Before and after the launch of his autobiography “An Unsuitable Boy”, Indian filmmaker Karan Johar has let the world know of many fascinating accounts of his friendships, heartbreaks, confusions, falling-outs and underworld threat and most importantly the question “is he a gay or isn’t he(?).” The latest one in a row may not be the most thrilling but definitely the most interesting one. The world knows the friendship between superstar Shahrukh Khan and the filmmaker. They have gone through thick and thins, their friendship has survived the toughest tests and they have stood by each other like rocks. And they always made it a point to let the world know of their unique relationship. SRK was the first person Karan Johar says he called after the ‘fallout’ with his 25 year old friend Kajol which recently made into headlines. In fact, it is Shahrukh Khan who launched Johar‘s autobiography. During the launch Johar said many good things about Shahrukh.
“There were times when my father wasn’t at the best point in movies… even with people and relationships. But Shahrukh had given so much love that I fell in love with him. I saw he gave love to my father and that meant the world to me.In relationships, there are ups and downs… there are turbulent times. But I have to say the soul and the heart I have found within the fraternity of the industry is amazing. I would cherish those relationships throughout my life.”
However, the legendary friendship was not uninterrupted and the filmmaker chose to let the world know about it in his autobiography “An Unsuitable Boy”.
SRK and Karan Johar never acknowledged a rift but the superstar’s absence on the previous season of KJo‘s close to heart chat show Koffee With Karan caused much comment. In his book, Karan Johar begins the account with this disclaimer.
“Yes, there was definitely a distance between us in recent year but that was because we were not working with each other. There’s no other reason.”
“He was hurt that I didn’t work with him. I was hurt that with Student of the Year, there was no acknowledgement from him, there was no love or support given to me. Then it just grew. It was like he thought ‘after everything I’ve done for Karan‘ and I thought ‘after everything I’ve done for him’. We both felt like we had contributed to each other’s lives so tremendously. It was just two people sulking.”
Karan Johar gives an account of then how things changed between them.
“Suddenly, we had become formal with each other… He was not backslapping me like I wanted him to. And I was not cracking that odd joke like I would have…From being so close it transformed to: ‘Could you please call me when you have a minute?’ Once, just last year, he got so angry with me. I called up his manager and said, ‘I really need to meet Shahrukh.’ He called me and said, ‘When did you start calling my manager?’ I said, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to disturb you.’ He said, ‘Achha?’ And he fell silent.”
The popular wisdom that celebrities can’t be friends is enabled by people who Karan Johar describes as ‘messengers,’ writing that “Chinese whispers really ruin relationships.” And it’s not true, he says, that actors can’t get along.
“I feel Shahrukh and Salman can be friends. There’s genuine love between them. Salman’s family was the first family that welcomed Shahrukh in Mumbai. There is a strong friendship, but life and circumstances came in the way.”
“She asked for too much money and we had some kind of a fallout at that time.”
The fifth chapter in his book, called ‘Early Film-Making Years’, has a long description of his investment in beginning to write Kal Ho Naa Ho (his best screenplay, he says), reflecting on his art and how he sat in Central Park in New York, stared at people, and wrote the film. Johar describes in his book of offering Kareena first the role that Preity Zinta eventually played in Kal Ho Naa Ho. The actress apparently asked for a salary equal to that of SRK, one of the film’s two heroes. “Sorry,” said Karan Johar and cast Preity instead. He also mentions their deep rooted love for each other.
“Kareena and I have a deep-rooted love for each other. I always say that if things were different in my life, I’d have married her.”
Still the fallout happened. It was there, standing between them, clear as day-light.
“Kareena and I didn’t speak to each other for almost a year. For a year, we looked through each other at parties. It was very idiotic. She was a kid; she’s a decade younger than me.”
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