It's one long conversation where Nasreen asks about Javed Akhtar's life and he speaks candidly about his early childhood in Lucknow, his parents and his relatives, his growing up years, success and so on. He was born into a family that seemed to have a lot of literary achievers- poets and such. His mother and father, aunts and uncles, all were academics if I remember right. He speaks of how clear thinking and emancipated and intelligent his mother was. Then she died when the children were very young and their father married again and sent the kids to live with relatives.
Javed Akhtar's relationship with his father was not a good one and one can feel that there was a lot of simmering anger which he somehow vented in his writings, and perhaps on himself and those around him. His relationship with his brother Salman was tough, by his own confession he was not easy to live with either. His days in school, how he would live on the school premises, college - and somewhere here I was looking for a story which I read a long time ago about a Sardar friend of his who wrote great poetry - that he had seen his family being massacred during partition was a catalyst perhaps. It never came so i don't know if it is true.
One thing comes across though - he was enterprising and had pluck. He would seize the initiative when it warranted.
From there to Mumbai and a hand to mouth existence as he struggled. Sleeping in studios, one crazy story about how he landed up in a hotel room with the great poet, his drinking, the adda they would frequent, friends who taught him ball dancing and then meeting Salim and taking off. They would write screenplays in 18 days and sell them for a price no one would ask thanks to Salim who believed that they were worth it.
Honest. I guess one of the trilogy speaks about his craft which is something I would be interested in reading about. But yes, a deeply moving story of an angry young man. His circumstances, struggles, belief in himself, resilience to handle whatever life threw at him, perhaps his ability to look at life with new eyes each time makes it a very interesting read.