequent winner of the award, with five wins. Four lyricists—Gulzar, Swanand Kirkire, Prasoon Joshi and Na. Muthukumar —have won the award on two occasions. J. M. Prahlad is the most recent winner, awarded for the song "Muthu Ratnada Pyate" from Kannada film March 22. Official Page for Directorate of Film Festivals, India National Film Awards Archives
Sahitya Akademi Award
The Sahitya Academy Award is a literary honor in India, which the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, annually confers on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the major Indian languages recognised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Established in 1954, the award comprises a plaque and a cash prize of ₹ 100000; the award's purpose is to recognize and promote excellence in Indian writing and acknowledge new trends. The annual process of selecting awardees runs for the preceding twelve months; the plaque awarded by the Sahitya Akademi was designed by the Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray. Prior to this, the plaque was made of marble, but this practice was discontinued because of the excessive weight. During the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the plaque was substituted with national savings bonds, they form the highest honor which the Akademi confers through a system of electing Fellows and Honorary Fellows.. Sahitya Akademy gives these special awards to writers for significant contribution to Indian languages other than the above 24 major ones and for contribution to classical & medieval literature.
Like the Sahitya Akademi Awards, Bhasha Samman too comprise a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000The Sahitya Akademi instituted Bhasha Samman in 1996 to be given to writers, editors, performers or translators who have made considerable contribution to the propagation, modernization or enrichment of the languages concerned. The Samman carries a plaque along with an amount equal to its awards for creative literature i.e. rupees 1,00,000. It was Rs.25,000 at the time of inception, increased to Rs.40,000 from 2001, Rs.50,000 from 2003 and to Rs. 1,00,000 from 2009. The Sammans are given to 3-4 persons every year in different languages on the basis of recommendation of experts' committees constituted for the purpose; the first Bhasha Sammans were awarded in to Dharikshan Mishra for Bhojpuri, Bansi Ram Sharma and M. R. Thakur for Pahari, K. Jathappa Rai and Mandara Keshava Bhat for Tulu and Chandra Kanta Mura Singh for Kokborok, for their contribution to the development of their respective languages. Awards for translations were instituted in 1989 at the instance of then-Prime Minister of India, P. V. Narasimha Rao.
The Sahitya Akademi annually gives these awards for outstanding translations of major works in other languages into one of the 24 major Indian languages. The awards comprise a plaque and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. The initial proposal for translation prizes contained provisions for a prize for translations into each of the twenty-two languages recognised by the Akademi; the Board decided to dispense with its original requirement for additional expert committees to evaluate the translations, ruled that it was not obligated to grant prizes in languages where suitable books were not nominated. The Akademi requires that both, the original author as well as the translator, are to be Indian nationals. Over time, the Akademi has expanded the conditions for the Translation Prizes. In 1992, the Akademi began to allow translations made in link languages to be eligible for the Awards, although it noted that translations made directly from the original language would always be preferred. In 1995, the Akademi held that joint translations would be eligible, in 1997, it dispensed with the process of advertising for nominations and replaced it with invitations for recommendations from advisory boards and Committee members.
As of 2002, 264 prizes have been awarded to 266 translators. Named after the Ceylon Tamil writer Ananda Coomaraswamy, the fellowship was started in 1996, it is given to scholars from Asian countries to spend 3 to 12 months in India to pursue a literary project. Named after Hindi writer Premchand, the fellowship was started in 2005, it is given to persons of eminence in the field of Culture from SAARC countries. The Akademi has seen several instances of Awards being declined as an act of protest. In 1973, G. A. Kulkarni returned the Award for his collection of short stories in Marathi, Kajal Maya, because a controversy had arisen regarding the date of publication of the book and its consequent eligibility for the Award. In 1969, Swami Anand declined the Award for contributions to Gujarati literature on the grounds that his religious beliefs precluded him from accepting any pecuniary benefits for public services. In 1981, Telugu writer V. R. Narla was given the Sahitya Akademi Award for his play, Sita Josyam, but returned it on the grounds that the Akademi had allowed an adverse review of the play to be published in their journal, Indian Literature.
