JoharSpeak | 'I'm at ease with myself' | india | Hindustan Times
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JoharSpeak | 'I'm at ease with myself'

Personal tragedy and professional disappointment have created a new, mature Karan Johar. The Bollywood director narrates his true story.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2006 21:30 IST

I was in London, having dinner alone in a café. The tables were placed very close to each other. There was this couple sitting at the next table, and so I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.

They were talking about breaking up –- but in a very amicable way. They were talking about how they shouldn’t have got married when they did, that they should go their own separate ways. I felt guilty about eavesdropping on their conversation, but I couldn’t help it.
I walked back to the hotel, carrying their conversation in my head. And I felt that this was something that was happening everywhere. I have male as well as female friends and so many of them have broken up with their partners.

Today, women too are ready to be honest and take a step back if need be. What do you do if you meet the right person at the wrong time? And all because you married the wrong person at the right time.

I decided this was a story I had to tell. Since I’m not married, I could look at the whole thing from an objective perspective.

In Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, I’m treading on extramarital territory for the first time. But I’ve done it my way, in my style.

First cut

But let’s start at the beginning. I was born on 25 May 1972, and I was named Rahul for seven days. But after a week, my mother changed her mind and called me Karan. I grew up in South Mumbai and went to Green Lawns High School. The school had no green lawns, but the building was painted green. It was a very fancy school.

Everything was fine till I was seven years old. Then at eight, I suddenly became very fat. My mother is a bit overweight, so I guess it’s genetic. I was the only child so I was spoilt silly. For my parents, I was their life. My dad was 40 when he had me, so he indulged me completely.

I refused to play any sport. I hung out with the girls and played House House while all the boys played football or cricket. The girls used to play Hopscotch, but even hopping was a problem for me. In school, there was always an issue during the sports period. It was like – who will take Karan in his sports team? No one wanted me. Cycling had suddenly become very popular, but I couldn’t even cycle.