He continues to be one of the most sought-after lyricists in Bollywood today.
Born into a lineage of writers spanning seven generations, Akhtar began studying philosophy and poetry at a young age.
His career began with scriptwriting, but it was when he attempted writing lyrics for films that he achieved great success.
Many singers today continue blending his non-movie poetry with unique tunes. A long-time activist, Akhtar's lyrics tend to reflect his political and social concerns.
Writing poetry, he explains, is an evolving and ongoing art that enables him to reach audiences world wide.
This episode of One on One can be seen from Saturday, May 15, at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0030, 1630; Sunday: 0430, 2330; Monday: 0300, 1230.
Source: Al Jazeera