KWK S8: Karan Johar doesn't go down and dirty with Ajay Devgn, Rohit Shetty | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Koffee with Karan Season 8: Karan Johar doesn't go down and dirty with sons of the soil Ajay Devgn, Rohit Shetty

Dec 21, 2023 03:29 PM IST

Before the Koffee Gets Cold: Karan Johar changes his line of questioning in the episode with Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty, invoking the industry kid within.

We've been complaining for the past couple of weeks about how Karan Johar has only been inviting guests he's pally with in all permutations and combinations possible. The latest episode of Koffee with Karan Season 8 was a departure from that as he invited fellow filmmaker Rohit Shetty and actor Ajay Devgn, who even declared Karan as his “sworn enemy, once upon a time."

Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty on Koffee with Karan Season 8
Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty on Koffee with Karan Season 8

(Also Read: Koffee With Karan promo: Ajay Devgn recalls the time Karan Johar was his 'sworn enemy'. Watch)

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Not your nepo babies

But that's not what the highlight of the episode was. Instead of going all wink-wink or sexually cryptic on the two no-nonsense hitmakers, Karan tapped into a part of himself that he usually keeps away on the show. He didn't invoke the troublemaker, the matchmaker, the gossip monger, the provocateur or even the filmmaker within. He got the memo right, and really got down to exploring what makes Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty the action stars on screen, and the sons of soil off screen.

Karan looked within to search what's common between him and his guests and traced it back to them being industry kids. But unlike the nepo kids of today, they were second-generation industry kids whose fathers weren't superstars, but operated on the sidelines of the big bad world of Bollywood. While Karan's father Yash Johar started off as a production controller and went on to become a producer, Ajay and Rohit's fathers, Veeru Devgan and Shetty respectively, were stuntmen/action directors.

Ajay and Rohit may be action stars today, building the hundreds of crores worth Singham franchise, along with their respective blockbuster tentpole actioners, but they have to thank their fathers who paved the way for them by doing petty jobs before getting a break in the film industry. On the episode, both Ajay and Rohit recall how their fathers moved to Mumbai at a very young age with no Bollywood dreams, only to indulge in street gang wars that fetched them a foot in the door to the action films of the Hindi film industry.

An Unsuitable Boy

Rarely has Karan spoken about his father on the chat show, unless it's with people who knew him personally, like Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Rani Mukerji. He told Ajay and Rohit how he's buried the part of his childhood where his family lost a lot of money when their productions failed and his mother Hiroo Johar had to sell her jewellery and her mother's apartment to pay back loans.

Karan has detailed such accounts of his childhood in his 2016 memoir An Unsuitable Boy, which revealed the readers to his deepest, most personal self. Now that he's surrounded by millennials and Gen-Z actors and filmmakers, especially on the show, Karan subconsciously conceals that side of him. But when a guest of that generation graces the couch, Karan allows that front to graciously take over.

There's no shaming Ajay and Rohit for not flashing their brands enough, for not going to parties, for not adding fuel to the fire of controversies. Karan needs guests like them not only for more diversity, but also to shake things up, pull Karan out of his comfort zone, and make him tweak his line of questioning. Sworn enemies or not, we need more sons of soil on that couch.

Before the Koffee gets Cold' is a weekly column that goes beyond the froth to study the storm inside the Koffee cup.

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