A few days back I was asked why I have chosen to go to Bollywood instead of Hollywood. At the time I didn’t have a clear answer to give, but days later I have the answer to that question. Its because Hollywood doesn’t have Karan Johar.
Of course I am from the generation where Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was one of my first Hindi films and I watched it at least once a day daily. I put my family through a K2H2 marathon for almost a year, and I would run around the house at age 4 dressing up like ‘little Anjali’. The obsession for Bollywood began then for me, and little did I know that this obsession has turned into a life-long career path for me at age 21.
I have managed to make it to every Karan Johar directed and produced film, and my only goal in life is to be working on a set with him one day.
Its not just his directing that inspires me, or his films, but he himself as an icon representing a certain section of the film industry is what amazes me. When Karan took upon the entire Dharma Productions under his wing, and began to produce films he stuck with the ‘fresh outlook’ which is what I love. There are many film-lovers who like the classic family films, but he began to stray away from perfect to realistic, but by still having the right amount of Bollywood in the film.
I remember when I saw Wake Up Sid I had only gone to see it because it was produced by Dharma and my love for Ranbir was just springing at the time. After I watched the film I realized that this is the kind of cinema I love. The film was simple, it had a beautiful story, and showed something from my generation that I could relate to. Bringing Ayan Mukerji to Dharma was probably the best thing ever for Karan. From that film onwards I noticed the consistency of this formula and film after film I realized this is what I want.
Karan is not just a director and producer though. He’s an entertainer, risk taker, and has a million stories to tell. From his infamous Koffee With Karan, to judging reality shows on television, to being an impeccable host for award shows. And what stands out the most to me is when he brought three amazing actors into the film industry three years back in his film Student of the Year. Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Siddharth Malhotra are such amazing actors. Karan has been a wonderful guru, parent, and guide for these three which shows exactly what kind of person he is when it comes to filmmaking. He always has a formula, and 9 out of 10 times it always works.
If Karan is reading this, I hope he knows he is inspiring future filmmakers like myself every single day. His handwork has paid off, and it still is. I cannot wait to see his next directorial film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.
Happy 43rd Birthday to B-towns most loved filmmaker Karan Johar from the entire Urban Asian team!