That, Karan Johar and Gauri Khan are the best of friends is not new information. They’ve stood with each other through highs and lows of their life, the most recent example of the same is Gauri’s specially designed nursery for KJo’s twin babies.
But not many know the story behind this friendship. When they were first introduced, Karan, like many others in the industry considered Gauri to be aloof. He spilled the beans in an exclusive interaction with HT Brunch . “We first met in 1994 when we were shooting Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in Switzerland. Gauri was there with a friend, and Shah Rukh (Khan) introduced us. I thought both she and her friend were very aloof. Then, just because I could speak French, Shah Rukh appointed me as the person to take them around for a day in Rougemont in the French part of Switzerland. Gauri obviously didn’t believe that somebody from a Hindi film crew was cool enough to speak French, and kind of sniggered at the idea. But things got a bit better once we bought the train tickets and I was able to manoeuvre them through that day. We landed up getting along really well and by the end, I was quite a favourite of hers. In fact, we grew to becoming really close on that trip.”
Karan added, “When we came back to Mumbai, she followed up with me and I became her first friend from the industry, an industry that she had otherwise stayed away from because she was wary of the people in it. The Delhi girl who used to dance with Shiamak Davar had thought that film industry people were not her cup of coffee. I kind of broke that mindset for her. In fact, I think that the foundation of my friendship with Gauri lies in the fact that I made her love the people in the movies, people who are actually really great. She grew to realise that, and today, all her strong equations are from within the film fraternity. I’ve seen her evolve from being an apparently aloof girl to now actively belonging to her husband’s world. I’ve seen her rooting for his films and being stressed and jittery pre-release just like any movie industry person’s family member would be. And in the last decade, she’s also come into her own in a whole new way.”
From strangers in Switzerland to best friends in Bollywood, theirs is quite a story.