In 1982, Deshbandhu Dogra Natan was given the Sahitya Akademi award for his Dogri novel, Qaidi but returned it on the grounds that he should have received the Award much earlier. In 1983, Gujarati writer Suresh Joshi returned the Award on the grounds that his book, Chintayami Manasa, did not, in his opinion, deserve the Award, expressed the opinion that the Award was granted to authors who were "spent forces"; this provoked a response from the then-President of the Akademi, Vinayaka Krishna Gokak, who said, concerning the awards that, "It is not possible to generalise on the basis of age. Nor can we expect the Akademi pan
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress of film and theatre. The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of Film and Television Institute of India of Pune. Azmi made her film debut in 1974 and soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel Cinema, a new-wave movement known for its serious content and neo-realism and received government patronage during the times. Regarded as one of the finest actresses in India, Azmi's performances in films in a variety of genres have earned her praise and awards, which include a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and several international honours, she has received five Filmfare Awards, was honored among "women in cinema" at the 30th International Film Festival of India. In 1988, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country. Azmi has appeared in over 120 Hindi and Bengali films in both mainstream and independent cinema, since 1988, she has acted in several foreign projects.
Several of her films have been cited as a form of progressivism which portrays Indian society, its customs and traditions. In addition to acting, Azmi is women's rights activist, she is the wife of screenwriter Javed Akhtar. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund. In appreciation of Azmi's life and works, the President of India gave her a nominated membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. Shabana Azmi was born in Hyderabad, India, her parents are Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat Azmi, both of whom were members of the Communist Party of India. Her brother, Baba Azmi, is a cinematographer, her sister-in-law, Tanvi Azmi, is an actress. Shabana was named at the age of eleven by Ali Sardar Jafri, her parents used to call her Munni. Baba Azmi was named by Prof. Masood Siddiqui as Ahmer Azmi, her parents had an active social life, their home was always thriving with people and activities of the communist party. It was not unusual for her to wake up in the morning and find members of the communist party sleeping about, from a previous night's communist social that ran late.
Early in childhood, the environment in her home inculcated into her a respect for family ties and human values. Azmi attended Mumbai, she completed a graduate degree in Psychology from St. Xavier's College and followed it with a course in acting at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, she explained the reason she decided to attend the film institute, saying: "I had the privilege of watching Jaya Bhaduri in a film, I was enchanted by her performance because it was unlike the other performances I had seen. I marvelled at that and said,'My god, if by going to the Film Institute I can achieve that, that's what I want to do.'" Azmi topped the list of successful candidates of 1972. Azmi graduated from the FTII in 1973 and signed on to Khwaja Ahmad Abbas' Faasla and began work on Kanti Lal Rathod's Parinay as well, her first release, was Shyam Benegal's directorial debut Ankur. Belonging to the arthouse genre of neo-realistic films, Ankur is based on a true story which occurred in Hyderabad.
Azmi played Lakshmi, a married servant and villager who drifts into an affair with a college student who visits the countryside. Azmi was not the original choice for the film, several leading actresses of that time refused to do it; the film went on to become a major critical success, Azmi won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her performances. Famous independent filmmaker Satyajit Ray commented "In Ankur she may not have fitted into her rustic surroundings, but her poise and personality are never in doubt. In two high pitched scenes, she pulls out the stops to establish herself as one of our finest dramatic actresses", she went on to receive the National Film Award consecutively for three years from 1983 to 1985 for her roles in Arth and Paar. Godmother earned her another National Film Award. Azmi’s acting has been characterised by a real-life depiction of the roles played by her. In Mandi, she acted as a madam of a whorehouse. For this role, she put on weight and chewed betel. Real life portrayals continued in all her movies.
These included the role of a woman named Jamini resigned to her destiny in Khandhar and a typical urban Indian wife and mother in Masoom. She acted in experimental and parallel Indian cinema. Deepa Mehta's 1996 film Fire depicts her as Radha, in love with her sister-in-law; the on-screen depiction of lesbianism drew severe protests and threats from many social groups as well as by the Indian authorities. Her role as Radha brought her international recognition with the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 32nd Chicago Film Festival and Jury Award for Best Actress at Outfest, Los Angeles, she was the initial choice for Deepa Mehta's Water, planned to hit the floors in 2000. A few scenes were shot. Azmi had to shave her head with Nandita Das to portray the character of Shakuntala. However, due to political reasons, the film was shelved and shot in 2005 with Seema Biswas replacing Azmi; some of her notable films are Shyam Benegal's Nishant, Junoon and Antarnaad.
