On his 46th birthday, decoding KJo: Brand, business and more
Sniffing through the pages of Karan Johar's memoir 'An Unsuitable Boy', I wept when he revealed his parents Yash and Hiroo Johar cried inconsolably for 45 minutes after watching 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' for the first time. That's when it dawned on me, KJo has become a brand mostly because in his stories we find a reflection of us. On his birthday, let's decode the man.
Tryst with destiny: Making Dharma productions what it is
After Dharma started in 1976, its association with classics like 'Guide,' 'Jewel Thief' and 'Prem Pujari', proved to be a boon. But, soon business fell apart in the absence of hits. It was Karan Johar's 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' that turned tides for the production house. After Yash Johar's death in 2004, KJo inherited the not-so-profitable company and made it what it is today.
Not everyone understands film business like Karan Johar
When people were unsure how 'Baahubali' would turn out, Karan Johar put his money on it (quite literally!). Its success sings songs of Johar's farsightedness. Apart from this, Johar opened the doors of Dharma for those who are as passionate about movies as himself; Shashank Khaitan, for example. By giving a chance to outsiders, Johar has made the big Bollywood dream easy for aspirants.
Karan brought LGBT discussions to the dinner table
Johar hasn't really 'come out' ever but his sexuality is not something he hides or is ashamed of. For many years, Karan Johar stayed as the poster boy of LGBT community and managed to bring the discussion to middle-class families' dinner table. This, despite, being subject to vile abuses on social media, every day. Not everyone has the courage to go on.
We are guilty for Karan's silence on his sexuality
"Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don't need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won't only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this," he wrote in his memoir.
Karan Johar's films give respite from society's ugliness
Now, Karan's critics argue his over-the-top movies don't reflect the ugly side of society. Agreed. But isn't cinema also supposed to entertain? In the department of entertainment, no one quite trumps Karan Johar. His audacious film sets, cheeky songs, and oh-so-romantic dialogues give a peek into brighter days. And, he should be thanked for understanding what his audience really needs.
'Brand' Karan Johar is the icon we need, desperately
The brand Karan Johar is unapologetic, unassuming, who understands love all too well, and writes such heart-wrenching lines: "Gar baazi ishq ki baazi hai jo chaho laga do, dar kaisa. Gar jeet gaye toh kya kehna, haare bhi toh baazi maat nahin." Happy birthday, Karan!