Karan Johar on being a director | india | Hindustan Times
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Karan Johar on being a director

When it’s said that the director is the captain of the ship, it's not said to pacify an ego or to create a kind of hierarchy. It’s said because no one can blueprint your mind and your vision, writes Karan Johar.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2009 19:02 IST
Karan Johar

Whether you have a fear of public speaking and clam up in crowds, or are the loudest, most affable personality in the room, few experiences can match the nervousness and trepidation that hits you like a tidal wave the first time you walk onto your film set as a freshman director. No matter how much you've prepared or how many cups of coffee you've consumed the night before, your edgy, wired mind and body will feel a pressure you've never experienced before. Everyone is watching you, waiting to see what you come up with. Everyone needs a piece of you, because you are the cog that keeps the machine cranking.

When it’s said that the director is the captain of the ship, it's not said to pacify an ego or to create a kind of hierarchy. It’s said because no one can blueprint your mind, your emotions, and your vision to know what you want from your scene, from your actors, and from your crew. You have to connect with yourself as closely as possible, and never lose touch with the final picture. The entire experience can take you on the most exhilarating, frightening, and liberating ride of your life.

Immense pride, and paternal protection is what I feel for the young directors from my company. They are fiercely loyal, intensely independent, and completely unique from their peers. What sets them apart for me is the way they see the world, the colours with which they paint their landscape, and the melody they hum that tugs at your heartstrings.

Ayan Mukerji, all of 26, possesses one of the most introspective minds I’ve come across in a long while. His inquisitive spirit and probing personality is infectious. When you meet him, you realise you want to be a part of his world. Wake Up Sid! is a portal into the mind of a young talent with a strong voice. The film beats at a heart rate that can at once transport you to your own experiences as a young adult, and with a switch of pace make you want to better yourself, for yourself and for the world around you.

I know I've gotten older because every time I experience the film, I realise how amazing it was to be young and free, a time when the world around you was whizzing by but your days had a languid pace of their own. Hours could go by and you might not have moved an inch. Eventually life throws curveballs your way, and an alarm blares in your head, forcing you to make choices and dive into the deep end. I felt that way the moment I took on my first real role of responsibility in my early twenties, and I feel that drive even more today.

I surround myself with people younger than me because it makes me feel alive. I listen to their stories and marvel at how bold the youth is today. I embrace their abandon because I’ll never tire from the madness that was our lives in the years after college. The nostalgia I feel today is strong and shows no sign of shaking off. I remember there was a time when nothing was more entertaining than going to the cinema hall on a Sunday. Now all we do is brunch.

On this weekend where we celebrate the man who fought for our independence, let’s honour him by revisiting our own moments of liberation. Let’s reminisce. There’s nothing better than a trip down memory lane, so let’s switch gears a little and go back to the time when we woke up!