Karan Johar says he heard of Padma Shri honour while he was at a forest in Italy: ‘ I was shocked, my mother broke down’
Filmmaker Karan Johar is one of the many film personalities to have been conferred with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India this year. Responding to the honour conferred upon him, Karan told Mumbai Mirror that he was in a forest in Italy when he received the news. He also added that he was ‘shocked and numb’ when he first heard of it.
The report quoted him as saying, “I was shocked! I was trying to call my mother to speak to my kids while scouting for locations for Takht in a forest in Italy but couldn’t get through. I walked around exasperatedly in search of reception when suddenly the phone rang. I don’t usually answer calls from unknown numbers but thank God I answered this one. It was from the ministry. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I managed to thank them but after the call ended, I went numb. I was standing there alone, when this news dropped. I called my mother despite the terrible network. She broke down when I told her I’d got the Padma Shri.”
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Karan also got nostalgic about how his father would have reacted to it. He said, “When Kuch Kuch Hota Hai bagged a National Award (for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment) in 1998, we got a call at home and my father (late producer Yash Johar) turned to me, saying, ‘Ek din main chahta hoon tu Padma Shri jeete’. I’d protested then, saying I was too young to know where my life would go and asking him not to give me this kind of stress. But papa reiterated it, saying it was his desire, and while he knew he would not win it in his lifetime, he wanted his son to get it one day. My mamma reminded me of that conversation. It’s the fourth most prestigious civilian award in the country and my heart is bursting with pride. A national honour brings a little more responsibility which I am willing to shoulder.”
Starting out as a director in the late 1990s with a number of successful films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, My Name Is Khan, Student of the Year in his kitty, the multi-hyphenated personality is a successful producer, TV personality and actor.
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