Farhan Akhtar is an Indian film director, actor, playback singer and television host. Born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, he grew up under the influence of the Hindi film industry, he began his career in Bollywood by working as an assistant director in Himalay Putra. Akhtar, after establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth; the film won a National award. Following it, he made Lakshya and had his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice, for which he wrote the lyrics, he went on to make the commercially successful Don. He directed a short film titled Positive, to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS. Although he started his acting career with The Fakir of Venice, his official debut was with Rock On!!, for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer, indulged in further experimentation before he wrote the dialogues and acted for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which won him two Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actor.
In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don titled Don 2, which remains his highest-grossing film till date. He achieved further success by portraying Milkha Singh in the 2013 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, earning him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. In 2016, Akhtar received praise for starring in the crime thriller Wazir and the comedy drama Dil Dhadakne Do. Farhan Akhtar was born to screenwriters Javed Honey Irani in Mumbai, his sister is writer–director Zoya Akhtar. His parents divorced during his early days, his father married Shabana Azmi in 1984. Akhtar has termed his parents the "harshest" critics in his career, considered Robert De Niro as an "inspiration" in the film industry. Akhtar is from his mother's side. Akhtar grew up in an agnostic environment and along with his sister Zoya and father Javed Akhtar, he does not believe in any religion, he is great-grandson of poet Muztar Khairabadi. Muztar Khairabadi was grandson of Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, a scholar of Islamic studies and theology, notably edited the first diwan of Mirza Ghalib on his request, became an important figure during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in his native Khairabad..
He is the cousin of Farah Khan and Sajid Khan. He studied at Maneckji Cooper school in Mumbai, went on to study for a law degree from the HR College in Mumbai, he married Adhuna Bhabani in 2000, after being in a relationship with her for 3 years. They first met during the filming of his directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai in 2001, which marked Adhuna's debut as a Bollywood hairstylist; the couple have two daughters named Akira. On 21 January 2016, the couple announced their separation after 16 years of marriage.. Akhtar worked as an apprentice in film distribution and direction for Yash Chopra's Lamhe when he was 17 years old and shifted to an advertisement production house named "Script Shop" to spend an approximate 3 years there, he assisted Pankaj Parashar as a director in Himalay Putra before launching himself into direction and writing. Akhtar made his writing and directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film Dil Chahta Hai, produced by Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. a production company he established along with Ritesh Sidhwani in 1999.
It was shot over a period of three months in Sydney and Mumbai. Due to its acclaim, he called it a "turning point" in his career; the film dealt with the lives of westernised urban youth in Mumbai. Akhtar had written the script based on his trips to Goa and New York, as well as a narration of a story outline by a friend of his, it received international critical acclaim and attained an iconic status, with Akhtar receiving credit for starting a "new wave" in Indian cinema. Critic Ziya Us Salam praised Akhtar's direction and commented for The Hindu: "In his maiden venture, Javed Akhtar's son shows enough glimpses of his pedigree to indicate that promise will attain fulfilment sooner than later." Various award shows nominated it for several categories. The year's National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for 2002 was won by the film, it was screened at the International Film Festival of India, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival. In the same year, he and his sister Zoya Akhtar assisted their father in writing the English lyrics of a song in Lagaan, for which the soundtrack was scored by A. R. Rahman.
Akhtar's next project was Lakshya, a film about an aimless youngster setting a goal for himself, starring Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta. It was shot in Ladakh, Dehra Dun and Mumbai, marked the beginning of the collaborations between Akhtar and Hrithik, he had to research the army before directing the venture. The theme of the film, as stated by Akhtar, was about "finding oneself", he believed that if the same characters and situation were set elsewhere, the main core of the story would remain the same as the film was not about war, as it had been reported. Post-release, the film became a commercial failure. Parul Gupta of The Times of India gave it a negative review and explained that "It's hard to reconcile to such triviality when it comes from Farhan Akhtar, considered the ultimate symbol of cool in Hindi filmdom." On the contrary, Manish Gajjar from BBC wrote, in his positive review: "Young Farhan Akhtar, proves ye