Source: HT News Service.
Published on: October 30, 2023


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Karan Johar became emotional while watching Ranveer and Deepika’s wedding video on “Koffee with Karan” Season 8, and his heartfelt confession was a standout moment on the show.

Remember the time when Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor were together in Koffee with Karan? It was perhaps the snarkiest, most unfiltered and fun episode in the history of a show- the format of which has been under the scanner for the past couple of years. Why else would Karan Johar even mention ‘PR nightmare’ in the opening itself? Why else would there be a need to mention that the show has ‘evolved’ this time? Truth is, we’re all a little obsessed with what our favourite stars have to say. To no one’s surprise though, the first episode of the show feels a lot more safe and controlled; less playful and silly. Two of the biggest stars of Bollywood- Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, spent half of the time talking elaborately about their relationship of 11 years, but it was host Karan Johar’s minute-long reflection as an observer, that stole the episode.

Karan Johar statement

As the much-awaited wedding video of Deepika and Ranveer played out like a dream, it was that one observation that the filmmaker made that stood out, making it all the more real. “I feel like… I am not in a relationship, and I am kind of single,” he began, adding: “It just makes me feel like what I am losing out in not being in one… And every day I wake up and a little part of me feels that vacuum…I have my kids and mom but when I see this and I see you, and I know relationships are tough, but that soul connection with a person that you can wake up with, hold their hand and see your day through tough times… I don’t think I’ve had a moment like this on my own show. I felt so happy for you and I felt so alone yet. I hope this manifests into, I hope I have a story to tell. The happiness and joy I saw, and I know it’s not easy.”

Here is a director, who is pretty much one of the biggest name in the film industry; who just celebrated his 25th anniversary as a filmmaker; proclaiming how difficult and lonely it can get to survive without a companion. Koffee with Karan might feel a lot more structured and calculated in terms of how the show has become over the years, but this was one unexpectedly unfiltered and poignant moment which felt true and organic.

This is a delicate balance- how much to open up for the viewers to know about you behind the image of a star director and producer? Over the years, Johar has been more than willing to poke fun at himself, and unabashedly following his own instincts above everyone else. One has to remember that he is extremely aware of the trolling and negativity that follows him- ever since that ‘flagbearer of nepotism’ tag was thrown at him at the same couch. Massive trolls followed, he was targeted every other day. Yet, he acknowledged that he was craving for that ‘validation’ in an interview with Film Companion, right after the release of his latest film Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani. Rarely has a film felt as aware of its audience as Rocky Aur Rani, which moves forward by interrogating the idea of family. It is inviting the audience into nostalgia-infused stereotype by using classic songs, operatic melodrama, and then schooling its characters one by one.

Willingness to be honest

So his statement of really hoping that he has a story to tell of his own felt deeply personal and surprising at the same time. Too often, I find myself thinking how I must prove myself as a son, a friend and as a working professional. It is as if I am continuously looking forward to producing more evidence that I deserve to be rooted for as well. Too often, I want to believe that I am the main character in my own story. But with such a prevalent hetero-normative landscape of everyday life, I realize I expect too much from the spaces I inhabit- both personal and professional.

So when two stars present themselves as this gorgeous example of a healthy and exciting relationship- I too share the same ambivalence of being happy for them and yet not so much for myself. There’s so much romance to live for, so little love. A big part of Karan Johar’s films are the melodies. Note how he used the yesteryear melodies in Rocky Aur Rani for instance. These melodies want us to fall in love. It want us to be fools in love. No restrictions, no prejudices, no proposals, no shame. It somehow feels easy to get lost in their promises- to forget our own insecurities and shortcomings.

Yet, the melodies end. Karan Johar, the director who made a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 25 years ago, takes precedence over the person who still hopes he has a story to tell someday. What else can he do for us? You forget for a while at the movies, and then you return back to reality. If only, as a generation, we were as accepting of ourselves as we are of everyone else.

Disclaimer: Except for the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service.